Cost of a toilet replacement
Average costs range from $300 to $600
It’s hard to think of a home amenity more indispensable than a working toilet — it’s important to maintain yours and replace it when necessary. With that in mind, we surveyed plumbers and toilet installers around the country to find out how much replacing a toilet might cost you.
The short answer: Expect to pay between $300 and $600 to replace a toilet (unless you’re going for an upflush model), including the cost of labor. However, you can save money if you’re up to doing it yourself. Keep reading to learn when it’s time for a new toilet, what’s involved in replacing your old one and how your choices may affect your costs.
- The average toilet has a life span of 10 to 15 years, but toilets can last much longer with proper maintenance.
- Replacing a toilet can be a do-it-yourself project, but it may make sense to pay a professional instead, especially if you’re not the most handy.
- The type of toilet (standard, wall-mounted, low-flow, upflush, etc.) you choose is a big factor in determining your total costs.
Cost by toilet type
The type of toilet you choose has a significant impact on your overall costs. A standard two-piece toilet is almost always the cheapest option, but more expensive toilets have benefits that might make them worth the added cost.
Low-flow toilets, for instance, tend to cost more upfront, but they can save you money on your water bill. Toilets made before 1994 used up to six gallons of water per flush. However, per federal law, all residential toilets installed after 1994 can use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, and newer models that carry the WaterSense label use just 1.28 gallons per flush without sacrificing effectiveness.
That’s why switching from an older, inefficient toilet to a WaterSense-labeled model can result in a possible savings of over $140 per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Making this switch can reduce the amount of water you use by 20% to 60%, saving 13,000 gallons every year.
Switching to a WaterSense-labeled toilet can lower your household water usage by 20% to 60%.
On the other hand, some types of toilets may have costs beyond their purchase price. A wall-mounted unit (often referred to as a “floating” toilet) can cost you extra because of the labor needed to hide the tank behind the wall and ensure it’s properly affixed. You’ll also have to choose between a round or elongated bowl and pick what height you want. Greenhill recommended taller “comfort height” toilets for those who have trouble with standard models.
To help you understand what these options might cost you, we consulted eight installation professionals (including plumbers and home repair advisors) to get realistic prices that include the cost of installation.
|Replacement toilet||Cost range||Average cost|
|Standard||$300 to $500||$350|
|Low-flow||$300 to $600||$450|
|Wall-mounted||$400 to $2,000||$600*|
|Upflush||$700 to $2,000||$1,400|
Labor cost to replace a toilet
You might be comfortable purchasing a toilet, but installing it is a different story. Fortunately, replacing a toilet is a fairly simple job for a professional, and the labor costs aren't ridiculous in most cases.
The labor costs should run you $100 to $150 if there’s no damage to the subfloor or flange. However, these costs may increase by $100 to $400 if your previous toilet was leaking at the base or if the flange is broken, depending on how extensive the damage is.
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So, you can save yourself up to a few hundred dollars by installing your own toilet if you’re up to the task — just make sure you know how to turn off your water and move a heavy toilet outside before you begin.
Signs it’s time to replace a toilet
The basic mechanics of a flush toilet haven’t changed much in the last century, and a toilet can last decades if your plumbing is still intact and the unit itself isn’t damaged. Some homeowners think they need a new toilet when they only need to replace a component in the tank, like the flapper that seals off the tank from the bowl.
Kewin Greenhill, general manager of All Plumbing, Inc. in Arlington, Virginia, says in his area a flapper is only good for three to five years, depending on usage. The good news is that you can often purchase a kit to help you replace these components for less than $20.
However, if your current toilet is leaking, wobbling, cracked or clogging — or if it requires multiple flushes to get waste down — it’s likely time to replace it. Most of these defects start small and get worse over time, so it’s best to address them sooner rather than later.
Also, just because a toilet still works doesn’t mean there’s no reason to update or replace it as part of a bathroom renovation. Older toilets use more water than many newer models, and many toilets last long enough for design trends to change, potentially turning what was once a new fixture into an outdated eyesore.
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How long does it take to replace a toilet?
Replacing a standard two-piece toilet with a similar model should take between one and two hours. It could take longer if you have a more complicated model or the flange needs to be repaired, though.
Is toilet replacement an easy DIY?
Many homeowners will be able to replace a toilet without much difficulty. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t run into problems or that you should attempt this without some basic plumbing experience.
Toilets are also heavy and cumbersome, so you might want to have someone help you remove your old toilet and place the new one.
Can one person lift a toilet?
Yes, one person can lift a toilet, but it’s usually better to have two people do it since the average toilet weighs around 100 pounds. At the very least, it’s helpful to have someone spotting the lifter to ensure they have a clear path and that the new toilet is centered on the flange before they lower it down.
Do home warranties cover toilets?
Plans differ, but many home warranties cover the cost of repairing or replacing toilets — for example, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Washington had issues with two of the toilets in their fixer-upper but got them replaced under their home warranty coverage (in addition to getting a new water heater).
While a single toilet replacement probably won’t be enough to offset the cost of a home warranty, the other items included in your coverage might be.
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