How to Remove a Toilet


Removing the toilet can be done in just few steps without hiring extra help. If you want to learn how, read our complete 9-step DIY guide. It also includes tips on how to install a new toilet pan immediately after removing an old one.


Step 1 – Materials

Apart from a new toilet, you’ll need some protective gear, cleaning products and tools. Those include protective gloves and eyewear, an old blanket, rags, toilet cleaner, sponge, spanner, hacksaw, mop and a bucket.


Step 2 – Cleaning

First, clean the floor and toilet pan with disinfectant and flush. Put a blanket or old rags you won’t need on the floor under the toilet. They will soak up any remaining water. Also, it would be good to put parts of the old toilet directly on the rags to prevent dirtying the floor.


Step 3 – Disconnecting the water and overflow pipes

You can do this by closing the valve along the water supply line. Flush to empty the cistern, remove the cistern lid and then disconnect the overflow pipe (use a spanner). Also, disconnect the flush pipe between the cistern and the toilet (low-level cisterns don’t have it). Disconnect the flapper chain and remove any remaining water from the bottom of the pan (sponge and squeeze into a bucket).


Step 4 – Unscrewing the pan

Locate the cistern mounting nuts and bolts and use a spanner to unscrew them. Sometimes they are so damaged and corroded that they can’t be unscrewed. In that case, apply some lubricating oil to loosen them a little bit.


If that doesn’t work, use a hacksaw and cut through the screw bolts. Some nuts and bolts attach the toilet to the floor – you’ll find them at the base. If they are corroded as well, cut them with the hacksaw.


Step 5 – Removing the pan

After removing all the screws and nuts, the pan will be almost free. Stand over it, and rock it gently from side to side and the seal of wax will break. Put the toilet on a blanket in an upright position. If the pan is cemented to the floor, you’ll have to use a cold chisel and drive it under the base to free it.


Step 6 – Preparation

Now you’ll see a big hole in the floor. Clog it with a rag. If you don’t do this, sewer smells will enter the bathroom. Remove the wax ring and thoroughly clean the floor that was under the toilet with disinfectant and a scraper. Remove all debris and don’t forget to wear gloves and goggles in the process.


Step 7 – Soil pipe

In case you damage the soil pipe in the toilet removal process, you’ll need to trim it back. It’s necessary to have a clean level end before you install a new toilet. Using a chain pipe cutter is the best way to do it - just wrap it around the pipe and work backwards and forwards to cut it.


Step 8 – Placing the toilet

Put a new wax ring where the old one was – on top of the drain hole. Be careful as you only have one attempt to do it. If you don’t make it, you’ll need another ring. Put the pan in its place and rock it from side to side until it sits.


Step 9 – Reassemble

Now you’ll have to reassemble everything in the reverse order. Connect the water supply and flush to test the new toilet for leaks.