How to Install Toilet Plumbing

There are a lot of projects that the average homeowner will never have to tackle, but installing a toilet after removing an old one is a common one for many people. For those who haven’t yet had to, or who are thinking about upgrading their toilet during an upcoming bathroom remodel, wondering how to install toilet plumbing is a common concern. Few people know how to install a toilet without some sort of instruction, and this can make it seem like a daunting project. 

However, for many homeowners, installing a toilet is an incredibly easy project that doesn’t take much time. There are several steps to the process, but with some common tools and a little motivation, it can be done easily.  We’re going to look at what is needed for installing a toilet, and what the process may entail. In the end, we’ll also point you toward a trusted local plumbing resource that can help you finish any project that you may or may not have already started.

How To Install A Toilet

Get Familiar

First things first, you need to know the parts of the toilet and how they all work. Take a few moments to learn the terminology of your toilet and the various parts that will attach it to the floor and the plumbing. This will save you a considerable headache later when you’re in the middle of the project and wondering what side of the closet flange your wax ring goes on.

Prep The Pipe

This is basically just clearing the floor away from the drain, and verifying that the hole is large enough to accommodate the closet flange. Dry fit your soil pipe to make sure you have the proper length, or that’s going to be a challenge to fix later.

Soil Pipe & Closet Flange

Using PVC primer and PVC cement, attach the soil pipe to the closet bend. Then using the same process, attach the closet flange to the soil pipe until the collar is on the floor. Rotate the flange to get the slots over the bolt holes. Secure the collar with stainless screws.

Install Supply Shutoff

While you’re waiting for the PVC cement to set up, take a few minutes to attach your shutoff valve. Depending on the finish you want and the plumbing you have, this can be a compression fitting or a soldered joint. Don’t forget to put the escutcheon over the pipe before installing the valve.

Wax Ring

Install the brass bolts into the flange, and drop a brass washer on each. Then set the wax ring directly over the flange and press gently. You want to keep the ring in place, but you don’t want to deform it.


Lift the bow, with help if needed, and carefully align the holes with the bolts, and lower it onto the ring. Taking care to avoid rocking or twisting movements, press the bowl straight down onto the wax ring until the base of the bowl is on the floor. Uneven floors may require shimming.


Now you should be able to lift the toilet tank and set it onto the back of the toilet. There will generally be a pair of nuts that are used to secure the tank to the bowl. Tighten these but do not overtighten, as you can crack the bowl or the tank.


The only step that’s left is to connect your supply line to the supply shutoff, and to the bottom of the tank where the fill valve nipple extends through the bottom of the tank.

Call Emory For All Your Plumbing Needs

Emory is ready to be your trusted local plumbing partner, from the smallest installation to the biggest renovation, we’re ready to help you achieve your vision. Reach out today and speak with a local expert about your next project.