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How to Install a Modern Toilet

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Looking to install a new modern toilet? This is one do-it-yourself project you can do. We know switching out your old one for a new modern toilet seems daunting, so here’s a friendly how to for installing your very own:

So you’ve got your brand new toilet ready and waiting. But before we get started on replacing your old toilet with the new one, you’re going to need to gather some supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Your new modern toilet!
2. Work gloves
3. A new wax ring
4. A crescent wrench
5. A flat-head screwdriver
6. A putty knife
7. A caulk & caulking gun
8. An extra set of hands
9. An old rag
10. A towel or drop cloth

Before you can install your new toilet, you’re going to need to remove the old one. So put those work gloves on and let’s go!

Removing Your Old Toilet

Step 1

Turn off the water supply. You’ll find the valve attached to the wall at the bottom left of the tank with the supply hose attached to the toilet.

Step 2

After you’ve turned off the water, flush the toilet making sure to hold down the handle until all of the water has drained from the bowl and tank. If there’s any excess water remaining in the bowl, you’ll need to get rid of it either using a cup or a sponge.

Step 3

Once all the water is cleared out, you’ll need to unscrew and disconnect the water supply from the toilet.

Step 4

Take the lid off of the tank, making sure to move it so it won’t get in your way. The last thing you want is to accidentally break it and cause more of a mess. Now you can remove the caps and bolts from the base of the toilet that are keeping it secured and in place.

Step 5

Now you’ll need to break the seal. To do this, rock the toilet back and forth until it comes free. Once the toilet has detached from the old wax ring you can carry it out of the bathroom. This is where that extra set of hands comes, well in handy. If you’re not going to take the toilet out right away make sure you have a piece of plastic to rest the old toilet on.

Step 6

Taking an old rag, place it into the opening of the drain. Believe me, unless you want to be breathing in sewage odors, you’re going to want to do this! Once the rag is in place you can remove the old wax ring using a putty knife. Take this time to clean the floor and the mounting flange. If your flange is rusted, now is the time to replace it.

Installing Your New Modern Toilet

After you’ve removed the old toilet, it’s time to install your new one. Be sure to double check the instructions that came with your own toilet.

Step 1

Slide or screw new closet bolts into the flange. Make sure that they’re parallel to the wall behind the toilet.

Step 2

Now it’s time to place the new wax ring. To do this, place the bowl of the toilet upside down on top of a towel. This will prevent any chipping or damage to the toilet. Just place the wax ring over the outlet hole/waste horn. You can also place the wax ring over the flange if you don’t want to turn the bowl upside down. Make sure that your wax ring has warmed up to room temperature if its been out in the cold!

Step 3

Remove the rag from the drain and line up toilet over the flange and the bolts, and gently lower it down into place. Press down on the rim of the bowl to make sure you get a firm seal, just be careful not to rock toilet or it may crack or break the bowl. You can also sit on the toilet to get things to seal properly.

Step 4

Place the nut bolts, washer, and caps onto the closet bolts on either side of the toilet. When tightening the nuts, you’ll want to evenly distribute pressure, so alternate between the left and right before tightening them all the way. Don’t tighten the nuts too tightly as you run the risk of cracking the toilet. Then you can put on the decorative caps.

Step 5

If you have a two piece toilet, you’ll need to install the tank separately. Most modern toilets will already have the flush assemble and handle preinstalled. Place the rubber gasket and bolts on before installing the tank onto the bowl. Put the bowl in place and secure it to the bowl using nuts, making sure that everything is level and tightened just enough to make sure no leaks will occur.

Step 6

Install the seat and reconnect the water supply and slowly turn the water back on. After the water’s back on, flush the toilet and check for leaks. Make any adjustments you need to.

Step 7

If everything has a good tight seal and there’s no leaking, seal around the base of the toilet with a bead of caulking. Then you can put the top on the tank and you’re done!

Need a little modern toilet advice? Call our YLiving team at 866-349-0978!

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Karen Nepacena

Karen Nepacena loves everything mid-century modern and spends her weekends renovating and restoring a 1959 Eichler home, which she shares with her husband and two sons.