How to Replace a Toilet With a Shower
Updating your bathroom to remove a toilet and replace it with a shower is a challenging project. Since your toilet already comes with a waste outlet and a water inlet, some of the plumbing work is done for you. But if you're like most of us, you're going to want to take a shower with hot water, which means you'll also have to run a hot water supply to where the toilet used to be.
Remove the Toilet
Turn off the water supply for the toilet at the wall. Flush the toilet to get rid of all the water inside. Wipe up any excess with a towel and sponges.
Unscrew the bolts that hold the tank to the toilet. Lift off the tank and set it aside.
Use a utility knife to cut through any caulk holding the toilet bowl to the floor. Remove the plastic caps by the base to reveal the flange bolts. Unscrew the bolts, then remove the nuts and washers.
Rock the bowl gently back and forth to free it from the O-ring. Lift it up and out of the way.
Remove the flange bolts and clear away the remnants of the wax ring.
Installing the Shower
Turn off the water supply for your house. Rough in the plumbing. If the shower is going to have hot water, you must run a hot water supply to where the shower is going to be. The easiest way to do this task is to tap into the hot water from a nearby sink. You must also add an elbow joint to what used to be the toilet's cold water inlet. The elbow joint will run the water up, along the wall for your shower inlet. If you're not using a shower stall, run the pipes up through the wall to hide them.
Install a PVC reducing bushing in the closest flange. This will seal off the waste pipe and prevent odors from leaking into your house. From this reducing bushing, you'll either run a rubber hose and clamps or a PVC pipe to the shower drain, depending on your shower model and the placement of the drain outlet. If the flange sticks above the floor and is of the older cast-iron type, cut off the outer rim with a heavy duty saw such as a sawsall.
If you're installing a shower stall, make sure that it's adequately supported. You might need to add a small wall to keep the shower in place. Again, this depends on your installation.
Hook up the plumbing and maneuver the shower stall in place. In a stand-alone shower, put up any doors or walls to keep the water from splashing out.
Caulk around the edges of the shower. Run the water and check for leaks.
- The steps above are just a guide. Specific installation will depend on your shower make and model. Always follow manufacturer's instructions.
- PEX is a new type of plastic pipe that can make roughing in new plumbing much easier. It should be carried at your local hardware store.
- Use the proper safety equipment when operating power tools.
- When working with PVC cement, make sure your area is well vented.
Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.
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