How Long Does It Take to Replace a Toilet? – Facts

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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how long does it take to replace a toilet

Over time, your toilet may become old, and its internal mechanisms may no longer function as efficiently as they once did. Then it is time for you to replace it with a new one.

If you wonder “How long does it take to replace a toilet?”, usually it will take you around 2 to 4 hours to remove the old toilet and install a new one. Prepare a pair of gloves, and necessary repair tools like a screwdriver, a wrench… and follow our steps on how to change a toilet.

How Long to Replace a Toilet?

Removing and installing a toilet is tricky for a person with no plumbing experience and, maybe, no athletic body, since you need to lift the toilet up a few times. Without any help, it can take you 5 – 6 hours with a bit of a struggle. So, you might need help from someone you can rely on with heavy tasks.

But if the process goes smoothly, you may need to spend no more than 4 hours to finish replacing your toilet.

Step-by-Step on Replacing a Toilet

Step 1: Turn off the water supply and drain out the water


Find the water valve located on the wall somewhere near your bathroom. Turn it in a clockwise direction to stop the water from flowing to the toilet tank.

Remember to make sure you turn the valve just tightly enough.

Next, flush the toilet a few times to drain out all the water inside the toilet bowl and tank. Along the water valve is the hose connecting the valve to the toilet; you can use a wrench to loosen the hose at the part below the toilet tank. And with this, you have finished the first step!

Step 2: Remove the toilet

Find something to put on the floor, like a rag, layers of newspaper, or towels, to clean up a water leakage and protect the floor from bumps or scratches when we put the toilet on it.

Before working on the toilet cistern, remove the tank first by opening the tank’s lid, and using a wrench to remove the three bolts connecting the tank to the toilet bowl. Then you can lift the tank off.

To remove the toilet cistern, you should find the bolts that fix the toilet to the floor. Again, use a wrench to remove the nuts, and if it is already too rusty to use, you can cut them off with a hacksaw blade.

Now comes the heavy task! Ask for someone to help you with lifting the toilet up, of course, if necessary. Hold the toilet firmly and lift it up.

Don’t forget to rock it side-by-side to loosen the wax seal attached below the toilet. Finally, put the toilet on the rag you have prepared.

Step 3: Replace the flange


To prevent sewer gas from escaping, tuck a rag or a towel in the drain hole. Believe us, you wouldn’t want to work with a disturbing smell coming from the drain hole!

Inspect the flange to see if there is any damage on the wax ring or the flange itself. You may need to buy a new one if the old flange is damaged. We also recommend you replace your toilet wax ring since the wax ring cannot be used a second time.

Scrape off the wax ring with a putty knife, and replace the flange from the floor by using a screwdriver to remove the screws. If your old flange is still in good condition, you only need to replace the wax ring.

If you are not sure how to apply the new wax ring, here are two ways that you can try to install the new wax ring: insert it right into the flange around the drain hole, or put it around the hole in the bottom of the toilet.

Remember to remove the rag you tucked inside the hole to install the new toilet!

For more details and tips, you can take a look at our post on how to remove a toilet flange.

Step 4: Install a new toilet


Moving forwards to changing out the toilet! Before buying a new toilet, you must always measure the size of your old one and see how it would fit in the bathroom. This process also adds to how long it takes to replace a toilet.

On the flange, there are two mounting bolts to fit with the toilet you are going to install. Take the new toilet and put them align them with the two bolts, and gently let them slide through the holes in the toilet base.

To make sure the toilet is set firmly to the floor, sit backward on the toilet and wiggle your body to let the toilet slowly meet the floor. This way helps you fix your toilet with the wax ring.

Next, you must install the washer and nut to each bolt, and try not to over-tighten it since it may crack the toilet base. Then, put the tank back in and secure it with the three bolts.

When you have finished, it is time you connect the water supply. Secure the hose with a plier and turn the water valve in a counterclockwise direction to let water flow into the tank. Flush the toilet a few times to check for leakages anywhere near the toilet base and at the water lines.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is replacing a toilet difficult?

It is quite a tricky task to remove and replace toilet if you have less experience in plumbing tasks.

It should take you nearly 4 hours regarding the time to replace a toilet yourself, and you need to take quite a lot of time researching a new type of toilet, preparing tools, and measuring your old toilet.

Furthermore, there are potential issues that could happen during the process, for instance, mold, and pipes that need replacement…

Should I DIY my toilet replacement?

As we have said before, old toilet replacement is quite difficult to do for the first time. If you are confident that you have the tools and knowledge to replace your toilet yourself, you could save a lot of money, and obtain pride from finishing the task by yourself.

However, if you are nervous that there might be problems occurring, call a licensed plumber to help you save your time and effort. They would know what type of toilet is suitable for your bathroom, fix the broken pipes, and provide a warranty for their service.

How much should it cost to remove and install a toilet?

The national average cost to replace a toilet is $372. Depending on the complexity of the job and the type of toilet that you choose, it could range somewhere around $220 to $530.

If your toilet has some issues like leaking pipes or a damaged flush valve… they could bring the labor fee up to $800 and cost more time.


To conclude, toilet replacement is a plumbing task that needs sufficient knowledge and experience. If you ask “How long does it take to replace a toilet?”, then the answer probably depends on whether you do it yourself or hire a licensed plumber.

If you do it yourself and there are no additional problems, it takes up to 4 hours, plus the time you do the research, and if you count on the plumber, it will take you no more than 4 hours if everything goes well.

We hope that our guidance is of help to you, and good luck with your toilet replacement!

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