Informational Guide

How To Move A Toilet in 8 Easy Steps

Remodeling your bathrooms but want to keep your current toilet and plumbing set up? Find out how to move a toilet in 8 easy steps right here.

by Ian Haynes

One of the most efficient ways to save on bathroom remodeling costs is to keep the same toilet fixture, just move it around.

This guide is for those remodeling their bathrooms who want to keep their currently existing toilet and plumbing. Find out how to move a toilet in 8 easy steps. 

There are several reasons why one might want to move their toilet but keep existing plumbing. Here are just a few of the most common reasons.

  • Privacy
    Sometimes a toilet can be placed too close to a door or window, so it is moved for privacy concerns.
  • Aesthetic Reasons
    Other times, toilets might be moved because they just do not look good in their current position. They might be in an awkward space or too close to other things. Check out modern toilets here.
  • More Space
    Lastly, a toilet might be moved to give more functional space to the room. For example, it might be moved from the center of the wall down to near the corner for more walking room.
How To Move A Toilet

What to Consider Before Moving a Toilet

Here is a quick list of things to consider before moving your toilet.

Drainage

No matter where you move it, the toilet needs to connect to drainage. Repositioning might be limited based on how difficult it is to move your toilet drain. Moving a drain can cost a lot of money and take a lot of effort.

Toilet vent

The toilet vent provides air to the pipes to help sewage flow. Toilet vents usually sit in the wall behind the tank and run down into the basement of your house. Toilets need to be vented, or else they will produce a foul odor from sewage.

Water supply

Obviously, your toilet needs a water supply to work properly. Water supply lines run through the wall near the back of the toilet and can be moved or changed around to move a toilet.

House foundation & toilet location

If your toilet is built directly on top of the house’s foundation, then it will be very difficult to move it without extensive remodeling. In contrast, if the toilet is above the foundation, it will be much easier to move.

Cost

Moving your toilet could be inexpensive or cost quite a lot, depending on your plumbing and pipe setup. If you do not have to move your drain or pipes, then it is easy and should not cost very much. However, it can cost a lot of money if you have to rip up and reinstall new pipes and drains. Moving a toilet drain can cost up to $3,000.


How to Move a Toilet & Toilet Drain: Step By Step Instructions

Here is a list of required tools for moving your toilet:

  • Screwdriver
  • Gloves
  • Putty knife
  • Wrench
  • Prybar (optional)
  • Drill (optional)

After you have taken into account the above considerations, it is time to actually move the toilet. Here is a step-by-step guide.

1. Sketch a plan

The first thing to do is make sure you know where your toilet is going to go when you move it. Consider what needs to be moved and when.

2. Turn off all water

Find your water supply hookups for your toilet and turn them all off. If you try to move your toilet but leave your water on, you will just cause a huge mess and probably a lot of damage.

3. Remove water from the bowl

Flush the toilet to get rid of any excess water in the bowl and tank. Then, use a sponge or some towels to soak up any extra water left in the bowl or tank. You may need to use a plunger to force the rest of the water out of the bowl.

4. Disconnect supply line

Next, disconnect the water supply line behind the toilet. Put a bucket under the supply line to catch any water that might spill out when you unscrew it.

5. Remove the toilet bolts

Once the supply line is disconnected, unscrew the bolts keeping the toilet on the floor.

6. Move the tank

Once the bolts are disconnected, remove the tank from the toilet first, if possible. Some toilets are one piece so you might not be able to take the tank off separately.

7. Remove the bowl

Grasp the toilet bowl on both sides and gently rock it back and forth until it starts to come loose. You might need to scrape caulk or putty off the bottom to get it out. You can gently use the pry bar to get the toilet out if you cannot remove it by hand.

8. Fix the hole

Then, return the exposed hole, remove any more bolts, and the wax seal around the drain.

Now you need to position the new toilet. You will need to access your drain pipes in the floor and reroute them to the location that you want. Water supply lines in the wall also need to be routed to the toilet’s new location.

Water supply lines are relatively easy to modify as they can be routed through the walls and housing joints. Drains are much harder to move as you need to make sure there is a ¼ inch drop for every horizontal foot of movement.

So, for example, if you want to move a toilet 3 feet, then you would need a total of ¾' drop in your drain, ¼" for every foot. If you want to move a toilet 6 feet, then you will need approximately 1 ½" (6/4") of drop.

If you're going to move your toilet drain in concrete, then you will need to punch through the concrete to reroute the pipes, which will take a lot of money and effort.

Moving A Toilet

People also Ask (FAQs)

How do you fix a toilet that moves side to side?

If your toilet wobbles, then it's most likely because the bolts in the ground are not tight. If tightening the bolts doesn’t fix the problem, then your floor might be uneven under your toilet.

See related article: How To Tighten A Toilet Seat

How far can you move a toilet from the stack?

Technically, you can move it as much as you want; you just need to make sure you can move the pipes to meet it as well. Practically, you probably won’t be able to move your toilet more than 2-3 feet without extensive modifications.

Where should a toilet be placed in a bathroom?

Toilets in bathrooms should be facing an open wall or the door so they leave enough clearance for standing and walking.

What happens if you don’t vent a toilet?

An unvented toilet will produce a foul sewer odor and will drain waste less efficiently.

Can a toilet and shower share the same vent?

Yes, showers and toilets can be connected to the same plumbing vent. When attaching multiple fixtures to a plumbing vent, the toilet should always be attached last.


Conclusion

Moving a toilet can be simple or difficult, depending on your bathroom setup and how much you want to move it. It is important that you have a clear plan in mind before removing and moving bathroom fixtures.

Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.

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