DIY Bathroom: Toilet and Washstand Replacement

by Yun-Han Lin

Today, we will share the process of toilet replacement with our own hands with the help of tutorials on the Internet!

1. Why do it ourselves

After moving of our studio into a new place, we have planned to get a new toilet and washbasin in the master bedroom. The old toilet was really worn out and the flushing was slow with little water flow, and the pipe of the washbasin was leaking, making the cabinet under it wet, moldy and deformed over time. We knew little about plumbing and electrical work, so we planned to purchase ready-to-use ones at TLW HOLA, a manufacturer that designs and sells furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, along with installation service. Yet, after doing some research, we found that the product by TLW HOLA was a bit out of our budget. We then turned to other brands and found the products by OVOtoilet that met the budget, but the purchase straight from a dealer did not include installation. Hence, I decided to learn how to install them from the Internet. That gave me the idea of making video of changing the toilet by myself.

2. Choice of toilet and washbasin

First, I listed out brands that I could think of, which included TOTO, HCG, OVO, before I compared price on their websites, where buyers can see the catalog and price details. It should be noted that the specifications of the toilet come in either 30cm or 40cm, according to the distance between the toilet waste pipe and the wall. Make sure you know the specs for your toilet before purchasing. Toilet comes in either one piece or two pieces; two-piece toilets are much cheaper, while one-piece ones are easy to clean due to its simple shape and outlook. There are also different types of flushing systems- the gravity flush, siphon, tornado flush, pressure-assisted flush, and the force varies, and there are single and dual flushes. The mechanism for the basin is similar, while the main difference lies in the design of the drain stopper, where there is pop-up, flip-it, and push-and-pull stopper. Some people refrain from using pop-up, since it sometimes gets stuck easily. The sales may ask whether the drain hole is built in on the floor or on the wall, which requires different pipe fittings, and other accessories can be selected based on the size and appearance that you prefer.

Due to the limited budget, we chose OVO. The entire set included a water-saving one-piece toilet, basin cabinet, stainless steel faucet, costing NTD$16,800 in total. We ordered the set directly from a distributor which is also an electrical and plumbing store. The products can be delivered to your house and placed at anywhere you like, which is quite convenient, since a whole set of toilet can be very heavy!

3. Installation

Watch our video for more details on how we replaced the toilet:

Before we got started, we watched the following videos for some tips. If you have experience in doing DIY furnishing or repairing of home accessories, you may find them as much helpful and start your work right away!

  1. Home Electrical & Plumbing: toilet replacement
  2. Home Electrical & Plumbing: dry toilet with extended waste pipe
  3. Master Janitor: Disassembly and Assembly of one-piece toilet

4. Behind-the-scenes

  1. Tools for installation: seal tape/teflon tape, adjustable wrench, big size wrench, wide electrical tape, silicone sealant
  2. We used to think removing a toilet was simple, since the plumbers do it in a split second in the videos. When we tried it ourselves, it took us years to finally tear it down from its base. Some experienced plumbers suggested that we simply hammer the toilet into pieces, if we were not to keep it for future use, but we did not feel safe about it, since we had never tried it before.
  3. To install a toilet, there are 2 ways, the dry-fit installation and wet-fit. Wet-fit is the traditional way, using cement to glue down the toilet. The advantage is that it is more stable, but the toilet can crack if too much cement is applied on top of the toilet. Also, it will be difficult to remove it if there is a need for repair or replacement. The dry-fit is done using silicone sealant, as shown in our video. It is easier this way to both set it up and remove it.
  4. In our video, after the washbasin was installed, there was still a small water leak, mainly because where the water pipe met the hose was at a point lower than the high point of the S trap. Because of this, water stays and accumulates at the connected point and seeps out from the tape. To solve this, we sawed the pipe shorter to relocate the connected point to a higher place!



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