08 April 2010

DIY: Installing a Toilet

North Jersey.com

Before the recession, bathroom remodeling projects typically came in the form of exorbitant overhauls. Today, consumers have become unwilling to part with their dollars, and many are pulling the plug on expensive renovations. There’s been a resurgence in DIY installations and/or repair jobs.

Installing your own toilet or replacing one that has seen better days, for example, is becoming commonplace.

"There’s a real change in focus," said Sandy Torgersen, a sales manager with Hardware, Bath & Spa, a showroom of high-end, decorative bath and kitchen fixtures in Fairfield. "People are looking to economize. They’re discovering that there’s a satisfaction to accomplishing something big on their own."

"One reason for installing your own toilet, of course, is money," Torgersen said. "When you hire someone, you have to pay for the service. You could also pay for their drive time and could pay for them to come during off hours.

"When you install it yourself, it’s on your own time. It’s relatively easy and it can all be completed in one day."

To start, follow these steps:

* After turning the water off, flush the toilet to empty most to the water. Remove the remaining water with a sponge and a water bucket. Then disconnect the supply line from the base.

* To remove the old toilet, pop off the trim caps at the base. Next, remove the nut and washers on the closet bolts securing the bowl on the floor.

* Use a putty knife to pry up and remove the old wax seal. Install the new wax seal and hook the new closet bolts into their slots on the flange.

* With the closet bolts and seal in place, you can attach and assemble the toilet. Slip the tank bolts through the opening in the bottom of the tank. Line up the shank of bolts with holes in the bowl and drop the tank into place. Secure the tank to the bowl by tightening a nut onto each tank bolt.

* Set the toilet onto to the flange, making sure that the closest bolts protruding from the floor line up with the holes in the base.

* Secure the new seal and lift onto the bowl with mounting bolts. Use clip joint pliers to reconnect the supply line at the bottom of the tank.

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