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How To Replace A Toilet

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Older toilet
Aaron Stickley
If you are tired of trying to repair a problematic toilet or you want to update an old water-guzzling fixture one option to consider is replacing it. It is not uncommon to put up with an old or problematic toilet when you don’t know how to replace a toilet. It may seem easier to just fix the individual problems that arise, but this approach can sometimes cost you quite a bit more time and money.

It does not take long to learn how to replace a toilet yourself and there are quite a few benefits to replacing an old or problematic toilet. This project takes only a few hours from start to finish and it can be quite a straightforward process.

Measuring For New Toilet: The first thing to do when replacing a toilet is to measure carefully to ensure that the toilet you purchase will fit in the same location as the old one. Measuring is done with the old toilet in place. Start by measuring from the wall behind the toilet to the center of the bolts at the base of the toilet. If your existing toilet has four bolts measure to the center of the back bolts. This measurement is the rough-in measurement. For a standard toilet the rough-in measurement should be between 11” and 13”. Keep this measurement handy when you go to purchase the replacement toilet.

Note: If your rough- in measurement is not between 11” and 13” a standard toilet will not fit and you will need to purchase a toilet for that specific rough-in distance. For smaller bathrooms it is a good idea to measure the space surrounding the toilet. If you select a toilet with a different bowl shape it may take up to much room and make it difficult or awkward to walk around the toilet.

Buying A New Toilet: There are quite a few different options available when purchasing a new toilet. Cost if often the primary concern when buying a new toilet. Depending of features prices can vary quite a bit. Toilet design is another consideration. Designs include one piece and two-piece options. One-piece toilets look very sleek but they are generally a more costly than the typical two-piece toilets. Since two-piece toilets are more common they are also more competitively priced. Other things to consider are water savings options such as dual flush toilets, toilet height, and bowl shape.

Once you have selected a replacement toilet make sure that you also purchase any components that are not included such as a wax gasket and closet bolts. Also, consider purchasing a new stop valve to replace the existing one.

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