Cost of Replacing a Toilet
A guide to replacing a toilet, including the costs that you may encounter and what the job entails.
Whether it's an old toilet in need of repairing, or if you feel as though your bathroom suite could do with a little modernisation. This guide should help you understand everything you need to know when it comes to replacing your toilet. Although not an unusually large job, replacing a toilet can be a little tricky, especially if you don't have the right tools and planning. It's crucial to ensure that when replacing a toilet, everything is sealed and fitted correctly to avoid potential leaks and complications with your property.
In most cases, it is generally better to contact a professional and let them install the toilet for you. This reduces the risk of your home becoming flooded and is usually a lot quicker than attempting it yourself. However, not everyone has access to a professional, and if you require replacing a toilet urgently, then taking on the task yourself isn't impossible either. Today we are going to talk you through the methods and options available when replacing a toilet.
How much will replacing a toilet cost?
Contacting a professional is always the most straightforward way of achieving the best results. A standard toilet install should take a professional anywhere from 1-2 hours to complete. This could cost homeowners in the U.K. anywhere between £250-£400, even up to £475 within London and the surrounding areas. Replacing a toilet, yourself is rarely a straightforward process; this is why so many people decide on hiring a professional plumber or a general contractor to complete the job instead.
The professional tradesman will often require removing old fixtures and fittings, which in itself could reveal potential problems and nasty surprises. This could lead to additional work and costly repairs to avoid damage to your property. Also, it’s worth considering the design and function of your new toilet suite as this is something which may increase the cost of installation. Standard toilets usually consist of two pieces, the bowl and pedestal section, and the tank which fits on the top of the bowl. There are also toilet suites which come in one whole piece, known as single-piece toilets. These toilets see the bowl and the tank fused to form one section and while single-piece toilets are generally more expensive to buy, they tend to require less maintenance and are more efficient. You can expect your tradesman to charge more depending on how high-tech and intricate the design of your toilet is.
What replacing a toilet entails
Whether it’s you or a professional who is planning on replacing a toilet, both will require following the same method. Below we have outlined the process of replacing a straightforward, standard toilet. Please be aware before you attempt to do this yourself that you have researched the style of toilet unit you are using and follow the manufacturers fitting instructions before attempting the installation yourself.
- Step 1: Turn off the water to the toilet.
- Step 2: Remove the lid of the tank.
- Step 3: Remove the refill tube from the overflow pipe and drain the remaining water.
- Step 4: Use a cloth to dry out any excess water.
- Step 5: Disconnect the water supply line.
- Step 6: Disconnect the flapper chain.
- Step 7: Unscrew the bolts attached to the tank.
- Step 8: Remove the tank from the basin and place on a towel.
- Step 9: Remove the caps that cover the bolts.
- Step 10: Unscrew the bolts with an adjustable spanner/wrench.
- Step 11: Rock the bowl a little to loosen the grip on the floor and place on a towel.
- Step 12: Remove the wax ring from the toilet and the floor and clean.
- Step 13: Replace any rusted bolts.
- Step 14: Place a new wax ring on the new toilet unit and carefully position on top of the waste pipe hole. You will only have one chance at positioning this so replace the wax ring if you miss and try again.
- Step 15: Once seated, gently rock the bowl until it sits level on the floor.
- Step 16: Assemble all components in the reverse order that you took them apart. Make a note of each bolt, washer and cap and fit accordingly with the correct space.
- Step 17: Turn the water back on and test the new toilet. Be sure to check for any signs of leaking.
DIY toilet replacement
It’s possible to save on costs by replacing the toilet yourself. However, it’s worth having a professional give you an estimated cost of how much they charge as purchasing the correct equipment and tools required can also increase your spend. Take into consideration that fixtures, fittings, tools and delivery costs can not only become expensive can be time-consuming to source.
The process itself may seem fairly straightforward, remove the old unit and use the reverse method to attach the new one. However, any time that we are handling pipes, water or very large ceramic objects, you have to be prepared that most likely something will go wrong. As soon as you disassemble the unit, you face opening a can of worms. It is essential that every bolt, washer, cap, seal and valve is attached correctly, or your home is at risk of flooding. A flood will not always be noticeable either, sometimes even the tiniest gap where a bolt isn't fitted correctly can cause a very slow, prolonged leak, which you may not even notice until the damage has become extensive. This can result in costly repairs to your property, which is why you need to analyse the risks and benefits before you potentially put a strain on your financial situation.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding replacing a toilet.
Q Can I replace a toilet myself?
The answer is it depends on your skills and capability. Of course, you can learn to replace a toilet yourself, but you must take into consideration the costs and damages you face when attempting to DIY.
Q Is it cheaper to replace a toilet myself?
This too depends on your tradesman and personal situation. There are downsides to both methods. The professional may charge quite a lot for a replacement due to parts and labour charges. While on the other hand if you make a mistake, you could end up doing more damage to your property that may be quite costly to repair.
Q Where can I find information for a DIY toilet replacement?
There are lots of useful tutorials for the absolute beginner. Consider searching Google and YouTube for videos and step by step demonstrations which will explain the various components of a standard toilet unit.
Q How can I prevent my toilet from needing a replacement?
Of course, not everything can be prevented. Sometimes things break or simply stop working, that is one of life's little joys. However, a little tip from an expert plumber suggests you avoid using 'In-Tank' cistern disinfectants, due to the risk of harsh chemicals destroying internal components that may cause your toilet to break.