Planning & preparation
- Here we will show you how to fit a close-coupled toilet, whereby the cistern sits on top of the pan, as well as how to fit the flush, waste pipe, pan connector and toilet seat
- Many toilet designs are available so bear in mind that they may have different fitting requirements and be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Replacing an old toilet with a new model is a reasonably straightforward task if the existing pipework only needs minor adjustments
- If the toilet is a new addition, or is being sited in a position that requires re-positioning waste pipes, then it’s best to call in a qualified plumber
- Pan connectors are available as straight, flexible, offset and multiple degrees, so there will be an option that is right for your bathroom. You may find that a flexible pan connector is easier to fit, especially in confined spaces
- Thoroughly inspect your new toilet and check that you have all the necessary parts and fittings before removing the old toilet
- Always turn off the water supply at the mains before carrying out any plumbing work
Do it right
- To be water-wise, consider choosing a toilet that has a dual flush system, which gives the option of a long or short flush and therefore uses considerably less water
- Take care not to overtighten any fixings, as this can damage the ceramic pan or cistern
- It’s a good idea to apply silicone sealant to rubber seals and around the waste pipe
- Carefully measure and mark out all fixing points before drilling holes to ensure accuracy
- If you need to drill through tiles, apply some insulating or masking tape to the tile, to stop the drill bit from slipping
- Use a cable and pipe detector to check the areas where you plan to drill for hidden pipes and cables
- Wear safety goggles when drilling
- Wear rubber gloves and safety goggles when removing an old toilet
- Wear protective gloves when using silicone sealant
- Keep your new toilet looking pristine by regular cleaning with suitable toilet cleaners
Removing an existing toilet
Before dismantling the old toilet, turn off the water at the mains by locating the stopcock and turning it clockwise.
Flush the toilet to empty the cistern of water.
Use a cup, sponge or towel to remove as much water as possible from the toilet bowl and cistern. Have a bucket to hand to collect the water.
Disconnect the water supply to the toilet with an adjustable wrench and self-grip pliers.
Remove the screws from the base of the toilet and from inside the cistern if it is attached to the wall.
Gently detach the old toilet from the waste pipe. You can push a cloth into the pipe to help stop smelly gases from spreading.
Remove the old toilet and clean the surrounding floor with a bathroom cleaner.
Fitting the new toilet
Assemble and fit the flush mechanism and inner parts of the cistern. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and don’t over-tighten any fixings.
Attach the close-couple washer to the top of the pan. Then, carefully lift the cistern into position, making sure that the flush mechanism thread fits into the washer and that the bolts sit comfortably through the holes in the pan.
Secure the cistern to the pan by hand tightening the supplied washers and wing nuts onto the bolts.
Insert the pan connector to the waste pipe, making sure the fit is snug.
Align the waste pipe to the pan connector and attach, making sure the pan goes right into the connector collar.
Check the pan is level with a spirit level and make small adjustments with packers if necessary.
Use a spirit level to check that the cistern is level. If your cistern has fixing holes in the back, mark the position of the fixing holes onto the wall with a pencil.
Use a pencil to mark the outline of the toilet pan onto the floor. Then, mark the position of the fixing holes.
Slide the toilet out then use a cable and pipe detector to make sure all the fixing points are clear of any obstructions.
Drill your pilot holes then, use a 10mm drill bit to finish the holes. If you are fitting the toilet to a concrete floor, you will need to use a masonry drill bit and wall plugs.
Put the toilet into position and secure the pan to the floor brackets with the provided fixings. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and don’t over-tighten the fixings.
If your cistern has fixing points, secure it with appropriate wall plugs, fixings and screws. If it doesn’t have fixing points, secure with silicone sealant or adhesive.
Now that the toilet is secured, apply some silicone sealant around the base.
Apply some PTFE tape and reconnect the cold-water supply. Depending on the position of the inlet on the new cistern, it might help if you use a flexible connector., ideally one with a small isolation valve.
Turn the water on and check for any leaks along the pipes and seals. If your stopcock isn’t situated near the bathroom, ask a friend to turn the supply back on whilst you watch for leaks.
Finish fitting the flush mechanism as per the instructions and then secure the cistern lid before testing the flush.
Fit the hinges to the toilet seat and then attach it to the pan using the provided fixings.
Finally, apply some more silicone sealant to the base of the toilet, smoothing it down with a damp sponge for a clean finish.