This Old Toilet®
of a New Toilet
Considerations if Replacing the Whole Toilet
"It's not just what you pay, it's what it costs you."
Some people have said, "Gee, I could buy a whole new toilet for a hundred dollars!" ...And that's true. But consider the complete project cost and its feasibility. ...Not just the price of an economy-model toilet, ...in a carton, ...on a shelf, ...at Giant Home Center. Also decide if your current toilet might be better than the one at the home center.
The new toilet itself, plus: new wax ring seal (bowl wax); new riser supply pipe; new mounting bolts; new toilet seat(?); new angle stop; sales tax on all that. (If you don't know what these items are, then you will need an installer.)
Professional installation: Add the labor cost for an installer. (In many cases the labor charge from a professional, licensed plumber is $80.00 - $150.00.)
DIY installation: Add the time to do-it-yourself. (DIY time is generally 2-4 times longer than a professional's time.) Do you have the expertise, experience, and tools? What if there's a leak when you're done? Leaks can occur at the angle valve, the riser connection to the tank, between the tank and bowl, or between the bowl and floor. If you reuse the old angle valve, be very gentle with it as they become fused stiff with age and tend to be quite fragile. Check the operation of your main shut-off valve to the house before starting the project.
Check the cost for disposal of the old toilet. In some areas, only certain dump facilities will take old toilets. The fee can range from $5.00 to $15.00.
Will the shape of the "foot" of the old bowl leave a stain on the floor that is exposed compared to the shape of the foot of the new bowl?
If the paint or wall paper behind the tank of the old toilet is not complete, will the new toilet tank size and shape cover the exposed area? If the paint or wall paper behind the tank of the old toilet is less faded than the rest of the wall, will the new toilet tank size and shape cover the exposed area?
If your toilet is colored, will you be able to locate the matching color from current production?
Some very old toilets (1920s - 50s) use four mounting bolts to secure the bowl to the floor. Modern toilets have only two mounting bolts. Will the new toilet cover the holes in the floor from the old bolts or screws?
Some very old toilets (1920s - 40s) have a tank mounted to the wall with an elbow pipe between the tank the bowl. Will the new toilet leave these unused holes exposed?
Some four-bolt toilets were 10 or 14 inch rough-in (the distance from the wall to the rear bolts). 10 and 14 inch toilets are still available today, but they must be special ordered, are limited in style, come in white only, and are more expensive than standard 12".
If your counter top extends over the toilet tank ("Banjo Top"), will the height of a new toilet will be low enough to fit under the counter? (Careful here - We get many calls asking if we sell thinner tank lids. NOT.)
Your toilet may be a 3.5 or 5 gallon-per-flush style. A new toilet will be a 1.6 gallon ultra low flush water saver. Do you want to make that change? (1994 = 1.6 GPF; 1982 = 3.5 GPF; 1970's = 5 GPF; really old = 7 GPF.)
Most municipalities require a building permit for the installation or replacement of a toilet. Check with your building department for regulations, application form, and fees.
The cost of a replacement tank lid from ThisOldToilet®, akaToiletTankLids.com, may actually be quite economical and requires no installation. The only tool required is a knife to open the box.
~ If you do replace your entire toilet, check with your water supply company to see if you qualify for a low-flush rebate.
~To learn vocabulary about toilets, go to our Toilet Glossary.
~ To learn how to maintain, trouble-shoot, and repair your toilet, visit Toiletology.
~ To find toilet tank internal repair parts, email:TOT@TheAnswerLine.com or call 800-658-4521, Press 1, then press 3, M-F, 9-5, EST.
E-mail: Gary@Tjader.com ~ Donations to Public Schools & Housing ~ Phone: 800-658-4521 PST
(Please read FAQs before calling.)