a new loo

I have mentioned before that plumbing scares me. Electricity? What's a little shock now and then? An outlet tester? How about a poorly placed screwdriver? Oh, I kid. Sort of. But anytime I've ever touched plumbing I picture some sort of massive leak that can't be resolved by turning off the water. Our entire house is soaked and mold immediately sets in. It costs me thousands of dollars and we have to move out. We have to get rid of our animals because no one will take them in. I end up in financial ruin and live in the shed out back. Oscar leaves me for someone who could keep their felines. This is what it's like in my brain, welcome.

Dramatic? Yes. But nothing could seriously quell my plumbing fears. After installing our bathroom faucet my confidence got quite the boost. We had encountered some oddities and managed to figure it out ourselves. We didn't have to call in a professional or the insurance company. So I figured I could give the toilet replacement a go. And I'm glad I did. 

I basically used a few guides online and a mix of books I had at home to look at before we got started. Luckily, I've been watching HGTV my entire life so I was pretty familiar with the whole process and went back to the instructions that came with the toilet anytime I was unsure of something. 

First off, turn off the supply line to the toilet so when you drain it, it doesn't refill itself. Then take the top off the back and flush the toilet. I removed the little tube as well before doing so.

See what hard water we have?! Although I wore gloves for a lot of these steps, it's not necessary for this part. After draining the top part I used dry towels to soak up any leftover water that couldn't drain.  Then I removed the top. It's held on by two screws/ bolt thingies that go from the top down. I used a screwdriver to hold it in place while I screwed the bolt off from the bottom.

Again, my camera died right before all of this and I used my iPhone which actually did better in the poor light. This is what it looked like after I wrestled that off:

I also unscrewed the supply line at this point to get the top off. Next I made sure the toilet bowl was empty. We had some water still hanging out there and I used gloves and a towel like I did in the top part. Gross. Next, we popped off the caps that hid the bolts and screws that hold it to the floor.

We removed those bolts and it was pretty easy after that. We rocked it back and forth and it came off. We placed it in the tub for the time being. I was afraid that the gases would be bad and that it would smell really gross. But it wasn't. Just in case, we covered it with a plastic bag full of towels but it didn't stay on long since we continued to work. 

We cleaned up afterward around the flange and cleaned off any remaining wax. Totally gross even though it's just wax, but my mind kept wandering.

We bought the cheapest toilet for $88 from Lowes. We ended up getting a $20 toilet seat although my friend got it for me as a gift. I also replaced the flusher with a pretty shiny version for only $5. We used the wax seal that came with the toilet. I was happy to find that it came with everything we needed although some parts were a bit hidden. You may need a jumbo wax ring if you have a tile floor that was built around the flange and not at the same height. Or that's my understanding. I'm no pro, obviously.

Put the new wax ring with the plastic bit sticking up. Remember that you have one shot to place the toilet. If you have to reposition it you will need to buy a new wax ring. Luckily we did well with this but it's definitely a two person job. We had already placed the new bolts in place of the old ones. Be sure not to overtighten them or you can crack the porcelain. 

Next comes the top tank part. You can place it on top and use those bolts to put it in place. Then attach the water line. 

Turn the water back on and have towels on hand. Look for leaks around the base and around where the bowl and tank meet. I was really impressed that we had no leaks. Everything took about an hour to do which isn't bad considering it was our first time!

Having a white loo makes such a difference. Not only was the original almond but it had rust stains and it didn't work well. We were always holding down the flusher and it never seemed to fully empty. I'm sure there was a way to fix it but we had just had enough. This one really freshens up the space.


  1. Alright you got really close to having a cat using the toilet photo LOL
    And having a white loo does make a huge difference. So much better!

    1. If we ever manage to fix our old dead computer you will be the first to receive a video, Julia!

  2. OMG I am so happy you posted this! I am going to tackle our half bath while my husband is out of town next week and I am so scared for the plumbing part! Looks awesome!

    1. Just get help for when you place it and you're good. I also used Oscar's muscles for when we couldn't get a bolt out due to rust. Just took a bit more than I had.

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  4. So impressive. I, too, am dramatically terrified of working with plumbing (fine, and electric stuff for that matter) so I am amazing you took this project on and that it turned out so well! Inspiration... :)

  5. That first paragraph cracks me up and makes me feel like I'm not alone...I think the same way! We should probably do this in both of our bathrooms. Both toilets are white but they're old and always seem to have probablys (the Mr. claims to "fix" them but fix usually equals breaks). Between the new shower curtain, painted grout, & toilet it looks like a whole new room!

    PS - I can't stop thinking about that toilet seat!

  6. I have never been so impressed! Get it girl!

  7. Yay! The white does make a huge difference. I'm so relieved you were able to keep your cats and your finances and life as you know it. :)
    Kelly @ View Along the Way

  8. Who in their right mind would ever buy a beige toilet?? So weird. New loo looks great, and it looks like you really cleaned up the grout??? Did you bleach the ^$#% out of it or do something else?

    1. No I used a paint made specifically for grout. I have yet to write a post on it and although it worked, I wasn't impressed. It's more of a bandaid solution for sure!

  9. That looks so good. I couldn't help but laugh a little at that spout for the toilet coming out at an angle between the floor and wall... I love the new updated toilet. It looks so good!


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