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Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:08 PM

my toilet install, 90 year old home
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if you like this project, you might like some of my others:

my shower project, denshield backerboard, tiled walls

my toilet install, 90 year old home

my floor refurbish project

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hi peoples...

still renovating my 2nd floor bathroom.. it used to be a kitchen if you can believe it!

now i document my toilet fiasco. not the most glamorous job, but someone has to do it!

this should have been a quick job.. but those that are renovating an OLD house know.. nothing goes easy.:wink:


Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:20 PM

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before i get going, i just want to give props to the good people at
their troubleshooting skills really helped me.


first.. i go to install the flange 12" from wall to center of drain flange. maybe 12.5" to give myself some room behind the toilet..

but i realize there is a floor joist there..

unfortunately i did not know at the time about "offset flange". so i figured... well, i'll just go closer to the wall and maybe cut a bit into the joist if need be..

so i cut a hole in the floor and install the flange.

the flange is screwed in place using stainless steel wood screws. i am using two markers to the left/right of flange to indicate to me where the brass closet bolts are. that way, when i have the bowl between my legs and am guiding it down into place i have at least some clue where the alignment pins are.

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:29 PM

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course that was the theory..

in reality, i could see the alignment tools pionting where the closet bolts should be.. but i couldn't see the hole on the toilet where the bolts go.

so that was pointless..

in the end, i just lined up one side, slipped the bowl down lower on the right side until it was over the bolt, then slowly lowered the left side until the bolt JUST went through the hole.

then i lowered the bowl straight down.

so this is a good reason NOT to cut your bolts to length until after your bowl is set..

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:33 PM

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its a bit of a long story.. but i found out that the commercial toilet i WAS going to install (because it had no tank and could fit in this tight location) required 1" diameter water pipe.. my entire house is on 1/2" copper so this didn't work.

most other toilets were too long and wouldn't fit and the 10" on center toilets were too expensive.

so i decided to remove some drywall and lath/plaster to give myself the extra space i needed.

i put up some beadboard on the studs .. so the toilet will sit in a recessed cove..

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:34 PM

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its a bit rough now.. but it will look better in time. i will fill all the voids.. beadboard down to this cove, add some trim pieces. paint.. etc..

i made sure that the toilet, when placed in this recessed wall area, would have enough height to remove the lid.

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:36 PM

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now i am ready to install toilet.

i flipped over the bowl and pressed the wax ring + horn onto the bowl.

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:38 PM

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but when i pressed it down, rocked it forward/backward and sat on it.. it just didn't sit right.

then, i noticed a HUGE gap at the back!!

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:39 PM

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for whatever reason, the bowl and this wax ring were not getting along.

so i goto HD and ask for a "thin" wax ring with no horn.

... try again..

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:43 PM

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it goes on much better... but i found a "gotcha" :eek:

the water shut-off valve needs to have its handle screwed on ( i removed it so i could put the beadboard on easy).

but now that the toilet is near by, i see there is no room to get the screwdriver in there!!

now i wish i made the extra effort to put the valve in perfectly aligned, rather than tilted to one side.. so i put just the drill bit in my hand, and finger tightened it..

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:44 PM

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the hole i cut to put the beadboard on was not a nice small circle because of some other problem i had with my particular situation.

i'll just have to correct this later.. :(

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:50 PM

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at this point, i decide to put a couple plastic toilet shims where there is a small gap. the gap is because this board is slightly lower then its neighbour. i don't know why this is so, but i will be sure to reinforce this board and all others from underneath tomorrow..

i check with a level to make sure the bowl is well.. level.

next it is time to put on the plastic base.. then the metal washer and then screw the brass closet bolt tight.

i hand tighten as much as it will go

then carefully with a wrench i start to tighten the nut. one rotation, then switch to other nut. and back and forth so the tightening is even.

when done, it is tight, bowl doesn't move, but i did not have to crank it .. as you don't want to crack the porcelain.

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:51 PM

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i put a bit of silicon under the toilet cause of the small gap. but i do not fill it in all the way around, because if there is a leak in the future i want to know about it!!

now i cut the closet bolt to length using a hacksaw.

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:53 PM

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when the bolts are cut it is time to put the plastic cap on.

i fill it will plumbers puddy.. not sure why, but this is the instructions i read on the net over at


Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:54 PM

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make sure to read your instructions.. i found that the drain hose was supposed to be inserted into this other pipe thing. i probably wouldn't have noticed this unless i read the instructions..

now for the test run... the first flush

my wife is downstairs looking for leaks and i am right near the toilet looking at all the connections, the water level, the quality of the flush, leaks.. etc.

wish me luck!!!

Knucklez 03-14-2008 09:58 PM

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no leaks!!

its almost done now..

just have to work on fixing the wall... adding a toilet paper dispenser...

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