How do I install a toilet?

Installing a toilet

Whether you invest in a Kohler, American Standard, one-piece or two-piece toilet, it won't be able to do its duty until you install it. Installing a toilet can be complicated. So if you don't feel like messing with the subtleties, call a plumber or somebody who knows the ropes better than you. Here are the basic steps you will need to follow to get your hopper up and flushing.

  1. You'll need to rough in the closet bend and toilet floor flange first. When replacing a toilet, make sure to scrape off the old wax gasket. A putty knife works well for this. Remove the old bolts from the floor flange and scrape the flange clean to prevent leaks at the base of the new bowl. If the old flange is cracked or broken, replace it with a new floor flange.
  2. When you set in your floor flange, always make sure that the underside of the flange is at the level of the finished floor. Tighten the screws that hold the floor flange to the floor. As you do this use a small level to be sure the flange is level.
  3. Set the new floor bolts in plumber's putty and insert them through the flange. Adjust the bolts so they line up with the center of the drainpipe.
  4. Turn your toilet bowl upside down and stick the new wax gasket over the toilet horn on the bottom of the bowl. Caution: a cold wax ring won't seat right. You may want to warm it up before installing it.
  5. Lay on a bead of plumber's putty around the entire bottom edge of the bowl.
  6. Lower the bowl into place over the flange, using the bolts to guide you. Twist slightly as you press down firmly. Do you feel the toilet being pushed into the wax ring? You should. If you don't, your flange is too low, which means you will not get a good wax seal between the flange and the horn (waste outlet).
  7. Level the bowl. Add shims as needed. Make sure you've got the toilet lined up squarely in relation to the wall. Tighten the nuts and washers onto the bolts by hand. Now you are ready to install the tank.
  8. Move the rubber tank cushion into position on the back part of the bowl. Fit the rubber gasket onto the flush valve opening on the bottom of the tank.
  9. Position the tank over the bowl; then tighten the nuts and washers onto the mounting bolts.
  10. Using an adjustable wrench, tighten the hold-down bolts at the base of the bowl. Check to see that the bowl is still level.
  11. Fill the bolt caps with plumber's putty and place them over the bolt ends. Seal the base of the toilet bowl with plumber's putty or silicone caulk.
  12. Cut the end of your supply line stub out and attach a shut off valve. Connect the shutoff valve to the toilet tank with a flexible supply hose.

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