Step 1: Prep the Floor and Soil Pipe

prepping the floor before installing a toilet
Photo: David Carmack
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Stuff a rag into the soil pipe to block sewer gas and prevent hardware from falling in.

Check that the hole in the floor is large enough to accommodate the closet flange up to its collar. If the hole needs to be enlarged, trace around the flange's base with a pencil, then cut away the excess flooring with a jigsaw. Don’t cut any joists.

Dry-fit the soil pipe into the closet bend. Place the flange over the soil pipe, then measure the gap between the bottom of the flange's collar and the finish floor.

Remove the soil pipe and use a handsaw to trim it to the measurement in the previous step. Remove burrs by scraping the cut edge with a utility knife.

Dry-fit the flange to the soil pipe, and the soil pipe to the closet bend to ensure the flange's collar rests on the floor.
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    Tools List

    • propane torch
      Propane torch
    • striker
      Striker,
      to light torch
    • tubing cutter
      Tubing cutters
    • tube bender
      Tubing benders
    • adjustable wrench
      Adjustable wrench or open-end wrenches
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • hack saw
      Hacksaw
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • hand saw
      Handsaw,
      or inside pipe cutter
    • two-foot level
      Level
    • ratcheting screwdriver
      Screwdriver
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • utility knife
      Utility knife

    Shopping List

    1. TOILET BOWL AND TANK

    2. WAX RING

    3. WIRE-BRUSH PIPE CLEANER

    4. TEFLON PASTE pipe dope

    5. PVC PRIMER

    6. PVC CEMENT

    7. FLUX

    8. WAX RINGS with and without integrated rubber gasket

    9. CHROMED BRASS SUPPLY LINE

    10. CLOSET BOLTS, WASHERS, AND NUTS

    11. STOP VALVE

    12. LEAD-FREE SOLDER

    13. CLOSET BOLT CAPS

    14. NO. 10 1 -INCH STAINLESS STEEL SCREWS

    15. STAINLESS STEEL WASHERS for shimming

    16. TANK BOLTS WITH WASHERS AND NUTS

    17. SEAT ASSEMBLY

    18. SMALL BUCKET

    19. RAGS