How to Move a Toilet in 8 Simple Steps

March 14, 2019


Its heftiness and awkward shape may leave you wondering how to move a toilet without breaking it. A commode can be carried—as long as you’re careful. Whether you’re throwing it out or relocating it to another bathroom in the house, here’s how to move a toilet in 8 simple steps: 

1. Make a plan. Make space for the toilet before you move it. If it’s temporarily going in a tub, put down a sheet to reduce the chance for damage. If you’re transporting the toilet for a home reno, make sure to move it before new floors and appliances are installed. 

2. Turn off the water. Turn the shut-off valve all the way to the right.

3. Remove remaining water. Do the following (in the order listed) to drain the remaining water:

  • Flush the toilet.
  • Use a plunger to force water to the drain line.
  • Use a sponge to soak up excess water left in the bowl and tank.

4. Disconnect the supply line from the toilet. Put a bucket near the spout to catch excess water.

5. Remove the bolts. Use your hand or a wrench to unscrew the bolts on either side of the toilet. There are 2 sets total—one near the base of the bowl and the other on the bottom of the tank. 

6. Remove and move the tank. Don’t try to move the entire toilet all at once. Detach the tank from the toilet and move it first.

7. Remove and move the toilet bowl. Rock the bowl back and forth until it becomes detached from the floor. If caulk is holding your toilet to the floor, use a razorblade to scrape off as much as possible before you move it. The second half of the toilet is much heavier than the tank. Make sure to enlist help when moving this heavy piece.

8. Clean and plug the drain hole. After you move the toilet, revisit its old home. Remove the bolts and wax seal with a putty knife. Finally, use a rag to plug the hole to prevent any gases from seeping out.

Now that you’ve successfully moved your toilet without breaking it (or your back), ramp up your reno game with one of these home how-to’s:

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