How to Install a Toilet on Hardwood Floor

Toilets are designed to make installation easy and require only a few tools. Installing a toilet in a bathroom that has hardwood flooring is similar to installing on tile or linoleum. You will want to be extra careful when fitting the toilet bowl wax seal, as well as any other gaskets, to avoid leaks that may cause damage to your floors. Water can cause hardwood flooring to warp, but most floor sealants will keep any moisture from penetrating the wood.

Installing a toilet on a hardwood floor is similar to installing on tile or linoleum.

Step 1

Scrape any residue left from the old toilet's wax ring off of the closet flange (the pipe fitting that connects the toilet to the drain pipe) with the putty knife. Remove any old bolts from the closet flange collar slots and discard them. If you're installing a previously used unit, scrape off any remnants of the wax ring from the base of the toilet.

Step 2

Place the new brass bolts that came with your toilet into opposite sides of the closet flange collar slots with the threaded end pointing upward. They should slide in easily and stand in place by themselves. Place a brass washer over each bolt. These bolts will act as guides when lowering the toilet.

Step 3

Turn the toilet bowl upside-down and place the wax toilet bowl ring over the horn (the pipe that funnels water and waste out of the toilet). If there is a black gasket ring on the wax, make sure it is pointed away from the toilet. Press the ring firmly into place.

Step 4

Turn the toilet bowl over, and place it on the toilet flange, using the bolts you installed in the closet flange to guide you. Ensure that the toilet bowl, wax toilet bowl seal, and closet flange are aligned correctly.

Step 5

Place a bolt cover bottom and brass washer over each bolt end that is sticking up from the bolt holes at the base of the toilet. Place a brass nut on each bolt end. Finger-tighten the nuts onto the bolts until you encounter resistance, and use the adjustable wrench to tighten the nuts snugly. Do not over-tighten the nuts as that may crack the porcelain base.

Step 6

Use an electric grinder to cut the exposed end off of each bolt so it is flush with the top of the brass nut. You can use a hacksaw if you do not have an electric grinder. Fill the bolt cover tops with plumber's putty, and place the bolt cover tops over the nuts to cover the exposed metal.

Step 7

Use a caulk gun to apply white silicone caulk to fill in the gap where the toilet base meets the floor, leaving a small gap at the back of the toilet. If you develop a leak, this gap will provide an outlet for the water, which is especially important for hardwood floors. The gap will help you avoid trapping water beneath the toilet and let you know if you have a leak before the water can do much, if any, damage to the flooring.

Step 8

Place the rubber tank cushion (if one has been provided with the toilet assembly) in position at the rear of the toilet bowl. Fit the rubber gasket onto the flush valve opening on the bottom of the tank. Place the rubber tank bolt washers onto the tank bolts. Insert the tank bolts into the tank bolt holes on the bottom of the tank from inside the tank.

Step 9

Place the toilet tank in position at the rear of the bowl, making sure that the tank bolts go through the bolt holes in the toilet bowl. Place a washer onto each tank bolt. Tighten the nuts onto the tank bolts with the adjustable wrench. Fill the bolt covers with plumber's putty, and place them over the exposed metal nuts and bolt ends.

Step 10

Bolt the seat assembly in place using the adjustable wrench or a flat-bladed screwdriver if needed. Snap on the decorative bolt covers.

Step 11

Connect the stop-valve outlet on the water supply line to the tank supply line using the plastic nut, compression nut and compression ring that came with the toilet. Tighten the nut with the adjustable wrench, and wrap plumber's tape around the fitting.

Step 12

Turn the stop-valve to open, and allow the toilet tank fill up. Flush several times while checking for leaks.