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How to Remove a Toilet – A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Remove a Toilet

Removing a toilet may seem frightening, but with the proper guidance, anyone can do it. Whether replacing an old lavatory, repairing a flange, or renovating your toilet, understanding how to dispose of a lavatory is a valuable skill. In this blog, you will learn how to remove a toilet easily.

Can I remove a toilet myself?

Yes, you can remove a toilet yourself with the right tools and knowledge. It’s a relatively straightforward process, but be sure to follow safety precautions and turn off the water supply before starting. If you’re unsure, consider seeking guidance from a professional plumber.

What tools are needed to remove a toilet?

To remove a toilet, you’ll need a few essential tools:

  1. Adjustable wrench
  2. Screwdriver
  3. Putty knife
  4. Plunger
  5. Bucket
  6. Towels or rags

These tools will help you disconnect the water supply, loosen bolts, and safely remove the toilet from the floor.

How to Remove a Toilet? – A Step-by-Step Guide

Understanding the Basics: Safety First

Prioritize Safety: Ceramic toilets can be heavy, so it’s important to raise them with caution to avoid injury. Remember to lift with your legs, not your back. If possible, seek help from someone else to lift the toilet.

Disconnecting the Toilet Connector

  • Turn Off Water Supply: Begin by turning off the water delivery at the shut-off valve, generally located at the wall in the back of the toilet.
  • Drain the Toilet: Flush the toilet a couple of times to empty the tank and bowl, then sponge dry any excess water.
  • Disconnect Connector Tube: Disconnect the bathroom connector tube from the shut-off valve and the toilet tank, ensuring you have a bucket or towel nearby to catch any water.

Removing the Toilet Tank

  • Locate Mounting Bolts: For a toilet with a two-piece layout, find the mounting bolts that stabilize the tank to the bowl.
  • Remove Tank Nuts: Use a ratchet wrench or basin wrench to loosen the nuts from the mounting bolts, then carefully remove the tank from the bowl and place it on a towel.

Unbolting the Toilet from the Floor

  • Remove Trim Caps: If necessary, remove the trim caps at the ground bolts using a screwdriver.
  • Unbolt Toilet: Use an adjustable wrench to remove the nuts from the floor bolts. If the nuts are stubborn, spray them with penetrating oil or use a hacksaw to reduce the bolts.

Breaking the Toilet Seal

Breaking the Toilet Seal

  • Loosen Seal: Move the toilet from side to side to break the seal. 
  • Lift Bowl: Once the seal is damaged, carefully carry the bowl and lay it on its facet on a towel, asking for assistance if needed.

Removing the Old Wax Ring

  • Scrape Away Wax: Use a paint scraper to remove old wax from the bathroom flange and the bottom of the restroom, disposing of it in a bucket lined with a plastic bag.
  • Clean Flange: Clean the flange and horn with a stiff twine brush, inspecting the flange for any harm that can require replacement.

Covering the Drain Hole & Disposing of the Old Toilet

  • Prevent Sewer Gas: Stuff old cloth into the drain hollow and cover it with an inverted bucket to save your sewer fuel from seeping into your home.
  • Dispose Responsibly: Dispose of the toilet in an eco-friendly way or give it to recycling. You can donate it to charities if it is a little old. 

Why Do I Have To Replace a Toilet?

Why Do I Have To Replace a Toilet

Replacing a toilet offers many benefits, making it a worthwhile investment for homeowners. Firstly, upgrading to a more efficient model is a crucial reason for replacement:

  • Newer toilets often incorporate water-saving features like dual-flush mechanisms or low-flow options.
  • These features result in significant reductions in water usage and lower utility bills.
  • Homeowners can contribute to environmental conservation efforts by embracing these advancements.

Addressing leaks or damage is another crucial factor driving toilet replacement:

  • Over time, older toilets may develop leaks, cracks, or other issues that compromise their functionality.
  • By replacing these worn-out fixtures, homeowners can prevent water wastage and mitigate potential water damage to their homes.
  • Ensuring efficient water usage is essential for both environmental sustainability and cost savings.

Additionally, installing a new toilet presents an opportunity to enhance the aesthetics of the bathroom:

  • Whether as part of a renovation project or because you want a fresh look, a modern toilet can elevate the overall ambiance of the space.
  • Homeowners can choose from sleek designs and varied color options to complement their desired aesthetic vision.

Moreover, modern toilets often come with enhanced functionality:

  • Features such as ergonomic heights provide added comfort and convenience.
  • Touchless flushing or antimicrobial surfaces prioritize hygiene and ease of use in the bathroom experience.

Replacing a toilet can also increase the value of the home:

  • Updated bathrooms are a desirable feature for potential buyers, contributing to the overall market appeal of the property.
  • Lastly, it allows homeowners to customize their bathroom to better suit their needs and preferences:

Whether selecting a different style, size, or technological features, homeowners can design their choice to enhance their bathroom experience. Overall, replacing a toilet offers practical benefits, aesthetic enhancements, and value appreciation, making it a wise decision for homeowners looking to upgrade their bathrooms.


In conclusion, knowing how to remove a toilet is valuable for any DIY enthusiast. By following these steps, you can remove the toilet securely and safely. Remember to prioritize safety, enlist the help of a friend if needed, and dispose of the old toilet responsibly. With this newfound knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle your next bathroom project confidently.

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FAQs on How to Remove a Toilet 

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

The time it takes to remove a toilet can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the installation, any complications encountered, and your level of experience. Generally, it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.

2. Do I need special tools to remove a toilet?

While you don’t necessarily need specialized tools, having a few handy can make the job easier. Basic tools like an adjustable wrench, a screwdriver, hacksaw, and paint scraper are commonly used.

3. Do I have to replace the wax ring when I remove a toilet?

Yes, it’s recommended to replace the wax ring when removing a toilet. The wax ring creates a seal between the toilet and the waste pipe, preventing leaks and odors. Removing the toilet can damage the wax ring, so replacing it ensures a proper seal when reinstalling the toilet.