How to Install a Toilet

Updated: Dec. 12, 2023

Installing your own toilet is a simple DIY project that could save you a ton on plumber’s fees.

Toilets can seem complicated to the average DIYer, and installing them doubly so. But if you know a little about how toilets work and can use a few common tools, installing a toilet on your own can be a simple project. Get to know how much it costs to install a toilet.

Here are the tools and materials you’ll need:

  • New wax ring;
  • New supply line;
  • Two flange bolts;
  • Kitchen and bathroom caulk;
  • Wrench;
  • Pliers;
  • Screwdriver;
  • Two extra sets of washers and nuts.

Step One: Attach the Tank to the Toilet Bowl

To attach the tank, lift it into position over the bowl and line up the screw holes. Insert your screws into the holes and thread them into the nut on the underside of the tank. Make sure to start all your screws before tightening any of them with a crescent wrench. This way, the tank pulls down evenly.

Step Two: Install the Flange Bolts

Take the flange bolts and slide them into the flange, each with a loose washer and nut already fed onto the end. Once they’re in place, measure the distance from the flange bolt to the wall. If both bolts are the same distance from the wall, tighten the nut down to the base of the bolt to hold it in place.

Step Three: Setting the Wax Ring

Take the wax ring and place it into position on the flange. The wax ring should sit directly between the two flange bolts.

Step Four: Position the Toilet

Lift the toilet directly over the flange bolts. Slide the flange bolts into the holes on the base of the toilet. Then put your weight on the toilet. This will squish the wax ring down and allow the toilet to settle flush against the floor.

Step Five: Secure to the Flange

Tighten the nuts on the flange bolts that are sticking out from holes in the base of your toilet. Make sure you tighten the nuts on the flange bolts enough that the toilet doesn’t wobble. Be careful not to tighten the nuts too much — that could damage the porcelain and your floor. Once the nut has been properly tightened, cut the flange bolt off just above the nut and snap on its plastic cap.

Step Six: Connect the New Supply Line

Connect the new water supply line to the back of the toilet, finger-tightening it until the connection is firm. Then take a pair of pliers and give the supply line connection one last 1/8 turn to lock it in place. At this point, turn the water on and check for any drips.

Step Seven: Give it a Flush

Let the tank fill with water and flush the toilet, checking for any leaks around the bowl. If everything stays dry, you’ve done a good job. Finish up by running a bead of caulk around the base of the toilet, which will help support the toilet and prevent rot.