8 Simple Steps to Replace a Toilet

You’ve made promises you need to see through. You’ve put it off for too long. It’s finally time to redo that bathroom, which means you’re going to need to update that old toilet. Replacing a toilet might seem like a big job – one you’re not sure you want to even attempt. The good news is, with a little knowhow and some southern grit you should have no trouble replacing a toilet. For over 30 years, the experts at Bardi have been dependably serving the greater Atlanta area. With three decades of experience, we’ve figured out the best method for almost any DIY project, and today, we’re going to teach 8 simple steps to replace a toilet.


  • Draining the Tank and Bowl.

The first thing you’ll want to do is shut off the water supply line by turning it clockwise. Flush the toilet, keeping the handle down so that the water drains from both the tank and bowl. There will still be a little water left in the bowl and tank, which will need to be removed before the next step. The easiest way to remove the remaining water is with a sponge. Simply stick the sponge down in the tank, absorb the water, and then ring it out into a bucket. While the water contained within the tank is generally clean, we advise wearing gloves during this process.


  • Water Supply Line and Closet Bolts.

Now that the water is gone from the tank and bowl, use a pair of channel locks (adjustable wrench) to disconnect and remove the cold-water supply line. Next pry off the decorative caps and then remove the nuts and washers from the two closet bolts on either side of the toilet with the channel locks.


  • Removing the Old Toilet.

Now that you’re done with the water supply line and closet bolts, it’s time to remove the old toilet. Because the toilet is cumbersome to move, enlist an extra set of hands for this step. You want to make sure and lift the toilet straight up off the closet bolts to not damage the flange beneath. So the old wax seal doesn’t stain your flooring and make a mess, carry the toilet from the bathroom and set it on a sheet of plastic, newspapers, or piece of plywood.


  • Remove the Old Wax Seal.

After the toilet has been removed, use a putty knife to gently remove all the wax left from the old toilet. Do not remove the flange unless it’s broken or doesn’t fit the new toilet. You will, however, remove the two closet bolts attached and locked in the flange. They simply turn and slide out.


  • Install New Closet Bolts and Wax Seal.

Slide the new closet bolts into place on the flange and put the washer and nuts on them to hold them in the correct position for the new toilet. Next place the new wax seal on over the drain/sewer pipe.


  • Set the New Toilet.

Using an extra set of hands again, pick up and place the new toilet over the closet bolts. Make sure the toilet is positioned directly over the closet bolts and that you bring the toilet straight down. Once the toilet and the closet bolts have been lined up and are in the correct position, press the toilet down over the wax seal, gently wiggling until the toilet rests at the bottom of the floor and the seal is tight.


  • Secure the Closet Bolts.

Place the bolt cap and washer over the bolt and then tighten the nut until it is secure. Be careful not to over tighten the nut and crack the toilet. Next, you’ll notice that the new bolt is too long for the decorative caps to be placed on top. Using a hacksaw, saw off the bolts just above the nuts and then place new caps over them.


  • Reattach the Water Supply.

The last thing you’ll need to do is reattached the water supply line. If you’re water supply line is old, this is a good time to install a new one. Once that is done, turn the water supply back on and check for any leaks. That’s it. You’re all done!


While these DIY tips should make it easy to replace your toilet, they are far from comprehensive. However, the professionals at Bardi are ready to lend a hand should you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or discover the project to be more in-depth. Call Bardi at (770) 263-9300, email us at, or chat with a representative in the chat box to schedule service today!




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