Installing different types of toilets

It may not be the most glamorous or exciting part of the bathroom renovation process, but doing a professional job when it comes to the toilet installation is crucial. After all, out of all the bathroom fixtures and fittings, the toilet is the one most likely to make life very unpleasant indeed for your clients if there are any problems further down the line. A good toilet installation, free of leaks and problems, leads to client satisfaction (and recommendations in the future).

Take the time to listen to what your clients want, put thought into choosing the right toilet and the best tools for the job, and leave yourself plenty of time to make sure everything is working as it should with your newly-installed toilet.

  • 1. Types of toilet

    There are, of course, many varieties of toilet, so there are a few key differences that will affect how you approach the installation.

    In some cases, and particularly with modern bathroom designs, the toilet’s cistern will not be visible but will be hidden in the wall. If this is the case, the installation will involve a little more work.


    This type of toilet is supported by a metal frame, while the cistern is concealed behind the wall.


    Again, the cistern here will be hidden, while the toilet pan sits against the wall.

    Selco Aviano back-to-wall toilet


    This is the simplest and most common toilet design, where the cistern is visible, sitting behind and above the toilet pan.

    Selco close-coupled toilet

    Low level or high level

    With these toilets, the cistern is visible, but is mounted on the wall above the pan and attached via a pipe.

  • 2. Preparation

    Before you get started on installing the toilet, it’s a good idea to remind yourself of the following issues:

    Check your tools and components

    Your toilet package should come with many of its parts included. Things like rubber sealing rings and certain nuts and bolts are likely to be provided for you. Go through the contents of the package and make sure everything is there. As you’ve probably experienced, tracking down any missing parts once you’ve started on the installation will interrupt your work and put you behind schedule.

    Make sure you also have the best tools for the job. These will include basics like a drill and cable detector, as well as any specialised tools you might need if you are working with a particular type of wall.

    Familiarise yourself with the instructions

    This goes without saying, but it’s always wise to read any instructions that come with your toilet package. Different bathroom designs may come with different requirements. You may have done this job countless times before, but it’s still worth checking that the particular model you’re working with has no special features that are new to you.

    Finish your first and second fix to-do list

    Check off every item on your to-do lists for the first and second fix stages of the renovation before you start on the toilet installation. However, your floors and walls should still be accessible and no bathroom tiles should be laid down yet.

  • 3. How to install a standard cistern toilet

    Start with the basics

    Begin by preparing the cistern and pan with the rubber sealing rings and gasket that should be provided.

    Connect the cistern and pan

    Insert long fixing bolts into the holes at the bottom of the cistern, securing them with rubber and metal washers. Once the bolts are attached, slide them into the spaces on the pan. When you’re happy with the position, screw washers and wing nuts on firmly to hold the bolts in place.

    Affix the toilet to the floor and wall

    Join the flexi pan connector with the soil pipe and the pan outlet. Use a pipe and cable detector to check the floor for obstructions, then drill holes for the fixing points. Put in the screws and tighten them, being sure to use protective plastic inserts. Link up the cold water feed with the cistern.

    Attach the seat

    Fit the seat to the pan and screw it into place. Before you fully tighten the screws, check that the seat stays up when it has to.

  • 4. How to install a wall-hung toilet

    Cut the pipes to size

    Start by working out how much you’ll need to trim the pipes that are likely to have been supplied along with your toilet. Measure the pipes against the bowl and the sanitary unit and trim them to size. Once you’re satisfied they’re now the right length, file the ends smooth.

    Connecting up

    Slide the pipes into the unit. Attach the threaded rods to the frame, making sure they extend outward by around 6cm.

    Fit the bowl into place

    The bowl should face the flush and waste pipes and the threaded rods as you push it back onto the frame. Tighten up the washer, nut and white plastic piece.

    Check and finish

    Use a spirit level to check the bowl is straight. Put in the plastic covers.


    The above tips offer a general overview, but for a better guide to wall-hung toilet installation, try watching one of these how-to videos by our suppliers.

  • 5. How to install a flush plate

    Step 1

    Cut the external plastic part so it fits neatly with the cover. Then make sure the water supply is switched on.

    Step 2

    Put in the flush plate mounting bracket, ensuring its plastic spring point is pushed down all the way. Use screws to secure it in position.

    Step 3

    Link the air button to the back of the actuator panel and join the blue tube with the mechanism.

    Step 4

    Finally, leading with the bottom of the panel, push upwards and in towards the unit and into position.


  • What’s the best way to install a flush plate?

    Start by cutting the plastic to size before screwing the flush plate mounting bracket into place. Next, join up the air button and the actuator panel, connect the blue tube with the mechanism, and push the flush plate into place.

  • How do I install a wall-hung toilet?

    Wall-hung toilet installation differs from standard cistern toilet installation in a few ways – most notably that it involves a frame.

  • How do I install a standard cistern toilet?

    Start by connecting the cistern and pan together before connecting up the flexi pan with the soil pipe and pan outlet. Screw the toilet to fixing points on the wall and floor, then connect the cold water feed and cistern. Finally, attach the toilet seat.

  • How do I seal a toilet?

    With a toilet, cracks should be less of an issue, so you can use a wider range of sealants. You’ll already know the key areas to seal: where the cistern meets the wall, and around the base of the toilet.

    Read more about sealing toilets >>>