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, so 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, 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 DIY project, but it may make sense to pay a professional instead, especially if you’re not handy.
- The type of toilet you choose is a big factor in determining your total costs.
Signs that 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, told us that, 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, clogging or 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and many toilets last long enough for design trends to change, potentially turning what was once a new fixture into an outdated eyesore.
What to know when replacing a toilet
Here’s a quick breakdown of the steps involved in replacing a toilet, whether you choose to do the work yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.
Removing a toilet yourself isn’t difficult. However, because most toilets weigh around 100 pounds once drained, moving one does require some physical strength, especially if you have to haul the toilet up or down stairs to get it outside.
You should also plan ahead for what you’ll do once your toilet is removed. If you only have one bathroom in your home, you may want a strict plan or professional help to limit the amount of time you’re without a working toilet.
If you hire a professional, the average cost of removing your old toilet is around $50. This should already be included in your quote, but it’s always a good idea to double-check.
Most toilets won’t fit in a curbside trash can unless they’re broken into smaller pieces, and weight might still be an issue, depending on how your garbage service limits pickups. Many trash collectors offer special services for items like this, so check your local regulations for more information.
If you hire a professional to remove your toilet, they usually include the cost of disposal in their estimate as part of the removal fee.
Repair and preparation
Before you install your new toilet, it’s important to make sure your floor and plumbing are in good condition.
If your old toilet is wobbling at the base, it might be due to water damage from a leak. You’ll need to repair any water damage before you install a new unit, or else it can cause further trouble, including rot, mold and mildew.
Water damage isn’t a given, though; issues with the flange (the fitting your toilet sits on that locks it to the floor) and wax ring can also cause a toilet to wobble. You’ll want to get those issues sorted out before you install your new toilet. (Most people replace the wax ring anyway.)
If you’re using a simple two-piece toilet, the installation process should take less than an hour (as long as the floor and flange are in good shape). Expect the process to take longer if you’re upgrading to a wall-mounted toilet or installing a new toilet where there wasn’t one before (assuming the necessary plumbing is already in place).
Types of replacement toilets
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 flushing capability. 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.
On the other hand, some types of toilets may have costs beyond their purchase price. Opting for a wall-mounted unit (often referred to as a “floating” toilet) can cost you extra because of the added labor needed to hide the tank behind the wall and ensure the toilet is properly affixed.
You’ll also have to choose whether you’d like a round or elongated bowl and what height toilet you want. Kewin Greenhill, the plumber we spoke with in Virginia, recommended taller, “comfort height” toilets for older people that might have trouble with lower, standard-height 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|
*If you don’t already have a wall-mounted toilet, this cost will increase by $200 to $400.
Labor cost to replace a toilet
Many people are comfortable purchasing a toilet but not as comfortable installing it. Fortunately, replacing a toilet is a fairly simple job for a professional, and labor costs aren't ridiculous, in most cases.
Labor costs should run you $100 to $150 if there’s no damage to the subfloor or flange. However, costs can 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.
This also means you can save yourself $100 to $400 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.
- 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. A ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Wenatchee Heights, 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.
- Article sources
- ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page. Specific sources for this article include:
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Residential Toilets.” Accessed August 18, 2022.
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