How To Remove A Toilet

toilet removal

Removing a toilet is suprisingly easy. There are only two bolts holding it to the floor. The hardest part is lifting it off the wax ring and this is because of the toilets weight. Read this article to learn the five simple steps of how to remove a toilet.

brief how to

  1. Shut Off Water
  2. Disconnect the water supply line from the tank
  3. Remove the floor bolts
  4. Lift the toilet
  5. Remove the wax ring and floor bolts

tools and materials

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Wrench (usually 7/16")
  • Channel lock pliers
  • Crescent wrench
  • Rag to clean up water

step 1 Shut Off The Water Supply

Shut off the water supply line: Turn the water off at the shut off before disconnecting the supply line. The shutoff will either be just below the toilet, usually on the left hand side, or it will be at the plumbing manifold. They type of shutoff you have depends on how your system was installed.

Flush The Toilet: Remove the tank lid and lift up the flapper to let all the water possible drain. You can use a rag to soak up the last bit of water from the bottom of the tank, even a half inch of water in the bottom of the tank will make quite a mess if the toilet is laid on its side.

toilet manifold shut off


toilet water shutoff


step 2 Disconnect The Water Supply Line

After shutting off the water you can now remove the water supply line from the toilet. The end of the supply line that is attached to the tank is the easiest to remove because it is made to be hand tightened. It may be hard to initally start turning it because it has not been moved in years, you may use a pair of channel locks or large pliers to start it moving, then you should be able to unscrew it the rest of the way by hand. After it is unscrewed you will be able to pull the supply line away from the tank, make sure it is free of the tank before trying to move the toilet and tank.

toilet water supply remove

step 3 Remove The Floor Bolts

Each side of the toilet has a nut and bolt that holds the toilet to the floor. These bolts are often covered with a plastic cap. Look for a small indent to put the end of the screw driver in to pry up the cap.

tip: Remember when working around the toilet that it is made from glass. Sharp and hard objects can chip and crack it. Notice the order of the washers used to bolt the toilet to the floor, the plastic washer is against the toilet to keep the metal washer from scraping the porcelin.

Under the cap are nuts on a bolt that holds the toilet to the floor. Use a wrench to remove the two bolts. If the bolts are rusted and not able to be backed off you may need to cut them off. See the Remove a Rusted Toilet Bolt page.

toilet bolt wrench

step 4 Lift The Toilet

Moving the tank and toilet is done in an upward motion to get it off the bolts, once you are above the bolts set the toilet to the side. Water will usually drip onto the floor at this point so be sure to have some rags available.

lift toilet

step 5 Remove The Wax Ring And Floor Bolts

Use the scraper to scrape off the old wax and wipe it down with a rag, disposable rag. There is a plastic liner on the bottom side of the wax that will come up with the wax.toilet wax ring

tip: The flange is usually bolted to the sub floor. If there is hardwood or tile or some other thick flooring you will want to get a thicker wax ring. The thick wax ring will have a better chance of sealing with the bottom of the toilet.

Removing the old bolts is done by using the same wrench as before. Loosen the bolt 3 or 4 turns. Then you will be able to slide the bolt toward the larger opening on the flange and wiggle it out.

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