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Toilet Installation: A Comprehensive Guide

Toilet installation may seem like an intimidating task, but with the right tools, materials, and guidance, it can be a manageable DIY project. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, discussing the different types of toilets, the tools, and materials you’ll need, and the installation process. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to tackle toilet installation on your own or decide if hiring a professional is the best route for you.

Types of Toilets

There are three main types of toilets you might consider installing:

Two-piece toilets

These toilets have a separate bowl and tank that are connected during installation. They’re the most common type of toilet and tend to be more affordable than one-piece options.

One-piece toilets

A one-piece toilet features an integrated bowl and tank, making it sleeker and easier to clean. However, they are typically more expensive than two-piece toilets and can be more challenging to install due to their weight.

Wall-mounted toilets

Wall-mounted toilets have a concealed tank and are mounted to the wall, saving floor space and offering a modern look. These toilets are more difficult to install and generally require professional assistance.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before starting your toilet installation, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Plunger
  • Wax ring
  • Toilet flange
  • T-bolts
  • Toilet bowl, tank, and seat
  • Supply line

Preparing the Area

First, shut off the water supply to the toilet and flush it to remove any remaining water. Use a plunger to remove any excess water from the bowl. Disconnect the supply line from the fill valve on the bottom of the tank using an adjustable wrench.

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Toilet Installation Steps

Removing the Old Toilet

Unscrew the nuts connecting the toilet bowl to the floor using an adjustable wrench. Carefully lift the toilet bowl and place it on a towel or plastic sheet to prevent any water from damaging your floor.

Preparing the Flange

Inspect the toilet flange for damage, such as cracks or corrosion. If necessary, replace the flange before proceeding. Remove any remnants of the old wax ring and clean the area.

Setting the Wax Ring

Place the new wax ring on the toilet flange, ensuring it’s centered over the hole. The wax ring creates a watertight seal between the toilet and the drainpipe, preventing leaks and sewer gas from entering your bathroom.

Installing the Toilet Bowl

Carefully lower the toilet bowl onto the wax ring, aligning the mounting holes with the T-bolts in the flange. Apply even pressure to compress the wax ring and create a tight seal. Attach the washers and nuts to the T-bolts and tighten them by hand, followed by a wrench. Be cautious not to overtighten, as this may crack the toilet bowl.

Securing the Toilet Tank

Place the tank-to-bowl gasket onto the bottom of the toilet tank, aligning it with the mounting holes. Lower the tank onto the bowl, ensuring the mounting bolts pass through the corresponding holes. Attach the washers and nuts to the mounting bolts, tightening them by hand and then with a wrench. Alternate tightening each side to ensure an even seal.

Attaching the Toilet Seat

Align the toilet seat mounting holes with those on the toilet bowl. Insert the bolts and attach the nuts, tightening them by hand or with a screwdriver, depending on the seat’s design. Ensure the seat is properly aligned and secure.

Connecting the Water Supply

Attach the supply line to the fill valve on the bottom of the toilet tank, tightening it by hand and then with an adjustable wrench. Connect the other end of the supply line to the shut-off valve and tighten it in the same manner.

Wall-mounted Toilet Installation

If you’re installing a wall-mounted toilet, consult the manufacturer’s instructions, as the process differs from a standard floor-mounted toilet. Generally, you’ll need to install a support frame in the wall and connect the concealed tank before mounting the toilet bowl. Due to the complexity and potential structural modifications required, it’s recommended to hire a professional for wall-mounted toilet installations.

Testing and Final Adjustments

Turn on the water supply and let the toilet tank fill. Check for any leaks around the base of the toilet, the supply line, and the tank. Flush the toilet and ensure it’s functioning properly. If necessary, make any final adjustments, such as leveling the toilet or tightening connections.

Toilet Installation Cost

The cost of toilet installation varies based on factors such as the type of toilet, location, and whether you’re hiring a professional or doing it yourself. On average, professional installation costs between $150 and $300, while DIY installation can save you money, with costs ranging from $50 to $200, depending on the tools and materials required.

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Hiring a Professional vs. DIY Installation

If you’re comfortable with basic plumbing tasks and have the necessary tools, a DIY toilet installation can save you money. However, hiring a professional ensures the job is done correctly and can save you time, effort, and potential headaches. For complex installations, such as wall-mounted toilets, it’s highly recommended to hire a professional.

FAQ for Toilet Installation

  1. How long does it take to install a toilet?

The time it takes to install a toilet varies depending on your experience and the type of toilet. On average, a DIY installation can take 2-4 hours, while a professional installation may take 1-2 hours.

  1. Can I install a toilet myself, or do I need a professional?

If you have basic plumbing skills and the necessary tools, you can install a toilet yourself. However, if you’re unsure about your abilities or are considering a wall-mounted toilet, it’s best to hire a professional, such as Jilly Plumbing in Boerne.

  1. How do I know if my toilet flange needs to be replaced?

Inspect the toilet flange for damage, such as cracks or corrosion. If you notice any signs of wear or damage, it’s best to replace the flange before proceeding with toilet installation.

  1. What is the best type of toilet to install?

The best type of toilet depends on your preferences, budget, and bathroom layout. Two-piece toilets are the most common and affordable option, while one-piece toilets offer a sleek design and are easier to clean. Wall-mounted toilets provide a modern look and save floor space but require more complex installation.

  1. Can I install a wall-mounted toilet myself?

Wall-mounted toilet installation is more complicated than a standard floor-mounted toilet and generally requires professional assistance. If you’re interested in a wall-mounted toilet, contact Jilly Plumbing in Boerne for expert help.


Toilet installation can be a manageable DIY project with the right tools, materials, and guidance. By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the task or make an informed decision about hiring a professional. Remember to consider factors such as the type of toilet, your comfort level with plumbing tasks, and potential costs when deciding which route to take.

If you’re unsure about tackling the installation yourself or you’re interested in a wall-mounted toilet, consider hiring a professional plumber, like the experts at Jilly Plumbing in Boerne. They can ensure your toilet is installed correctly, saving you time, effort, and potential headaches.

Don’t hesitate to contact Jilly Plumbing in Boerne for all your toilet installation needs!

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