You have most likely never truly examined your toilet. The only time you really need to do so is if something goes wrong, or something needs to be replaced. If you are in a situation where water is leaking onto your floor from the toilet, then you most likely will want to figure out how to solve it.

There are a few different types of toilets but the most common are one-piece and two-piece toilets. The most residential toilets are two-piece, which include the tank and the bowl. If you have a two-piece toilet and something happens to your toilet tank, you can simply buy a new one and replace it.

Sometimes toilets are easily fixable, while other times they are not. If your toilet tank is beyond repair, then you will need to know how to replace your toilet tank.

How to Replace a Toilet Tank

If there is a problem with your toilet tank such as a crack, then there is no way to repair it. In this case, you will need to replace it. Replacing a toilet tank is not necessarily fun, but it is not a difficult task either.

Tanks and toilet bowls are usually sold separately. This means you can buy just the tank. Just remember to match it with the toilet manufacturer and model so that the installation will go seamlessly.

Things You Will Need

  • Towel
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • New toilet tank

Step 1

Begin by turning off the water supply at the water valve. You will find this behind the toilet coming out from the floor or the wall behind the tank.

Step 2

Drain all of the water from the bowl by flushing the toilet. You can use a sponge or a towel to remove any remaining water.

Step 3

Remove the tank lid and find the nuts on the bolts that hold the tank on the bowl. Loosen these nuts with an adjustable wrench. The bolts are typically inserted through the base of the tank and can be found near the center of the bowl. These are then attached with nuts found behind the bowl.

Step 4

If your tank is cracked or damaged be sure to take caution. Pick up the tank and move it to the side.

Step 5

When getting the new tank ready, you will need to ensure that there is a rubber gasket installed. Sometimes manufacturers include this, but if not you will need to do it yourself.

Step 6

Place the new tank in the right place. Be sure to line up any holes in the tank with holes on the bowl.

Step 7

Most tanks will come with bolts, washers, and nuts. If they do not, then you can either reuse old bolts, or you can pick them up at your local hardware store.

Next, you should take a rubber washer and place one over each mounting bolt. Place these into the tank from the inside.

Note: The rubber washer goes inside the tank, while the metal washer and nut go on the end of the bolt.

Step 8

Take the metal washer and place it over the end of the bolt from the backside of the bowl. Tighten the nuts on the bolts.

Step 9

Take your screwdriver and place it into the bolt from the inside of the toilet. You will want to hold the nut with an adjustable wrench as you do this.

Turn the bolt with the screwdriver but do not over-tighten as you can crack the porcelain on your toilet.

Step 10

You should be finished now, so turn the water supply so you can check for leaks. Once the tank has filled, flush the toilet to fill the bowl. As long as you have no leaks you will have successfully completed a toilet tank replacement.

Two-Piece vs One-Piece Toilets

Although there are a lot of similarities between two-piece and one-piece toilets, there are definitely a few noteworthy differences as well.


The main difference between these two types of toilets is that a one-piece toilet has a tank and a bowl as one unit. Two-piece toilets have a separate tank and separate bowl that can both be replaced. You can see this difference by looking at the seam that is visible on the two-piece, and non-existent on a one-piece.


It would seem pointless to buy a one-piece toilet if you cannot replace the parts separately, and they are more expensive, right? Not necessarily. The one-piece toilet is actually easier to clean because of the lack of gaps between the toilet tank and the bowl. This allows for a more hygienic experience. This is the primary reason people purchase one-piece toilets.

The joint area of the two-piece toilet can hold mold, bacteria, and other disgusting grime. Although you may want to clean this part of your toilet, it can be very difficult to do so properly without removing the tank.


When you are installing a two-piece toilet you can do so in parts, you do not have that luxury with a one-piece. Installing the one-piece toilet can be difficult due to it being incredibly heavy. It can also be hard to put a one-piece toilet into smaller bathrooms because of this.

If you are strong, then you may be able to install a one-piece on your own, but you will most likely need help. Again, if you are installing the toilet into a small bathroom, getting help may not be possible.

When installing the two-piece toilet, it will most likely be a bit easier because you can take the tank and the bowl separately. This makes it easy for one person to complete on their own. The only tricky part of installing a two-piece toilet is mounting the tank on the bowl. Be very careful to do this according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or risk leaks

The rest of the toilet installation process is the same between the two types of toilets. All you will need to do is connect the water supply, and caulk.


All toilets are made from porcelain which makes them incredibly durable. Since the one-piece toilet is one solid piece of porcelain, there is less of a risk for joint parts to break. This provides less of an opportunity for the need to replace these small plastic parts, hence making them more durable.

You will also never need to worry about water leaking from the tank of a one-piece toilet. Without spaces for the water to leak out of, the risk does not exist.

When you are working with a two-piece toilet, you will need to take extra care to secure the rubber gasket on the tank. The rubber gasket seals the tank and can become worn away after years of continuous use. This is due to soaking in water.

Despite this, both of these types of toilets can last for many years as long as they are maintained properly. Overall, the one-piece model is definitely a bit more durable because of its lack of joints.

Related Questions

Why should I choose a one-piece toilet over a two-piece?

One-piece toilets are easy to clean and look very modern. The only downside is that they can be more expensive, and harder to install than two-piece toilets.