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An old toilet can be a water hog, accounting for as much as 30% of the water consumption in your home. It’s the sort of thing you may not spend too much time thinking about but can really add up over time. Even if you’re not planning a full bathroom remodel, replacing your toilet might be a good idea, especially if you have an older model.
The cost to replace a toilet varies based on location. In New York City, the average price ranges from about $600 to over $1,000, according to Homewyse. In a smaller city, the cost is somewhat lower, closer to the $450 to $850 range. Those figures are just averages, however, and assume that you’re purchasing a midrange toilet with features like a soft close seat.
What goes into that price? There are two main factors in the cost to replace a toilet: the fixture and the cost of labor. Not surprisingly, higher labor charges are why the average price is higher in a big city.
Depending on your preferences and budget, you can spend less than $100 to well over $1,000 on the toilet alone. We suggest buying a quality product and not settling for the cheapest you can find. A higher-quality toilet is made with more durable parts that will last longer and provide a better flush. Advanced bells and whistles like a bidet, heated seat, and remote-control flush will increase the price.
If one of your goals in replacing your toilet is saving water, look for one with a WaterSense label. These models meet EPA performance and efficiency standards and use only 1.28 gallons of water per flush—20% less than a standard modern toilet, which uses 1.6 gallons, and way less than older models, which use up to 6 gallons.
The typical labor charge for a basic toilet replacement includes removing the old toilet, prepping the area, and fitting the new toilet with a new water connection and wax ring. The average timeline is 2.6 hours of labor at the plumber’s standard rate. If any complications arise, the installation can take more time and cost more. Plumbers generally charge between $70 and $120 per hour, plus trip fees and materials, according to Home Advisor.
Other costs you may encounter include the purchase of supplies needed for the job (such as connectors, fittings, and other hardware) and disposal costs for the old toilet. Together, those can add $30 or $40 to the budget.
If the plumbing is already in place, it’s not impossible to do the installation yourself if you want to lower the cost to replace a toilet. However, a DIY toilet installation isn’t foolproof—and a lot can go wrong.
A toilet is a heavy and awkward fixture to move around—it can weigh up to 90 pounds. You also have to make sure the new toilet will fit in the footprint of the old one, and the bolts that connect it are in the same place. Measure twice before heading out to select a toilet—then measure again.
Be prepared for surprises when you remove the old toilet. You may find problems with the plumbing, such as a broken flange or seal. Or your flooring might have been damaged by an unseen leak. If problems arise, you may have to call in a professional anyway.
It’s also important not to overtighten nuts and bolts while you’re installing your toilet, because that could cause the bowl or tank to crack.
Plan on spending at least a good part of the day on the project—if it takes a professional nearly three hours, assume it will take you longer. And remember, you’ll also have to figure out how to dispose of the old toilet or pay someone to haul it away.
If spending hours doing a DIY toilet installation doesn’t appeal to you, leaving it to the pros will ensure the project goes smoothly.