How to Replace a Toilet That Has Grout Around it

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Toilets are usually installed on top of tiles and held in place with a thin bead of silicone sealant. However, sometimes toilets are installed in bathrooms before the rest of the tile, with the result that the toilet is grouted in place and fixed to the floor slightly below the surface of the tile. Although this is not the most ideal installation, toilets installed this way can be replaced with not much more trouble than a normal toilet setup.

Things You'll Need

  • New toilet
  • Assistant
  • Chisel
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Silicone sealant
  • Turn off the water to the tank. This is usually located on the water intake at the wall below the tank.

  • Flush the tank and empty all the water.

  • Unscrew the bolts that hold the tank to the toilet.

  • Carefully remove the tank and set it aside.

  • Unscrew the flange bolts that hold the toilet to the floor.

  • Gently rock the toilet back and forth. Sometimes the grout won't adhere to the porcelain bowl itself. Removing it in this instance is the same as any other type of toilet removal. If the grout is holding the toilet in place, it will have to be chipped away. Use a chisel to gently chip away the grout from the bowl until it can be lifted up and out of the way. Clean the debris with a vacuum.

  • Insert new flange bolts into the floor flange.

  • Turn the bowl over so that the bottom is facing up. Clean off any debris and remnants of the old wax ring. Install the new wax ring by pressing it on firmly to the outlet hole. Apply a bead of silicone sealant around the edge of the bowl.

  • Have an assistant help you replace the bowl on the floor. You will need to pay close attention to the placement of the bowl at this point, because you must align the ring up with the floor flange and the two bolts so that they go through the proper holes in the base of the toilet.

  • Press the toilet bowl firmly into the floor to secure the wax ring. Attach the flange bolts and screw the toilet into the ground, one side at time, taking care not to over-tighten.

  • Reattach the tank and water supply in the reverse of the steps above.

  • Test the toilet for leaks.

  • Re-grout the toilet. When the grout is dry, apply a bead of silicone sealant between the toilet and the grout.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep plenty of rags on hand to catch excess water dripping from the bowl and tank.
  • Do not over-tighten the screws, as this could break the porcelain. Wear gloves when cleaning away the wax ring to protect yourself from harmful bacteria and germs.

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