Installing a new toilet is a popular home improvement task that can improve your comfort and add value to your property. When calculating your toilet installation cost, there are some key considerations, including what type of toilet you are fitting, the current plumbing within your bathroom, the cistern type you are using and the importance of preparation.
In this toilet installation cost guide, we focus on the key factors that will affect the cost of your new toilet installation. This guide is packed full of information and expert insight to ensure you understand the considerations for a new toilet, the time you can expect it to take to fit your new toilet. If you’re thinking about getting a new toilet fitted, it’s best to get an idea on the price ahead of time. We recognise the importance of keeping within budget, so we’ve spoken to the online estimators at My Build Estimate – a professional estimating company monitored by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
|Toilet installation cost||Supply only||Install only|
|Close coupled toilet||£100+||£100+|
|Hidden or wall hung cistern||£250+||£300+|
|Low level cistern||£125+||£150+|
|High level cistern||£150+||£150+|
|Specialist hands free toilet||£1500+||£400+|
|Removing and disposing the existing toilet||-||£75+|
|Adjust the water waste||-||£100+|
|Build & tile the frame (hidden cistern)||-||£350+|
- What to plan for
- New toilet installation costs
- Calculating toilet installation costs
- Types of toilet
- Cistern types
- Bathroom preparation
- Toilet installation process
- And much more
What to plan for
Replacing your toilet can be as simple as removing the old one and slotting a new one into its place. However, there are several factors that can affect the price that you will pay, including:
- The condition of your current plumbing, property and room access
- your choice of toilet and cistern
- the project materials required
- the management and disposal of waste
- the number of toilets that need to be installed
>Let’s review each of the factors that can affect the cost to plumb a new toilet in more detail below.
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Key toilet installation cost considerations
The majority of homes are fitted with gravity-feed toilets. If you are replacing an existing toilet, it’s highly likely that your toilet will be this type. When installing an identical toilet in the same position as the old one, the water supply and waste pipe can simply be hooked up, and the toilet fitted quickly.
Using a different type of toilet or cistern, or moving the position of the toilet within the room will take longer and cost more.
The size and ease of access to your bathroom will affect the time it takes to complete the job. Working in tight spaces like a cloakroom toilet or loft conversion can increase the time it takes to complete the job.
The cost of a downstairs toilet installation may be lower than installing a toilet in a loft-room, for example, as access is more straightforward.
Type of toilet and cistern
Your choice of toilet and cistern will have a direct impact on the time it takes to fit them and the overall cost. Your selection of a floor standing or wall-standing toilet or close-coupled or low- or high-level cistern will affect the time it takes to complete the job.
As well as the new toilet that you are installing, you will also need to supply a new flexible hose that links your toilet to the soil pipe (which removes the waste). Depending on the type of toilet that you are fitting, you may need to budget for the cost to box-in pipes and other cosmetic work required.
If you are fitting a different size or type of toilet to the one that is already fitted, you may need to pay for retiling of the bathroom or the affected area.
Removal of the old toilet
This job demands care and attention. Most toilets are porcelain and can break easily if they are mistreated. Toilets and cisterns also need to be emptied of water and waste before they are removed, otherwise this water will leak out; causing damage to paintwork and flooring throughout the house.
The number of toilets being installed
The number of toilets that you need to install will have an impact on the timescales for the job and the costs incurred. Replacing more than one toilet at the same time will be cheaper than replacing them individually. In this guide, the costs and timescales supplied are for replacing one toilet.
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Calculating toilet installation costs
The immediate costs of replacing your toilet include the purchase of a new toilet pan and cistern and the consumables you may need to complete the job (including seals, drill bits and other items). There are a variety of hidden costs that you must consider before accurately pricing up the job.
A simple job to replace an existing toilet with an identical new unit (or one that’s very similar) can take between 2 – 4 hours and cost from £100. But as we have seen there are additional factors that need to be considered and planned for.
Installing a new toilet is a job that you may consider undertaking yourself, however, there are risks with working on such an essential part of the home. An experienced and qualified tradesperson equipped with the right tools and the right attitude is likely to be able to complete the job more quickly and to a higher standard than a member of the general public.
Dealing with running water in a pressurised system and waste systems also pose risks to health
and safety that professional tradespeople are accustomed to managing. They are also equipped to deal with any problems they discover with your existing plumbing system, including damaged soil pipes or water supplies.
If you are planning on replacing your toilet and cistern, a tradesperson may be able to provide a quote in advance and highlight any issues you may face with your choice of toilet and cistern before you purchase them. They may also be able to advise on any potential installation issues you may not have considered.
Engaging a trained and qualified professional can ensure the task is completed safely and speedily, without risk to you or your property and at the lowest possible cost.
Your toilet installation cost will be affected by the current condition and situation of your plumbing. A simple like-for-like toilet swap, where a similar-sized unit slotted into place using the existing fitting and fixture is the cheapest option.
Other considerations that may affect the price you pay to install a toilet include:
Your property’s age and condition
If your current plumbing is in a poor state of repair, is old or leaks, then you should expect to pay more. Common jobs that may also need to be completed before installing your new toilet include repairs to soil pipes and water pipes.
Some older homes may still be fitted with lead pipes – these must be replaced. If you are replacing your toilet, it makes financial sense to tackle any jobs that could, in the future, affect the performance of your toilet.
Access to plumbing
Any challenges with accessing your plumbing could increase the cost of your toilet installation. Common issues include working in narrow or tight spaces – this is a specific problem in cloakroom toilets, toilets in loft conversions and in en-suites.
If the water supply or soil pipe is inaccessible in your current bathroom (because the area has been boxed-in or tiled-over for example), your plumber may need to find ways to access them, including removing tiles, which can increase toilet fitting costs if they need to be replaced.
Whether isolation valves are fitted
Your toilet should have an isolation valve fitted to it, which enables your plumber to stop water continuing to be supplied to the toilet. If an isolation valve hasn’t been fitted, the plumber will need to cut off water to your entire property, which is inconvenient and can increase costs. They will also need to fit an isolation valve when installing your toilet.
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Types of toilet
The flushing toilet has been with us for almost 500 years, with the original design not changing much since then. There are four main toilet types currently available, including:
- Gravity-feed toilets (including dual-flush toilets)
- Double cyclone toilets
- Waterless toilets
Gravity feed toilets
Gravity feed toilets have been around for almost 500 years, and are based on the engineering principles used by its inventor Sir John Harington. When you pull the handle on your toilet or push the button on the cistern, a flapper valve at the bottom of the tank lifts up allowing a large amount of water to rush down into the toilet through the flush valve opening. The force of this water is enough to push the waste inside your toilet bowl through the toilet trap and out into the drainage system.
The timeless design uses no additional force or power than the pressure of water. As the water level drops in the cistern, a float ball inside the cistern drops causing the fill valve (often called the ballcock) to open, automatically refilling the cistern with water so that it is ready for the next push. At the same time, the fill valve sends water through the overflow tube into the toilet bowl, refilling it with water.
Traditionally, gravity feed systems were activated by pulling a handle, however, today many toilets use a push-button system to start the flushing process. Handle and push-button operated systems work in exactly the same way.
Gravity feed toilets are simple pieces of engineering, which makes them relatively easy – and cheap – to fix. The majority of replacement parts, including ballcocks and flush mechanisms, are available to purchase online and require few specialist tools to fix.
The overwhelming majority of homes are fitted with gravity-feed toilets. This guide focuses on the costs and considerations of installing a new gravity-feed toilet.
Dual flush toilets
Many gravity feed toilets come fitted with a dual-flush system; where there are two buttons on the cistern. The smaller button releases only a partial flush, with the larger button releasing a standard flush. A dual flush system enables the user to choose how much water is released and can save significant amounts of water over a standard flush system.
While still using gravity-feed principles, dual flush toilets include more complicated flushing mechanisms which can be more costly to repair or replace than standard toilet mechanisms.
Pressure assisted toilets
Pressure-assisted toilets cause pressurised air to literally force the water into the bowl. The water is supplied at a higher force than in gravity-feed toilets, which means that the toilet is less likely to become blocked. Pressure-assisted toilets can be noisy and are usually only used in demanding applications. Pressure assisted toilets are more expensive than gravity-feed toilets and are more complicated, meaning that parts and repairs can be more expensive.
Double cyclone toilets
A relatively new development, double cyclone toilets use two nozzles to propel water into the bowl, rather than holes around the rim. This means that the toilet uses less water to provide the same level of waste disposal.<
Waterless toilets use no water to carry away your water. In a waterless urinal, the waste passes through a strainer to capture any debris before being mixed with a sealing liquid that conveys it into the sewerage system.
A self-contained waterless toilet is commonly used in areas where there is no access to water or plumbing. Rather than being flushed into the sewerage system, the waste deposited in the toilet is collected and needs to be disposed of. It can be mixed with materials like wood chippings to remove the smell.
The technology used to flush gravity-feed toilets are simple and reliable, but poor installation or repeated use can cause some common problems that may require a professional plumber to fix, including:
While the toilet is releasing the water
A loose, damaged or disjointed lift chain or mechanism won’t lift the flapper valve off the flush valve, meaning your toilet won’t flush.
One of the commonest problems is a damaged, worn or misaligned flapper valve that fails to reseat in the flush valve. This can result in a continuous stream of water rushing down the bowl instead of being contained within the cistern. Also, if the refill tube and overflow tube become separated, no water will flow into the toilet bowl, leaving it empty.
After the toilet has been flushed
If the fill valve is faulty or misaligned, it can cause water to continue to be pulled into the cistern. If too much water is drawn into the cistern, it will spill into the overflow tube, which will cause the toilet to constantly run water. If there’s not enough water in the cistern for some reason, then when you come to flush again, it won’t function properly and will leave waste in the toilet bowl.
Floor standing and wall-hung toilets
Gravity feed toilets can come in a variety of shapes and sizes to appeal to modern consumers and fit into modern and traditional bathrooms. The two main types of gravity feed toilet are floor-standing toilets and wall-hung toilets.
Floor standing toilets are, as their name suggests, fixed to the floor of your bathroom with bolts. This stops the toilet from moving. Wall-hung toilets are fixed to the wall with a series of sturdy bolts or bespoke fixings, giving a contemporary finish to a bathroom.
Increasing competition between manufacturers and retailers, and popularity among customers, have seen the costs for wall-hung toilets fall. Today, a basic wall hung toilet is often no more expensive than a floor-standing one.
If you are installing a new toilet in a new bathroom, then the choice of which toilet to choose is yours. If you are replacing an existing toilet, it’s likely to be most cost-effective to replace an existing floor-standing toilet with another floor-standing toilet or a wall-hung toilet with another.
Fitting a new wall-hung toilet in an existing bathroom can come with some complications. Unless you are directly replacing a toilet with an identical replacement, you may need to secure new fixings to the wall and adapt the current soil pipe and water supply. This can increase costs and take more time.
There may be additional costs to make-good the surrounding area. Drilling new holes into tiling has the potential to cause damage which could be expensive to repair.
The replacement parts and repair bills for floor-standing toilets and gravity-feed toilets are the same. While externally, they may appear different, internally they are the same and are simple to work on.
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There is a variety of cistern types to accompany gravity-feed toilets, including close-coupled toilet cisterns, low-level toilet cisterns and high-level toilet cisterns. They all work in the same way, by supplying the water to flush out the waste, refilling the toilet pan and refilling themselves. They can be fitted with lever-operated, and push-button operated flush mechanisms.
We explore the differences between cistern types in more detail below.
Close-coupled toilet cisterns
Within close-coupled toilets, the pipework is often hidden with the casing of the toilet which some customers prefer.
Close-coupled toilets can come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are great for fitting into tight or awkward spaces, including cloakroom toilets and en-suite bathrooms.
Low-level toilet cisterns
Low-level cisterns are a traditional type of toilet where the cistern is located above the toilet and is connected with an exposed flush pipe. The pipework can be either metal or plastic, depending on taste and budget.
As well as providing a traditional look for a bathroom, low-level cisterns are more straightforward and easier to work on than close-coupled or sealed units. If the cistern itself needs to be replaced, you can do so without having to replace the toilet pan. Low-level cisterns can also be concealed, providing a contemporary look to your bathroom, something we explore below.
High-level toilet cisterns
A high-level cistern functions the same way as a low-level cistern, with the cistern linked to the pan with a pipe. High-level cisterns are a traditional way to fit a toilet and are popular in period homes. Depending on the height of a high-level cistern, you may need a step-ladder to gain access to the mechanism.
The difference between sealed cisterns and exposed cisterns
Some customers prefer to hide their cistern away, in what are called sealed cistern systems. The cistern itself can be mounted behind a wall, leaving only the pan exposed and accessible. Fitting a sealed cistern is more costly, with a suitable space created behind the cistern to house it.
If the cistern breaks and needs to be repaired, gaining access to it can be complicated. The bathroom fitter should make allowances for maintenance, either by fitting a maintenance panel or access tiles. If the cistern isn’t accessible they may need to cut through tiles or remove sections of your bathroom wall. Repairing and replacing any tiles or touching up paintwork can be expensive.
Are cisterns universal?
If you have a low-level toilet cistern or a high-level toilet cistern, then you can replace just the cistern itself. If you have a close-coupled toilet cistern or a matched two-piece toilet unit, then you will need to replace both the cistern and the pan.
Before your new toilet can be fitted, the area will need to be prepared. This includes ensuring the area is ready for the plumber to complete their work. The time it takes to prepare your bathroom can affect the installation cost of your new toilet. If you are looking to minimise the costs of installing a new toilet, you can complete many of these tasks yourself.
Essential bathroom preparation tasks include:
Removing the old toilet and cistern
Removing a toilet is a process that must be done with care; porcelain toilets are fragile and liable to break if mishandled. Your plumber will fit a soil pipe cover to protect the pipe and ensure no nasty smells escape into your house.
Recycling your old toilet and cistern
If you want your plumber to dispose of the toilet for you, there will be a cost involved in this. Traders need to have a commercial waste license, something that they must pay for.
Cleaning the area
It’s essential to clean the area where your new toilet will be situated, removing any dirt, grime or debris. If your new toilet or cistern is directly replacing an old one, you may be able to use the existing screw holes to bolt it to the floor. If you do need to drill new holes in the floor or wall, take care – check if there’s anything underneath where you’re drilling into.
Tiling the surrounding area
If you are installing a new toilet as part of a bathroom replacement, once the toilet has been removed, you will need to wait for any flooring to be fitted and finished before the new toilet can be set in place.<
Your toilet must be situated on a level surface to work correctly. If the surface slopes upwards or downwards, not only will your toilet not sit flush to the floor, it may not work properly. During the preparation, you must ensure that the surface is level before your plumber comes to fit it.
Once these tasks have been completed, your plumber will be ready to begin the process of installing your new toilet.
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Toilet installation process
The toilet installation process includes the following steps:
- Removing and disposing of the old toilet.
- Preparing the area, including removing and replacing any tiles and flooring.
- Measuring up the area in advance of the installation process.
- Remove the soil cover on your new toilet and add the wax ring.
- Connect your toilet to the soil pipe.
- Secure the toilet to the floor (if it’s a floor-standing toilet) or to the wall if it’s a wall-hung toilet.
- Install the cistern tank.
- Connect the water pipe to the cistern.
- Turn on the water.
- Turn on the water to the rest of the property (if this has been turned off).
- Finish the area.
How long will my toilet installation take?
Every toilet installation, like every property, is unique. The average time it takes to fit a new toilet is between 2 – 4 hours, but when calculating the time it will take and comparing quotes from expert tradespeople.
Toilet pre and post installation checklist
- Measure up your bathroom.
- Take a note of the existing type of toilet pan and cistern system that you have fitted.
- Look at how the toilet and cistern are secured to the wall and/or floor.
- Look at the current state of the plumbing.
- Decide on what type of toilet and cistern type that you want to fit in your bathroom.
- Speak to an expert to understand the implications of your toilet choice.
- Decide who will safely remove and dispose of your existing toilet and cistern.
- If you are using a plumber, ensure that they are qualified and registered with the appropriate professional bodies.
- Once the toilet is fitted check for any leaks or damage before signing off the work or using the toilet.
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