Dear Angie: How much does it cost to have a new toilet installed? — Susan M., Mount Sinai, N.Y.
Answer: In checking with highly rated plumbers, our researchers find the average price to install a traditional, homeowner-supplied toilet ranges from $125 to $260.
The price can fluctuate depending on several factors, including whether you want the plumber to haul away the old toilet, whether the toilet has special features and if important plumbing components are in good condition.
Our research team found that a plumber usually requires an hour or two to install a toilet. The process generally includes:
■ Turning off and disconnecting the water.
■ Repairing the shut-off valve if it's not working properly.
■ Draining the old toilet, removing it and inspecting the flange — which connects the toilet to the drainpipe on the floor — to see whether repairs are needed.
■ Setting the new toilet, connecting the water and testing to make sure the toilet works properly.
Generally included in the installation price are the wax ring — which seals the toilet around the drain — new anchors and a new supply line.
Installing a toilet can be a do-it-yourself project, but be aware that errors can cause floor damage, leaks and other problems that might require a call to a plumber.
Pros tell our team that common DIY mistakes include:
■ Resetting a toilet on a damaged flange.
■ Inadequate or incorrect caulking.
■ Improper compression of the wax seal.
The pricing range assumes you supply the toilet. Often, consumers will buy one from the same company they hire to do the installation. Or, they might buy one separately and hire a plumber to do the install. Either way, it's helpful for consumers to know the costs and aspects of a basic toilet installation.
Before hiring a plumber to install a toilet or do any work in your home, check to confirm appropriate licensing and insurance. Most states, including Kentucky, require plumbers to be licensed, and it's always a good idea to ensure that a contractor carries adequate liability insurance.
Get a detailed estimate in writing before agreeing to any work, and check that the plumbing work and the parts are covered under warranty. Reputable plumbers will offer a warranty on their installation service.
Also, confirm how long the plumber has been in business, and ask for and check references.