Five Easy Steps to Installing a Toilet


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Besides matching colors and style with the rest of you bathroom or powder room, you will want to consider a few more points. Here are five easy steps for your next toilet installation.

(1) Roughing in specifications: This is the measurement from the wall to the center of the outlet. Typically they come in 10", 12" and 14" sizes. The standard is 12" but a measurement should be taken.

(2) Foot print of the toilet: If you are dealing with a remodel over an existing floor covering, you may want to reference a specification sheet for the area that the bottom of the toilet will cover. For new construction or a new flooring choice, it is also a good idea to have a reference so the flooring is close enough to the ring on the toilet flange.

(3) Toilet height: ADA toilets are not just being marketed to people who need them. The new term is “Comfort Height. " Taller people, older people and all other sorts are moving toward a taller toilet that you don’t have to go down as far to sit.

(4) Elongated/Round front: Elongated has a larger “target area" for the younger members of the family. Some drawbacks are that some people don’t like the looks and if the bathroom is smaller or even average size, the bowl may protrude to the point of being in the way.

Before you begin: observe all local plumbing and building codes. Carefully inspect the new toilet for damage. If the existing toilet does not have a supply shut-off value below the tank, install one before installing the new toilet.

Caution: risk of personal injury or product damage. Handle with care. Vitreous china can break or chip if the bolts and nuts are over tightened or if the product is handled carelessly.

Installation Instructions

Step 1: Remove the old toilet
Turn the water supply off. Flush the toilet, and sponge out any remaining water. Disconnect the water supply connection. Remove the old bolt caps, toilet, and T-bolts, and scrape off the old wax seal from the closet flange.

Insert new T-bolts. If installation of the new toilet is delayed, temporarily cover the closet flange hole with a rag.

Step 2: Install the new bowl
Record model number in Homeowner’s Guide. From the bottom of the bowl, firmly press a new wax seal around the bowl outlet. Remove the temporary rag (if used) from the closet flange.

Caution: risk of external leakage. Do not lift or rock the bowl after placement – if you break the watertight seal, you must install a new wax seal. Align and lower the bowl over the closet flange and T-bolts. Apply full body weight around the bowl rim to set the seal. Do not assemble metal washers and nuts on T-bolts at this time.

Please the bolt cap bases in the “up" position over each T-bolt. Secure the washer and nut to each T-bolt.

Caution: risk of product damage. When cutting off excess T-bolt length, protect the vitreous china surface from exposure to the saw blade.

If the T-bolts extend more than ΒΌ" (6mm) over the nuts, cut off the excess. Snap the bolt caps onto each bolt cap base.

Step 3: Install the tank
With three tank bolts, pre-assembled through the gasket holes, position the tank on the bowl by centering the gasket on bowl inlet. Assemble the washers and nuts to the tank bolts. Tighten the three nuts so the tank is level. Be sure the nuts are tight enough to achieve a watertight seal.

Step 4: Connect the supply
Connect the supply shut-off valve to the toilet supply shank. Open the supply shut-off valve slowly and check for leaks. Install the toilet seat. Test flush the toilet several times. Periodically check for leaks for several days following installation.

Step 5: Adjustments
Adjust the tank water level to the marked water line by squeezing and sliding the C-clip on the float rod. To raise the water level, slide the C-clip up. To lower the water level, slide the C-clip down.

Installation Hints
The installation of a toilet is a very simple job and you need very few products in addition to what is in the box(s); but here are some things that should be replaced while in the area.

Wax ring: Inexpensive and a good idea to replace, even if you are taking the toilet off and putting it back on to the same flange. Note: The horned rings are easier to line up and help prevent leaks.

Toilet bolts: Also inexpensive; however you do not need to replace these unless you had to cut the old ones off. The brass does become corroded and hard to manage. Note: Give the plastic models a try. Plumbers give them great reviews.

Supply line: While you are working in the area, supply lines can vary from toilet to toilet and can become old and cracked. Replace, and save a possible headache down the road. Note: The braided lines work very well. They are flexible and add a neat look to the room.

Take a dry run at the installation. If the bowl and tank are not connected yet, set the bowl in place. Make sure the footprint covers the exposed area of the floor and it does not wobble excessively. When installing a two-piece toilet, after you have set the bowl down, set the tank on top to make sure you have proper clearance behind the bowl, and on all sides.

Note: Write the tank and bowl number on the underside of the tank lid for future reference.

If you are unsure of your workmanship and you think you might have some leaks, shut the water off after filling the tank. If there is a leak, you will only have one tank of water on the floor instead of an endless supply. When installing a two-piece toilet, you may connect the tank to the bowl prior to setting the toilet. When it is in two pieces, it is lighter and easier to move around. However, connecting the tank to the bowl is much easier when the bowl is not bolted to the floor. Remember to tighten the tank bolts evenly.

Make sure the bolt cap anchors are on BEFORE you put the nuts on the toilet bolts. If the caps do not fit on the anchor, or if the bolts seem to long, cut them off.

Lastly, if you are unsure of your workmanship and you think you might have some leaks, shut the water off after filling the tank. If there is a leak, you will only have one tank of water on the floor instead of the endless supply.

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