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Guidelines for Installing a Toilet

Updated on March 26, 2016

Installing a toilet might at first sound a bit tricky, especially for those who have never attempted home DIY before; surely you need a plumber or professional contractor to fit everything up properly? Someone with the proper training and expertise? Well, in fact, that’s not strictly the case, and in an effort to save on labour fees more and more people in the UK are replacing a toilet or carrying out new toilet installation themselves.

To help give you an idea of what you need and how long a typical toilet fitting procedure might take, we’ve put together a quick step-by-step guide, which outlines the process in small, manageable stages, telling you exactly how to install a toilet in your home.

Steps to install a toilet

  1. Firstly, unpack and check all the components of your new system. Make sure you have all of the following: a pan-to-pan cistern sealing ring and connecting bolts; a cistern and cistern lid; flush button(s), a flush valve and a fill valve. Read over the instructions before you begin too and identify what’s what so you know how to handle the next steps.
  2. Now you can start properly! The first step is to fit the fill valve into the cistern, making sure the thick rubber washer goes on the inside and the plastic washer is fitted on the outside. Hand-tighten them as much as you can, and then use a spanner, being careful not to crush the plastic or rubber.
  3. Now you can fit the flush valve in a similar manner, with rubber on the insider and plastic on the outside. Take care not to obscure or block the cistern-to-pan bolt hook at this stage, or you might have trouble with flushing later on.
  4. Push the pan-to-cistern sealing ring over the retaining ring next; then the cistern itself can be lowered onto the pan proper. Push in all the connecting bolts and make sure they are tightly fitted using screws or nuts if necessary. As before, rubber washers on the bolts should be fitted on the inside, plastic on the outside.
  5. Check all the bolts are fully aligned and tightened using a flat-bladed screwdriver, just to make sure nothing will come loose once this step is complete.
  6. The toilet is now ready to be moved into place! Most porcelain models are extremely heavy, so get someone to help with this particular step. For comfortable seating most toilets are best positioned at least 600mm from the pan.
  7. Screw the toilet to the wall and floor to ensure its solidity (although take care not to crack the tiled floor or ceramic model), and check its level with the floor using a spirit measure.
  8. Mark mounting holes through the back of the cistern so it can be placed against the wall. Use marking tape if it helps at this stage, and then fill the cistern holes with the corresponding plastic wall-plugs.
  9. Now it’s time to reposition the pan and connect it to the waste pipe in your home. Re-route the cold water supply and screw on the new toilet feed-connector to the threaded section of the fill-valve that protrudes from below the cistern.
  10. Turn off the water at the stop-cock (usually below a kitchen sink but sometimes outside or in an airing cupboard), and run the pipe from its old feeding position to the new toilet (which is nearly fully fitted!)
  11. Finally, it’s time to check for leaks. Turn the water on and for now use masking tape on the plastic piping to stop wasted water. All that’s left is to install the flush buttons (and test them out) before fitting a new toilet seat –and you’re all done. As long as everything’s working as it should, you have successfully installed your new toilet.

Remember, toilet installation should only be attempted if you feel comfortable and confident in carrying out this sort of DIY project; for those who are unsure of their abilities or would simply rather a professional, qualified toilet fitter to install a toilet instead, you should get in touch with a number of different companies and compare a range of different quotes before settling on a final chosen employee.

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