Replacing a toilet: quick, cheap & easy… just bring gloves!
Recap: our powder room had the smallest toilet known to man. (This photo doesn’t do it justice). Since we didn’t want every trip to the loo to be a circus-worthy balancing act, we decided to replace the toilet with something a little more… accommodating.
The toilet was yanked out when our floors were stained, and this is the carnage that was left behind:
Now if you’re like me and you know nothing about the inner-workings of toilets, your mind is going to wander when it sees the brown caked on goo that surrounds this drain pipe to Mordor. (And when your mind does wander, it’s going to wander to some dark, disturbing places…)
Rather than indulge my overactive imagination and creative sense-making, I read up on the goo and learned that it’s actually the remnants of the wax ring — a sticky donut that seals the bottom of your toilet bowl to whatever chamber of awfulness that flushed indiscretions disappear to.
We had to remove the old wax ring residue from the flange (that’s plumbing lingo for ‘poop shoot’), so we geared up and used a putty knife to scrape off the funk (nothing gives you warm-fuzzies for your new home like scraping nasty old wax off of a doo shoot).
Fun fact: just like a creepy old uncle, the drain pipe belches out this silent but deadly stench that lingers in the air (and reminds you of the 20+ years of human waste that has traveled through the sticky thing you’re trying to clean).
Cleaning the flange was the only challenge we encountered during installation (and I’m pretty sure our hands will never feel clean again). After we got the flange looking
so fresh so clean clean enough, we removed the old bolts and replaced them with shiny news ones…
Then it was time for our new toilet!
To replace the micro-toilet, we chose a Touchless Flush toilet by Kohler.
This is when we started to sweat a little, because despite measuring, we were worried that the new elongated toilet would be too big for the previous toilet’s configuration.
Luckily, it was a perfect fit!
(Look at that pearly white throne! This is like upgrading from a rowboat to the Titanic!)
We pressed the toilet down to seal the wax ring, then tightened washers onto the bolts to secure it to the ground. The instructions ominously warned not to over-tighten, so I was a bit cautious on the wrench, but we eventually figured it out.
Installing the flush system was as simple as dropping in some batteries and clipping it to the edge of the tank. I’m not sure what sort of witchcraft allows the touchless flush kit to detect motion through the porcelain tank lid, but it works like a charm! Just hover your hand over the lid, and the toilet flushes! I’m infatuated.
Side note: you don’t need to replace your entire toilet if you want to bring the magic of touchless flush to your loo. Kohler sells a touchless flush kit that can be installed in standard toilets.
Our new toilet was the final project in our bathroom makeover… now for the fun stuff (like picking out a fragrance palette for coordinating potpourri and hand soap)…
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