How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step

How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step

It might be best to replace an old toilet if it keeps breaking down on you. So, how to remove a toilet yourself?

You need to require tools and supplies first. Then, turn off the water, remove the tank from the toilet bowl, remove the nuts & bolts securing the toilet to the floor, remove the toilet from the floor, and clean and cover the toilet flange.

To learn more about removing a toilet, keep reading.

Can I Remove a Toilet Myself?

Yes, there are some people who can complete this task independently. However, having an additional pair of hands will make lifting and moving an old toilet much simpler. A one-piece toilet (one with the tank and bowl connected) can weigh up to 120 pounds, as Decker points out. Even though two-piece models are lighter in weight, most do-it-yourself homeowners still find it difficult to lift them.

How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step
How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step


Tools & Supplies


  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Utility Knife
  • Wire Brush
  • Putty Knife
  • Wrenches
  • Hacksaw (Optional)


  • Rags
  • Newspaper

How to Remove a Toilet?

Here is an easy step-by-step guide to remove a toilet:

Gather Tools & Supplies for Removing a Toilet

Make sure you have access to a second bathroom before you start, just in case removing the old toilet takes longer than you anticipated or there are complications. Additionally, arrange for the removal of your old toilet because some cities do not remove them during days for bulk trash pickup. In order to have a place to set the old toilet once it has been removed, lay down newspaper and rags to prepare the area for your toilet removal. A sponge, bucket, stiff wire brush, hacksaw, putty knife, wrenches, ratchet wrench and sockets, rags, and any other tools you might need to remove a toilet should also be gathered.

Turn Off the Water

To get rid of the standing water in the bowl and tank, turn off the toilet’s water supply and flush the toilet several times. Scoop out any remaining water, then sponge the bowl and tank dry. To get rid of any last drops of water, use a wet-dry shop vacuum if you have one.

How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step
How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step

Remove the Tank from the Toilet Bowl

From the toilet’s base, take out the tank. This is where a ratchet or basin wrench will come in handy. Utilize one to remove the mounting bolt nuts holding the tank to the bowl. Place the tank on the newspaper you laid down earlier.

Remove the Nuts & Bolts Securing the Toilet to the Floor

To unfasten and remove the nuts from the floor bolts at the base of the toilet, use an adjustable wrench. Remove any trim caps that might be covering the bolts first. A hacksaw can be used to cut the bolts if they won’t come loose with a wrench.

Remove the Toilet from the Floor

Use the utility knife to cut the toilet’s seal holding it to the floor free. There is also a wax ring that seals the bottom of the toilet to the floor underneath the bowl. Rock the toilet back and forth until it is released from its restraints. The toilet should be raised and placed on its side on the newspaper.

Clean and Cover the Toilet Flange

Remove wax from the damaged seal on the floor-mounted toilet flange. As the flange is connected to a sewer pipe that emits gas, move quickly. After the wax has been removed, clean the flange with a stiff wire brush and insert an old rag into the pipe’s opening. Before you install your new toilet, cover it with an upside-down bucket.

How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step
How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step

How Do I Know If I Need a New Toilet?

One of your home’s most frequently used fixtures, depending on where it is located, is the toilet. And while they can last for decades, some old toilets begin to show signs of wear after 10 or so years. Your best option is probably to get a new toilet, according to Decker, if your toilet bowl or tank has visible cracks or you notice water leaking onto the floor. Look inside the toilet tank as well because parts like the fill valve, float cup, and flush valve gasket could all use repair. Or the tank bottom appears overly grimy.

In spite of not needing one, you might still want a new toilet. “Technology continues to develop so fast with focus on water conservation and efficiency, it is always a good idea to update fixtures,” Decker explains. Look for 1.28 GPF high-efficiency toilets—meaning you use 1.28 gallons per flush as opposed up to seven in much older models—which could curb water consumption by 20% and 60%. That’s because, in contrast to the outdated old toilet, new models rely on a faster flush velocity rather than a lot of water to remove waste. Nearly four gallons of water can be flushed down a toilet from 1994.

How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step
How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step

Do I Have to Replace the Wax Ring When I Remove a Toilet?

Yes, each time you remove an old toilet, you should purchase a new wax ring. Chances are, once you see the old wax ring, you’ll want to replace it no matter what. This wax seal, which resembles a gummy donut, not only guarantees that water won’t leak out as the toilet drains, but it also aids in limiting the development of mold and bacteria.

How Do I Dispose of An Old Toilet?

Find out how an old toilet should be disposed of in your area before removing it. Public Works facilities are available in some cities and accept garbage. The large item pickup can be scheduled with other waste management companies. You can also inquire with junkyards and upcycling businesses about accepting your old toilet as a donation if it’s in reasonable condition.

Do I Need to Install a New Toilet Immediately?

Even though it makes sense to install a new toilet immediately, you don’t have to complete all of your home improvement tasks in one day. Do not simply leave the flange open if you decide to delay installing a new toilet, especially if you have young children at home. In order to stop mold growth, Decker advises plugging the drain hole with an old rag and saturating the area with disinfectant spray.

How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step
How to Remove a Toilet Yourself? Step-by-step


Do You Have to Replace the Wax Ring When You Remove a Toilet?

Whenever you remove a toilet for any reason, you will need to replace the wax ring seal between the toilet and the toilet flange (sometimes called a closet flange) attached to the floor. A wax seal is used because it resists mold and bacteria and keeps its sealing power even after years of use.

Can One Person Lift a Toilet?

Yes, this is a job that some people can do on their own.

However, having an extra pair of hands will make lifting and moving an old toilet much simpler. According to Decker, a one-piece toilet (one with the tank and bowl attached) can weigh up to 120 pounds.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Toilet?

The old toilet removal and disposal typically come with an additional fee. Removal costs range from $50 to $200, but it’s always a good idea to check with a professional to see if they include toilet removal costs in with their estimate.

How Long Does It Take to Rip Out a Toilet?

All things being considered, the time it takes to remove a toilet varies from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the condition of the toilet parts and fittings. To completely remove your old toilet from the floor and sewer pipe, you must take the steps listed below.

How Many Years Does a Toilet Wax Ring Last?

To prevent what goes down to the sewer from seeping out the sides, each toilet in your home has a wax ring connecting it to your plumbing, which creates a waterproof seal. This piece of equipment usually lasts as long as the toilet, about 30 years.

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