How to Remove a Toilet

Follow these instructions to remove the toilet from your bathroom quickly and cleanly.

Eventually, the day will come when your trusty toilet needs an upgrade. Fortunately, DIYers with a free afternoon and a little plumbing know-how can remove a toilet and install a new one without much fuss.

Taking out your old toilet can be done in less than half an hour. Here’s how to quickly and safely remove a toilet from a bathroom.

Step One: Turn Off the Water Supply

Make sure the water is shut off completely before doing anything else.

Step Two: Flush the Toilet

Flush the toilet to drain most of the water from the tank and the bowl. Remove any remaining water from the tank with a sponge and a bucket or a wet vac.

Step Three: Disconnect the Supply Line

Disconnect the supply line with a wrench. Place a bucket beneath where your water supply line connects to the toilet. Be ready for small amounts of water to pour out from the supply line as you disconnected it.

Step Four: Unfasten the Flange Bolts

In most cases, toilets connect to the floor via two bolts hidden under plastic caps on either side of the base. Remove the caps and inspect the bolts underneath. If the bolts appear in good condition, use a wrench to unfasten them.

Often, the flange bolts become corroded, making them tough or impossible to unscrew. In this situation, cut the bolts off with a hand saw.

Step Five: Cut the Caulk Free

The last thing holding your toilet to the ground is the thin line of caulk around its base. With a putty or utility knife, cut through that caulk so that you don’t pull up floorboards or tile when removing the toilet.

Step Six: Pull Out the Toilet

Once the floor bolts are off and the caulk has been cut away, it’s time to remove the toilet. Prepare a place to put the toilet, then lift it up and pull it free from the flange. Be ready for any last bits of water to spill out during this step.