Preparing To Replace A Toilet

 

Toilet replacement is one of those DIY projects that sometimes require several trips to the hardware store. You won’t always know exactly what will be needed until you’ve removed the original toilet. Fortunately, you can prepare ahead of time by purchasing any parts you think you might need. Let’s start with the things that you will definitely need:

 

  • Purchase a new supply line to replace the old one, and a new shut-off valve if the original valve is seized or leaky.
  • When you purchase a new toilet, it should come with most of the parts that you’ll need. Check the box and make sure it includes brass closet bolts (to connect the toilet to the flange), and a gasket for connecting the tank to the base, a wax ring, a fill valve, flush valve and flapper. If any of these items are missing, purchase them separately.

 

You’ll need these tools:

 

  • Large, flat screwdriver
  • Medium-sized channel locking pliers
  • Wrenches to fit the nuts and bolts that come with the toilet
  • Putty knife
  • Rags
  • Teflon tape

 

Here are a few items that you may need to make sure the connection between the soil pipe and toilet are secure. These parts only cost a few dollars apiece, so even if you don’t end up using them, buying ahead of time means you won’t waste time and money on emergency trips to the hardware store.

 

  • Jumbo wax rings are needed if the soil pipe flange is level with the floor or slightly recessed.
  • If the flange is broken, or recessed below the floor level by more than ¼ inch, then you will need to buy a PVC flange repair ring (often called a spacer ring) or flange extender. Extenders are designed to fit inside the original soil pipe and provide you with a new flange so that you can properly secure the toilet.
  • If the flange is broken or badly rusted so that it will no longer hold the closet bolts, but not recessed, then you will need a thin metal flange repair ring. If the original flange is metal, then the repair ring should bolt directly to the flange. If the original flange is PVC, then you can use a repair ring that fastens to the subfloor around the flange. In either case, you will need a power drill, drill bits and the correct fasteners to hold the ring down to a metal flange, or to wood or concrete subflooring.

 

Lastly, a mini hacksaw that you can use to cut metal is a wise purchase in case you need to cut off rusted closet bolts in order to lift the original toilet off the flange.

 

When it comes to replacement, the process is simple.

 

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

 

1. Before you remove the original toilet, unbox the new toilet and assemble it, starting with the tank. Install the fill valve according to instructions, then the flush valve. Use channel locking pliers to gently tighten each fitting. When this is finished, place the tank gasket on the base of the flush valve and then fasten the tank to the base of the toilet using the tank bolts that came with the toilet. Use a flat screwdriver and wrench to tighten, making sure that you don’t over tighten and accidentally break the porcelain.

 

2. To remove the old toilet, turn off the water supply and then flush the toilet to drain it of water. Disconnect the supply line at the valve. Then, at the base of the toilet, undo the nuts on the closet bolts. If these bolts are badly rusted, you may need to cut them off. When finished, you can lift the toilet straight up, off the flange to remove it.

 

3. Crumple an old rag and place it in the soil pipe to block sewer gas — but don’t forget to remove the rag before you install the new toilet! Clean the soil pipe with a putty knife, taking care to remove any remnants of the original wax ring (including the rubber gasket that came with it).

 

4. Make any repairs necessary to the toilet flange using a repair ring or extender. Then place the wax ring, either regular sized or jumbo, on the flange, making sure that the rubber gasket on the bottom of the ring rests inside the soil pipe. Fit the closet bolts into the slots on either side of the flange. Then, lift the new toilet, align it with the soil pipe and carefully place it on the wax ring so that the closet bolts fit through the holes in the base of the toilet.

 

Tip: Never lift a toilet by the tank because you can easily crack or shatter the porcelain where the tank connects to the base. Always lift from the base!

 

When the toilet is in place, tighten nuts on the closet bolts to fasten the toilet to the flange. Alternate, tightening each side a little bit at a time so that the wax ring is compressed evenly.

 

5. Hook up the supply line between the shut-off valve and the toilet. Use Teflon tape on metal threads (usually the joint where the valve connects to the supply line. Turn the valve on, allow the toilet to fill, and assess for leaks. You should also flush the toilet several times to check for leaks around the base. If any leaks appear, tightening the leaky fittings should fix the issue.

Re-Caulking Your Bathroom

When it comes to modern bathtubs, and entire bathrooms, caulk is king. It’s vital for sealing the grout lines between your wall and tub, preventing mold and mildew, minimizing leaks and more. This is why keeping caulk in mint condition is so important. From time to time, caulk will crack, and it needs to be replaced. To help you know when and how to handle this bathroom renovation, here’s a look at signs it’s time to re-caulk; specific areas to be on guard about; and tips for how to caulk bathtubs, sinks and other areas well.

Notorious Problem Areas

Major bathroom problem areas for caulk damage are places that are regularly wet: e.g., corners, edges, bases and other parts of the shower/tub, stand-alone shower or sink where water always hits. In the shower/tub, for example, you’ll usually spot issues along the seal between the tub and the wall. In the stand-alone shower, you might see caulk damage along the floor where the tile meets the wall.

Signs it’s Time to Caulk Again

Whenever you notice bathroom caulk is showing serious signs of damage, it’s time to do something. Whether you’re talking about caulk on the tub or bathroom vanities, key warning signs include:

  • Cracks
  • Discoloring
  • Shrinking caulk
  • Black mildew stains in the caulk

When any of these problems occur, your best bet is to remove the damaged caulk, remove any mildew/mold damage, and start again.

How to Re-Caulk

When you know you have a problem to fix, here are the simple steps to treating caulk damage:

  1. Remove old caulk. Don’t skip this step and apply new caulk on top of old caulk! It is much harder to get caulk to meld with existing, damaged caulk than it is to put it on a fresh surface. There are several methods you can use to remove old caulk, including scraping it with a razor blade, softening it with a specially designed caulk product, or a combination of the two. You need to get the old caulk fully removed before moving to any of the additional steps.
  2. Clean the area. Use a bleach solution to get rid of any mold/mildew damage lurking beneath the old caulk, and use a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe off the area after that. You want a fully cleaned, smoothed area to which you’ll apply new caulk.
  3. Apply new caulk carefully. Use a high-quality caulking gun to apply new caulk to the area you’re repairing. You can use either latex (easier to apply, cleans easily) or silicone (harder to apply, harder to remove). If you’re worried about messing up, feel free to put down tape, like you would when painting, to expose only the areas that should be caulked. Wipe the tip of the tube after each application.
  4. Clean and smooth the new caulk. Check for any extra splotches of caulk remaining here and there, and smooth them out with a wet finger, wiping your finger clean after each touch-up. Caulk sets quickly, so you’ll need to work fast. If it has already dried by the time you realize a mistake, use a razor blade to cut off excess.

A clean and mold-free bathroom is worth the extra trouble that re-caulking requires. Use the tips above to caulk bathroom sinks, the shower, the tub or wherever you need repairs. When you properly remove and replace caulk in the bathroom, you set yourself up for years of better protection from water damage.

If you have questions about bathroom renovation and the products we offer, contact Modern Bathroom today!

Tips For Preventing Bathroom Mold


Ask anyone who tries to stay on top of bathroom cleaning — a big nemesis of every spotless shower installation is mold. Because it thrives in dark, damp conditions, mold loves wet spaces of the bathroom. That’s why practicing proper mold prevention is key. If you can understand and stop the growth of mold before it occurs, you can save yourself a lot of headaches and hassle in your regular bathroom upkeep. With that in mind, here’s a look at what you need to know.

Main Causes of Mold in the Bathroom

As great as it is to take daily showers/baths and use hot, running water, the downside of these pleasures is humidity. Humidity, especially without proper bathroom ventilation, creates a breeding ground for mold growth. That perpetually moist environment provides conditions for mold to thrive.

How Mold Affects the Body

Bathroom mold is more than unsightly. When you have mold around your bathtub installation, you have regular exposure to a hazardous material that can harm your health. Mold may contribute to allergic reactions, fungal infections, poisoning and other health issues. So while finding and treating mold is good, preventing its buildup in the first place is better — it protects you and your household from health risks.

Signs You Have Mold

Most of the time, spotting mold isn’t difficult. You’ll see and/or smell it creeping into nooks and crannies of the bath/shower — or bathroom in general. If mold is not readily visible, it’s important to know where and how to look for it. Check hidden areas behind pipes, under the sink, around drains and even shower walls/curtains. Sometimes it will even show up on the moist bottoms of shampoo bottles and other bath/shower items.

What to Do If You Have Mold

When dealing with mold, always wear gloves and a mask, if possible. Open windows and doors in the bathroom area to help with ventilation. Using a brush and a strong cleaning solution, scrub and clean the problem areas. Some possible cleaning solutions include undiluted vinegar; a mix of borax, ammonia and baking soda; a mixture of detergent and water; or a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.

Preventing Future Mold Growth

Short of never using water in the bathroom again, there are many ways to prevent mold growth at home. Follow these tips to keep your bathroom clean:

  • Install and/or use a fan. Every time you shower or bathe, use the exhaust fan to help with ventilation. Likewise, if you can open a window and/or door, do so. Then, for an additional 30 minutes after bathroom use, keep the fan running to help the space dry.
  • Squeegee walls after every shower use. Every time you take a bath or shower, squeegee excess water off the walls. Minimizing water accumulation helps to curb the potential for mold and mildew growth.
  • Swap shower curtains often. Find a mildew-resistant shower curtain, and replace it — or thoroughly wash and dry — often.
  • Minimize “stuff.” The more bathroom items you keep in or near your shower/tub, the more potential hiding places for moisture. Work to limit toiletries and other items in the shower/tub area in order to reduce places for mold to grow.

The good news about dealing with bathroom mold is … there are things you can do to prevent or eliminate it. Use the tips above to get better control of your bathroom cleaning, and say goodbye to mold for good.

Remodeling Your Bathroom With Resale In Mind

In terms of creating resale value, updated bathrooms rank just below a new kitchen. Potential buyers want to see new bathroom sinks, clever bathroom storage, attractive bathroom vanities, new showers and bathtubs, etc. That’s why, if you’re planning to sell soon and want to maximize your asking price, a bathroom remodel makes sense.

When you want to remodel for selling power, what are the most important upgrades to make? What should you keep in mind and how much should you spend? How can you cut costs for the best payback? To help answer these questions, here’s a look at tips to keep in mind when you want to remodel your bathroom for resale.

Your Bathroom Budget

How much you can expect to spend on a bathroom remodel depends on a variety of factors. Are you gutting the entire space and rebuilding? Are you just trying to add value to an already decent bathroom space? Look at your budget and decide what makes sense for you, whether that means replacing the toilet, the vanity and the shower door, or reworking everything from the ground up.

Why Visuals Matter

As cool as invisible features like heated floors can be in the bathroom, keep in mind that buyers shop with their eyes first. When they look at listing photos or walk through your home, their first impressions will be based on what they see. If you’re trying to decide between brightening the bathroom or adding a new flushing mechanism to the toilet, go for the visuals. Focus on bathroom features like tile colors, wall colors, quality of fixtures and other components that will be easy to notice.

Where Personal Preference Comes into Play

When you take on a home remodeling project, it’s tempting to cater everything to your tastes. When you’re remodeling for resale, however, you aren’t remodeling for yourself. That’s why you need to think like a buyer. Rather than opting for the unique purple tile or that custom-made, quirky vanity, opt for mainstream design choices that will be likely to appeal to a great number of potential buyers. You can still pick items you like, but make sure you temper your opinions with popular design at the time. When in doubt, consult outside sources (like the experts at Modern Bathroom) for advice.

Popular Color Choices

You can’t go wrong with neutral colors, which create not only a clean, but also timeless look and appeal. They are easy to personalize with accessories and go with many styles. Look for whites, light grays and beige choices for designing your new bathroom.

The Value of Storage Space

Because of all that gets done in the bathroom, storage space is at a premium. Buyers want to see that there’s room for toiletries, bathroom appliances, extra toilet paper, etc. If you can add a little convenient storage to the bathroom, it’s a good upgrade to make.

When Less Is More

Even a small bathroom can look bigger with the right design choices. Neutral colors, minimal features and fixtures in proportion to the space can go a long way toward making the most of your bathroom. Always think through the space you’re working with as you make remodeling decisions.

Keep or Replace the Bathtub/Shower

A new bathtub or shower is a great feature, but before you spring for a replacement, determine if a repair job might be a better choice. Instead of totally replacing the bathtub, for example, could you have it refinished? Instead of putting in expensive tile in the bathroom, could you opt for a prefabricated model? Likewise, think twice before removing the home’s only bathtub to replace with a shower. While showers are great, they’re not as pet-friendly or family-friendly as a tub, so you may unintentionally turn some prospects away.

Why Modern Bathroom Is Your Resource for Bathroom Fixtures

When it comes to bathroom remodeling projects, Modern Bathroom is proud to be your top resource for products from leading brands! Buy factory direct from us, and you can save up to 70 percent on prices. We have two showroom locations in California, an online catalog, and we offer free shipping throughout the country. Plus, we have a low price guarantee!

Search our website to learn more — or contact us today!

How To Polish Your Bathroom Faucets

The biggest difference between faucets in a showroom and faucets in daily household use comes down to one simple word: Shine. While most sink faucets start shiny and beautiful, over time they tend to grow dull and dirty. People are constantly washing their hands, soap is splashing onto the faucet head, and stains and water spots accumulate, taking away the faucet’s original luster. Has this happened to your bathtub/shower faucet or your sink faucet? Have you noticed a general dinginess around the faucets in your bathroom space? If so, here’s what you need to know about bathroom faucets and how to keep them looking like new.

How to Know If Your Faucet Needs Polishing

A clean faucet is a shining, streak-free faucet. When you notice an accumulation of spots and stains building on your bathroom faucet, you know it’s time to do something. This is true whether your faucet is made of glass, porcelain, chrome, brass or another material.

Benefits of Polished Faucets

It’s not hard to see the advantages that come from a clean bathroom, whether you’re talking about spotless floors or sparkling faucets. Regardless though, here’s a breakdown of some of the specific benefits to expect when you keep your faucets polished:

  • Like-new feeling. It’s as true of faucets as it is of automobiles — the better their condition, the newer and more valuable they look.
  • Overall sense of cleanliness. Creating a clean bathroom feel requires every component to be tidy, from the countertops to the sink faucet. Water spots on the faucet won’t work.
  • More of a wow factor. In terms of creating a strong first impression to guests and visitors, a sparkling faucet goes a long way. Keeping it clean and polished turns it into more of a showpiece.

Tips for Polishing Your Bathroom Faucet

To polish a faucet, you’ll need a simple list of tools: cleaning cloths, soap, vinegar, water and perhaps an old toothbrush. Additionally, here are some tips and tools that can be useful to remember:

  • Pull from the liquor cabinet. Believe it or not, vodka can be a great cleaning tool, at least when it comes to bathroom faucets. Soak a cleaning cloth in the alcohol and use it to polish glass, porcelain or chrome fixtures.
  • Try an acidic medium on soap spots. Basic white vinegar can be effective at removing soap scum and water spots. Similarly, lemon juice can help get rid of these tricky scum marks.
  • Apply oil to the clean faucet. Once the faucet shines again, rub some baby oil on it to ward off new spots and add a sparkling finish.
  • Avoid scouring pads. Abrasive cleaning tools might work well on kitchen pans, but they should stay far away from your bathroom faucets. Because abrasive cleansers can damage and scratch the faucet’s finish, avoid them, using cloths and old toothbrushes instead.
  • For brass faucets, dry and gentle is key. To get rid of spots and scum on brass faucets, stick to a damp cloth or a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water. Using anything more abrasive can damage the fixture. Likewise, once the faucet is clean, dry it thoroughly. You may even want to keep a cloth in the bathroom to regularly wipe the faucet after use, preventing new water stains from forming.

To make your sink faucets beautiful, use the tips above to stay on track. Also, when you’re looking for new bathroom faucets, come to Modern Bathroom. We’re proud to offer a wide range of features and fixtures to outfit any style of bathroom.