How to Remove a Toilet

Looking to upgrade your toilet on a budget? Remove the old toilet yourself and save yourself the cost of hiring a professional. Here is your step-by-step guide on how to remove a toilet.

Step 1: Shut off the Water to Your Toilet

Locate the water supply shut-off valve behind your toilet. Turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water supply. Ensure the valve is completely closed before you begin.

Step 2: Empty Your Toilet

With the water supply turned off, flush the toilet tank and hold the tank lever down until the tank is empty. Put on your rubber gloves and use the sponge to remove any excess water from the tank. Use the bucket to collect excess toilet water from the sponge.

Step 3: Disconnect the Toilet Supply Line

Now you’ll need to disconnect the toilet connector located at the shut-off valve. As some water may remain in the supply line, place the loose end of the supply line in the bucket. Next, use the wrench to disconnect the water supply line at the shut-off valve. Disconnect the supply line from the toilet tank.

Step 4: Remove the Toilet Tank

Remove the nuts from the mounting bolts that hold the tank to the bowl. You may need a wrench or pliers to loosen these nuts. You can find these on each side of the tank and possibly in the middle. Remove the bolts. With the bolts removed, carefully remove the tank and set aside.

Step 5: Unbolt the Toilet From the Floor

Now it’s time to remove the bowl. First, remove the trim or floor bolt covers. Then, remove the nuts and holding the bowl to the floor. Again, you may need a wrench or pliers to loosen them. If the nuts aren't easy to remove or are very corroded, you may need to loosen them with some penetrating oil. If the oil doesn't loosen the nuts, you may need to cut the bolts with a hacksaw or a nut splitter.


Step 6: Cut the Caulk to Break the Toilet Seal

Your toilet may include a ring of caulk around the base. Using a utility knife, carefully cut and remove as much of the caulk as possible without damaging the finished floor. Unseat toilet and remove from bolts. Before removing the bowl, have an old towel or rag available to wipe up any water remaining in the bowl. Place the old toilet on a piece of cardboard to avoid damaging the floor.

Step 7: Clean and Cover the Drain Hole

Once your toilet is removed, carefully place a rag in the flange opening to block sewer gas from escaping until the new bowl is placed. Do NOT let the rag fall into the drain opening. Next, remove the existing floor bolts and discard. We recommend using new floor bolts for each installation.

Use a putty knife to scrape all old wax from the flange, and use a rag and possibly mineral spirits to remove as much wax as possible. Also carefully remove any residual caulk or dirt from the old toilet footprint in case the new toilet does not completely cover the old footprint.Then use a rag to clean around hole.

For extra protection, place a bucket upside down over the drain hole.

Dispose of Your Old Toilet

Unlike a can of pop or spoiled leftovers, you can’t just throw a toilet in the trash. We recommend you do one of these three options:

  • Call your local trash service and inquire if they will pick up old toilets.
  • Take your old toilet to your local landfill

Replace Your Old Toilet with a New Gerber Toilet

Put some of the money you saved on hiring a professional to remove your old toilet to good use. Check out Gerber’s extensive selection of high-quality toilets. We’re sure you’ll find the right one for you.