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How to Replace a Toilet Flange

Replacing the toilet flange can be hard if it’s your first time performing this task. It can be as overwhelming as when you have to buy a new toilet because there are many things to consider. For this reason, below is a short guide to help you replace your toilet flange.

What is a toilet flange?

It’s that round pipe fitting connecting the toilet to the bathroom floor and to the pipe running into your sewer. The toilet flange is also called a “closet flange” because toilets were called “water closets” back in the day.

Replace a Toilet Flange
Signs the toilet flange needs replacement

Now if you’re into DIY and looking to replace it without professional help, you don’t have to worry because you can complete the home repair by following this guide.

There are a few telltale signs that your toilet flange needs to be replaced. If you start to notice water pooling at the base of your toilet, that’s a good indicator that there’s a problem. Inspect the flange to see if it’s cracked or broken, and if so, it’s time to replace it.

Another sign that your flange needs to be replaced is if your toilet starts to rock back and forth. This can be caused by a loose flange, which can lead to leaks and water damage. If you notice your toilet isn’t sitting level, it’s time to replace the flange.

Finally, if you have a hard time getting your toilet to flush, that could also be a sign that the flange needs to be replaced. If your toilet is having trouble draining, it could be because the flange is blocked. Replacing the flange will help to restore your toilet’s proper function.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to replace your toilet flange. Doing so will help to prevent leaks, water damage, and other problems.

Over time, it performs poorly causing the water leaking at your toilet’s base or your toilet starting to move back and forth.

  • If water is leaking at the base, it can indicate an issue with the flange – either a crack or an improper size installed for your toilet. But if the toilet has been installed and used for years, the problem can be a cracked flange.
  • If the toilet is moving back and forth, it’s another sign of a problem in the flange. For example, the bolts holding it down might be improperly installed or might be broken.


Buying the right toilet flange

Before replacing it, make sure you’re buying the correct one for your toilet. To do it, remove the old one and take it to the hardware store.

There are also several materials used in the manufacture of the flange. The most common one is PVC material, but others come in cast iron, stainless steel, copper and brass. Toilet flanges are also available in different sizes and shapes.

How To Replace The Toilet Flange

Check out the following for the steps on how to replace the toilet flange.

Things you will need

Get the following tools ready so that you can replace the old with a new one.

  • Multi-head screwdriver
  • Old newspapers and rags
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Proper sized screws and bolts to attach the flange
  • Measuring tape
  • Optional: mouth and nose mask


1. Look for the water supply’s shut off valve, usually behind the toilet and on the wall. Turn it clockwise, and then flush the toilet and let it refill. Keep flushing until you’ve drained all the water from the bowl.

2. To empty the water supply finally, disconnect the hose from the toilet.

3. Gather some newspapers and spread them on the floor so that you can sit the toilet once it’s removed.

4. Use an adjustable wrench to get rid of the two bolts holding your toilet down. You will use these bolts later, so be sure that you keep the handy.

5. Enlist the help of a friend, family member or neighbor for help in lifting the toilet, which can weigh more than 120 lbs. Prior to lifting, rock the toilet back and forth in order to break the seal. Do not use your back but your legs in lifting. Lift the toilet up and set it carefully on the newspaper.

6. Remove the flange next. Use a putty knife to remove the wax from it. Use the multi-head screwdriver to remove the screws, and keep them for later use.

7. Clean the flange and use an old rag in order to tuck it into the outflow pipe and to block any foul gas or odor. Get the measurement of the sewer pipe to figure out the flange’s correct size. Put the old one in a bag and bring it to the local hardware store.

8. Just like when you need to buy a toilet, you should also buy the right shape and size of the flange. You should also purchase a wax ring. The flange to buy usually comes with bolts and nuts. But if they’re not included, you can use the old ones you removed earlier. However, you should buy a new set if the old ones are in bad shape.

9. To replace the flange, take the rag out of the outflow pipe. Fit the flange over the pipe. But then, make sure of no space between the floor and flange before screwing it. Then, you have to attach the flange with the bolts and nuts. There should be two bolts sticking up once it is positioned.

10. To replace the toilet, you should lay the toilet on its side and then position the wax ring on the mouth sitting on top of your new flange. Put the toilet back. Line up the holes on its base using the two bolts. When lowering, make sure that the toilet is as perpendicular and straight. Press it down in order to seal the wax ring with the new flange. Put the bolts and nuts in place.

11. Start reconnecting the hose and turn the water supply on. When the toilet bowl is filled with water, you can flush it a couple of time in order to check it is working without leaks.

12. If the toilet isn’t wobbling and the floor is dry, your installation was successful.

There you have our DIY guide on how you can replace the toilet flange easily! Prepare your materials and follow the steps outlined above to install a new toilet flange today!

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