Q: Just read your recent column on water-saving toilets. I’m a handy homeowner and plan to install one. Aside from my standard instructions, I’d like a little inside info. What are a few extra details to consider when replacing a toilet?

A: Installing a toilet has changed a bit since when I started. What I’ve learned and can share with you is how important it is do your homework before you begin the job. Replacing a toilet can be a very personal project — not only because it’s a toilet, but because every toilet replacement can be a little different.

So here are a few extra details I suggest you consider.

Follow your local codes. Check with local inspectors to see if your area requires permits and/or needs to follow any special water restrictions.

Purchase a toilet that matches your existing one. You don’t want to buy a new toilet and then find out something doesn’t fit right, it’s the wrong color or a door hits it.

Add some options. Many toilets have new upgrades available, including comfort heights, smooth-skirted trapways and specialty seats.


Ed Del Grande is a master plumber, contractor and author. Send questions to eadelg@cs.com.