This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner install a new toilet.
Shopping List for Installing a New Toilet:
- Two-piece toilet
- Toilet seat
- Wax toilet ring
- Shutoff valve
- Stainless-steel water-supply line
- Emery cloth, used to clean copper pipe
- Shallow pan or small bucket, for catching water spills
- Cloth rag, for plugging the drainpipe
- Closet flange with closet bolts,
used to secure the toilet to the drainpipe
- PVC drainpipe and fittings
- PVC primer and cement, used to
glue the PVC drainpipe and fittings
- Masonry screws, for screwing the
flange to a tile floor
Tools List for Installing a New Toilet:
- Internal pipe cutter, used to cut PVC
- Hammer and cold chisel, for
chipping off thinset mortar
- Tubing cutter, used to cut copper
- Two adjustable wrenches, for
tightening the compression fitting
- Pliers, used to tighten threaded
- Wrench, for tightening the nuts on the toilet-tank bolts
- Carbide-tipped masonry bit, for
drilling through tile
- Mini hacksaw, used to trim the
Steps for Installing a New Toilet:
1. Turn off the water at the meter.
2. Open all faucets on the upper level of the house, then open the tub or shower
valve in the bathroom where you're installing the toilet.
3. Use emery cloth to buff clean the copper pipe stub-out protruding from the
4. Put a shallow pan or a small bucket under the pipe stub-out to catch any
5. Use a tubing cutter to cut the pipe stub-out to the proper length.
6. Slip a new shutoff valve onto the pipe stub-out, then tighten the compression
fitting with two adjustable wrenches.
7. Close all the faucets and valves opened in Step 2.
8. Turn the water back on at the meter.
9. Temporarily plug the toilet's PVC drainpipe with a rag to block out sewer
10. Trim the PVC drainpipe to the proper height using a drill/driver fitted with
an internal pipe cutter.
11. Use a hammer and a cold chisel to chip away any excess thinset mortar from
12. Glue a new closet flange onto the drainpipe with PVC primer and cement, then
insert two closet bolts into the slots in the flange.
13. Drill through the mounting holes in the flange and into the ceramic tile
with a carbide-tip masonry bit.
14. Secure the flange to the floor with masonry screws.
15. Bolt the toilet tank to the toilet bowl, making sure to install the included
rubber gasket between the two parts.
16. Attach the toilet seat to the toilet bowl with the two included plastic
17. Press a wax toilet ring onto the closet flange, then remove the rag from the
18. Set the toilet over the closet bolts protruding from the flange. Press down
on the toilet to compress the wax ring.
19. Place the washers and nuts onto each closet bolt and alternately tighten
each nut with a wrench. Do not overtighten the nuts.
20. Use a mini hacksaw to trim each bolt.
21. Snap the included plastic cap onto each closet bolt.
22. Tighten one end of a stainless-steel water-supply line to the shutoff valve.
Connect the other end to the fitting on the underside of the toilet tank.
23. Open the shutoff valve to fill the toilet tank with water.
24. Put the lid on the tank, then flush the toilet to check your work.