Whilst fitting and plumbing your new bathroom should be firmly left in the hands of a qualified professional tradesperson, you can find out how to fit a toilet with this handy step-by-step guide.

If you're looking to save money on your bathroom installation cost, and are confident and competent when it comes to DIY, you could, potentially, install a toilet yourself.

Our step-by-step instructions below will guide you through the installation of a close coupled toilet, which is the most common design used in the UK. If you are unsure what type of toilet you have, watch the following short video:

You can find fitting instructions for other bathroom products by clicking the links below:

What is a close coupled toilet?

A close coupled toilet is one of the most common designs you’ll find in bathrooms up and down the UK. The cistern is situated directly above the pan and is “closely coupled” together – hence the name. Some of the best bathrooms tend to have a toilet that is designed to match the rest of the suite. Some, even have smaller toilet dimensions, to make optimum use of space.

Oakley close coupled toilet

The Oakley is a great example of a close coupled toilet

Before you do anything

Always unpack your toilet immediately after delivery. Check for any damage or faults as it’s better to find them now, rather than during installation.

Always turn off your water at the mains before attempting any DIY in the bathroom.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Standard screwdrivers
  • Electric drill
  • Spanner set

Check you have the following:

Usually supplied with toilet:

  • Toilet pan
  • Toilet cistern
  • Flush mechanism
  • Rubber gasket (ring-shaped)
  • Long fixing bolts

May need to buy separately:

Will need to buy separately:

Typical time to complete:

2–3 hours

How much will a Tradesperson typically charge?


Here is how to fit a close coupled toilet

Step 1

Work on the cistern first. Follow the instructions provided to put together and insert the flush. Rubber sealing rings will be provided, so make sure you use these where indicated.

Step 2

Next, move onto the pan. There will be a ring-shaped rubber item called a gasket. This should be placed on the flush entry to the pan, between the cistern and the toilet bowl.

Step 3

Back to the cistern again. Locate holes at the bottom of this and insert the long fixing bolts provided, along with rubber and large metal washers.

Step 4

Ensure the pan is upright. Pick up the cistern and place it on top so the connecting bolts slot into corresponding holes on the pan, making sure the rubber gasket is seated correctly. The protruding part of the flush mechanism should go easily through the rubber gasket.

Step 5

Fix washers and wing nuts to the connecting bolts and tighten, but don’t overtighten.

Step 6

Place the toilet in your desired position, making note of the toilet dimensions, then attach the flexi pan connector onto the soil pipe. Slide the pan outlet onto this.

Step 7

Drill guide holes into the floor where the fixing points are located. If you’re placing your toilet on a solid floor, as opposed to floorboards, you’ll need to use plugs in the holes.

Handy hint: Before drilling anything, use an electronic pipe or cable detector to ensure there are no pipes or potentially dangerous electrics under the floor or in the wall.

Step 8

Use plastic protective inserts in the fixing points and insert and tighten your screws. There may also be fixing points at the back of the toilet. If this is the case, you’ll need to repeat the process by drilling guide holes, plugging and fixing screws.

Step 9

Connect the cold water feed to the inlet on the cistern, making sure the shut off valve is in place.

Step 10

Move onto the seat. Follow the instructions provided to fit the seat to the ceramic pan.

Step 11

Use the screws supplied to secure the seat to the pan, before finally adjusting, so the seat is in the right position.

Handy hint: Make sure the seat can remain in an upright position. If not, adjust.

Congratulations, you’ve now fitted your toilet.

Final words

Whilst DIY can be a good way to save time and money, you should always hire a qualified professional to plumb and install your products. The instructions above are simply a guide to fitting your new toilet and shouldn’t be used to cover full plumbing and installation.