Toilet installation is easy — any homeowner can do it. You simply disconnect the water supply, unscrew the fasteners connecting the toilet to the floor, remove the toilet, replace the wax ring, bolt down the new unit and reconnect the water supply. (See step-by-step instructions.)

Many toilets come with everything you need to install the unit, but that convenience comes at a cost because the toilet is the manufacturer’s core product, not the hardware. That’s why it helps to purchase any hardware and accessories separately.

For the novice DIYer, every time-saving trick helps, so here are three tips.

Fluidmaster's SetFast Bolts
Fluidmaster’s SetFast Bolts automatically adjust to fit the toilet’s size — eliminating the need for a hacksaw.

1. Buy Separate Floor Hardware

Toilets come in different sizes and you may run into problems when you start bolting the unit to the floor. It’s common to discover that the closet bolts are too long for the caps. The only solution is to take a hacksaw to those bolts and cut them to size.

Unless you purchase separate floor hardware for a clean, seamless installation.

Fluidmaster’s SetFast Toilet Bolts easily adjust from 2 ¼  inches to 1 ½ inch with a quick-twist adjustment. This design allows the toilet bowl bolts to shorten or lengthen for a perfect fit, eliminating the need to cut or break off bolts once installed.

The solid brass construction means they are built to last and won’t rust.

Fluidmaster's Smart Cap Universal Toilet Bolt Caps
Fluidmaster’s Smart Cap Universal Toilet Bolt Caps screw on, so you won’t knock them out of place and they will last longer.

2. Say No to ‘Snap-Ons’

How many times have you accidentally broken a toilet bolt cap or seen broken toilet caps in other people’s bathrooms?

Probably a lot, because most toilet bolt caps are designed to snap on.

But think about it: If all you have to do is snap them on, then they could just as easily pop right off — and someone can step on them and break them, only to place them back on the toilet, barely hanging on! It’s a vicious circle.

Fluidmaster’s Smart Cap Universal Toilet Bolt Caps are made of crack-resistant polypropylene material, and their screw-on design ensures caps create a watertight seal and are not knocked out of place.

Best of all? Installation is easy: Just remove the old cap and nut, set the base, anti-spin washer and old nut, then screw on the cap and you’re done.

Fluidmaster Better Than Wax toilet seal with hardware
Fluidmaster’s Better Than Wax rubber gasket makes toilet installations and replacements clean and easy.

3. Trash the Wax Seal

Plumbing fixtures require a seal to prevent leaking, and that’s why many new toilets come with a wax seal in the box. But while the wax may do its job in the short run, it can cause problems down the line.

A wobbly toilet, water pooling around the unit on the floor and an unpleasant, rotten smell are signs that a wax seal has failed. That means you have to remove the toilet along with the wax seal, and use a putty knife to remove the wax residue.

It’ll take plenty of elbow grease, that’s for sure!

Fortunately, there’s a wax alternative that’s easier to install and maintain. Fluidmaster’s Better Than Wax toilet seal is a rubber gasket that fits any flange and toilet, and it can be repositioned during installation.

It’s guaranteed to last 10 years and after that, if you do run into a leak and have to replace the gasket, you won’t have to spend an afternoon cleaning up wax residue. You just have to pull out the rubber gasket and replace it with another one.

Using these three products, instead of ‘what comes in the box,’ will save you plenty of time and elbow grease both during the installation and years from now.

What are some of your time-saving DIY tips? Tell us in the comments!

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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