How To Install A Toilet In 10 Simple Steps

person wiping toilet bowl

Are you doing a bathroom renovation project? Do you need to replace or install a toilet? Well, you have come to the right place. Below we have put together a simple, step-by-step guide to walk you through learning how to install a toilet. The guide below is ideal for both beginners and experts alike. We will be discussing the supplies you need for the job and give you some additional, helpful tips along the way. Keep reading to learn more.

Should You Install Your Own Toilet?

You may be looking at your bathroom renovation project and thinking that learning how to install a toilet is way too difficult. Believe it or not, installing your own toilet is a lot easier than you would think. Many people make the mistake of calling in a repairman and paying hundreds of dollars out of pocket for something that can be done yourself in as little as an hour.

All it takes is a little diligence, understanding, and patience and you’ll be able to save yourself a lot of money on installation costs. Take a look at our ten steps below and see how easy it is. If you have ever paid for someone to install a toilet before you’ll be kicking yourself after reading our guide below.

Supplies You Need to Install a Toilet

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Installing a toilet requires plumbing to already be in place. Aside from the new or replacement toilet, you will need quite a few supplies and tools to get the job done quickly, accurately, and most importantly, safely. We recommend having the following tools and materials on hand for installation:


  • Work gloves
  • Level
  • Mini-hacksaw
  • Putty knife
  • Safety glasses
  • Sponge
  • Measuring tape
  • Towel
  • Wrenches


  • Toilet
  • Closet bolts
  • Washers
  • Nuts
  • Toilet shims
  • Wax ring
  • Bag for waste
  • Water solidifier
  • Flange repair kit

How to Install a Toilet in 10 Steps

Below you will find our step-by-step guide on learning how to install a toilet, yourself, at home. We will walk you through ten easy steps that will save you time and money. Keep reading below if you want to learn how.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Before you learn how to install a toilet, you will want to gather your supplies. Take a look at our tool and material list above and gather the needed supplies. After all, this is not a time-consuming project, so many of these steps will move quickly and it’s ideal, for time’s sake, to have everything you will need nearby.

Step 2: Install The Closet Bolts

The first step to learning how to install a toilet is to replace the closet bolts. Start by taking your new closet bolts and slide them into the flange slots. Make sure you tighten the washers for perfect alignment when installing your toilet.

Step 3: Install The Wax Ring

Grab your towel and place your toilet bowl upside-down on the top of it. Next, you will want to grab your wax ring and press it onto the toilet outlet. If you have trouble getting the ring to stretch over the outlet, you can run the wax ring under warm water for a minute or so to soften and stretch the material.

Step 4: Set Toilet

The next step to learning how to install a toilet is to set the toilet into place. To do this correctly, you will want to carefully put the toilet bowl over the closet bolts you installed and press down firmly. We do not recommend rocking to jiggle the toilet into place. Make sure you use firm and even pressure to ensure it is square with the wall and flush to the floor.

Step 5: Add Cap Bases, Washers, And Nuts

For this part in your renovation project, you will want to secure the toilet to the floor. To do this, you will be adding cap bases, washers, and nuts to your newly installed closet bolts. Tighten the nuts just enough to be firm but not too tight, as over-tightening can crack the toilet’s base. If you’d like, you can use a hacksaw to cut off the bolts sticking up so you can snap on the caps.

TIP: Cap Bases

Make sure when installing cap bases that you place them the right way up. It is very easy to install them upside-down, especially if you are working in a bathroom that hasn’t had lighting installed yet.

Step 6: Prep The Tank

Next, you will want to prepare your tank for the toilet installation by flipping over the tank and adding bolts to hold the bowl in place. These will be able to easily slip into the pre-made slots on the toilet tank. After that is in place, you will add your rubber gasket at the base.

Step 7: Set In Place

After your gasket is installed, you can set the tank on your toilet bowl. Put your tank in place and tighten the nuts as gently yet firmly as you can without cracking the bowl. Ensure everything is flush before moving onto the next steps.

Step 8: Water

You are almost done learning how to install a toilet. All you need to do for this step is to hook up the water supply and then turn the water back on. Make sure you turn the water on slowly in case there are any unfortunate leaks.


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Step 9: Check

If you have turned your water on and have not seen any leaks that does not mean there won’t be during operation. Flush your newly installed toilet and check the base and tubing for any leaking or wetness. If you do experience leaking, try tightening your nuts and bolts more to secure everything together.

Step 10: Add The Seat

The final step to learning how to install a toilet is to put the seat cover on. Many times, toilets come with the seat covers off and you’ll need to pop them back into place. Depending on the type of toilet you are installing, this could be done with a screwdriver, pins, or by snapping into place. If you are not sure how to put on your toilet cover, take a look at any directions that came with the toilet or try searching on the manufacturer’s website. If that doesn’t help you out, there are a ton of forums and helpful websites that can walk you through an individual model’s seat cover installation.

Tips and Tricks For Starting a Freshwater Aquarium [For Beginners]

white bathroom

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If you have read our comprehensive guide and step-by-step tutorial above you may find some additional tips helpful. Below we have put together a list of some of the most helpful tricks you can use when learning how to install a toilet yourself. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Rocking Toilet

Before you learn how to install a toilet, you will want to gather your supplies. Take a look at our tool and material list above and gather the needed supplies. After all, this is not a time-consuming project, so many of these steps will move quickly and it’s ideal, for time’s sake, to have everything you will need nearby.

2. Extra Wax Rings

Most toilets will come with a wax ring already attached, however, we always recommend having a backup. Wax rings can be delicate and if they snap or break during installation, you can’t really continue without them. Having a backup on hand gives you peace of mind and they aren’t going to break the bank either.

3. Drain Pipe

If you are replacing an existing toilet, you will want to do something about the open drain pipe during your renovation. The drain pipe for toilets leads to the sewer and can allow unpleasant odors to ruminate and buildup in your bathroom during your project. Stop these harmful odors by sticking a rag into the drain pipe before installation.

4. Never Reuse

You may be replacing an existing toilet and see that there is already a wax ring in place. It can be tempting to leave this ring and install your new toilet on top of it. That, however, is a bad idea. Wax rings should only be used once; even if it looks intact, it should always be replaced. Luckily these rings are fairly inexpensive and easy to find.

5. Replacing Wax Rings

If you need to replace the wax ring on your toilet, chances are you need to remove an old one. The thought may be daunting looking at that sticky mess, but with the right tools, it’s quite easy. Make sure you are wearing gloves and take a putty knife to scrape away any excess wax. If you don’t want your putty knife to be scraping a sewer drain pipe, we understand. This is why we recommend using disposable plastic putty knives in this specific situation.


smiley figurine sitting in toilet

Image via Pixabay

Learning how to install a toilet is easy. By following the steps above you should have a clearer understanding of how simple this project really can be. Just remember to be patient, ask for help when you need it, and most importantly, be safe!

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