The toilet is the first fixture to be removed in most remodeling projects. Loosening corroded or rusted nuts and bolts is the most difficult part of the process. Old toilets that will not be reinstalled may be broken up into small, easily managed pieces, using a sledgehammer. Disconnect the toilet and cover it with a heavy blanket before breaking it. Wear eye protection, long sleeves, and heavy gloves during the demolition.
What You’ll Need
Tips for Removing Toilets
Protect your floor with a drop cloth when removing the toilet, if you plan to keep the original floor covering. Residue from the wax ring seal between the bottom of the toilet and the toilet flange is very difficult to remove from floor coverings.
Disconnect any pipes between a wall-mounted toilet tank and the bowl, after turning off the water supply and emptying the tank. Older toilets often have a metal elbow that connects the tank to the bowl. Set 2 x 4 braces below the tank before detaching it from the wall.
How to Remove a Toilet & Wax Ring
Step 1 Turn off the water, then flush the toilet to empty the tank. Use a sponge to remove the remaining water in the tank and bowl. Disconnect the supply tube with an adjustable wrench.
Step 2 Remove the nuts from the tank bolts with a ratchet wrench. Carefully remove the tank and set it aside.
Step 3 Pry off the floor bolt trim caps at the base of the toilet, then remove the floor nuts with an adjustable wrench.
Step 4 Straddle the toilet and rock the bowl from side to side until the seal breaks. Carefully lift the toilet off the floor bolts and set it on its side. A small amount of water may spill from the toilet trap.
Step 5 Remove the old wax from the toilet flange in the floor. Plug the drain opening with a damp rag to prevent sewer gases from rising into the house.
Step 6 If the old toilet will be reused, clean the old wax and putty from the horn and the base of the toilet.