How to Replace Toilet Floor Anchor Screws

Updated February 21, 2017

A toilet's flange works with the wax ring to maintain a watertight seal between the bottom of the toilet and the drain pipe in the bathroom floor. Loose anchor screws, which work to hold the flange in place on the floor, will cause the toilet's base to leak water. You will notice either a pool of water gathering around the toilet's base, or water coming through the ceiling below the toilet. Replacing the anchor screws as well as creating new screw holes in the floor will remedy the situation.

Shut off the water to the toilet by turning the water valve clockwise as far as possible by hand. Push down on the toilet's handle to flush it once and drain the water out of the tank.

Loosen the connection between the water valve's housing and the toilet's water line using an adjustable wrench. Pull the plastic domes off the toilet's base, then remove the nuts from the bolts using the wrench.

Pull up on the toilet bowl to remove it from the bolts, then set the toilet aside. Remove the old wax ring using a putty knife, then wipe down the flange with a rag moistened with white spirit.

Remove the anchor screws from the floor, then turn the flange so the screw holes sit in new locations. Use a marker to make a dot on the floor for the new location of each new screw hole.

Drill pilot holes where you marked on the floor, stopping once the drill reaches the subfloor; use a drill with a quarter-inch drill bit. Drive screws through the flange and the pilot holes. Press the rounded side of a wax ring onto the bottom of the toilet, around the drain opening.

Lower the toilet over the closet bolts, then tighten the nuts onto the bolts until the wax ring compresses and the toilet rests on the floor. Sit on the toilet to make sure it does not rock in any direction. Replace the dome caps over the bolts, then reattach the water line to the valve housing. Turn the water valve handle counterclockwise until it stops, refilling the toilet tank with water.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Putty knife
  • Rag
  • White spirit
  • Marker
  • Drill
  • Anchor screws
  • New wax ring
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