If your old toilet is wearing down, you want a new look, need more accessibility or are fitting a new bathroom – you’ll want to install a new toilet.
Here, toilet installation can vary significantly depending on what kind of toilet you want. For example, a classic cistern toilet installs in less than an hour – unless you still have to run the pipes. A hidden cistern can take several days.
However, on average, you’re looking at about £300-£800 for the supply and fit of a toilet. That can be as low as £300 for a cistern toilet and as high as £800 for a hands-free toilet.
Here, about half of the costs are supply and the other half are fit – as most plumbers cost £40-£60 per hour, with a day rate of £300-£500.
How Much Does Installing A Toilet Cost?*
The major consideration in fitting a new toilet will be the type of toilet.
Therefore, you’ll have to figure out what kind of toilet you want before getting an accurate cost quote.
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*Please note these cost estimates are based on quotes at the time of writing in May of 2023. Actual costs are subject to change and may be different at the time of reading.
You’ll also face some additional costs. For example:
- Removing Old Toilet – £50-£150
- Cutting Cavity for Hidden Cistern – £60-£100
- Rerouting water and soil pipe for new WC – £600-£4,000
- Installing new water closet – £2,500-£4,000
If you need any of these costs covered, you can expect the total project rate to increase.
However, it’s much cheaper to have a single plumber remove the old toilet and fit a new one than to have the work done in two separate stages.
5 Toilet Fitting Pricing Factors
The major cost factors of fitting a toilet are the cost of the unit and the cost of labour.
However, there are several factors that will impact each of these costs.
1. Type of Toilet
Toilet units range from about £100 to over £1,200 per unit. A standard or “high level cistern” toilet is the cheapest and the most available. These start out at about £100 but normally cost around £250-£350 for a quality model.
On the other hand, low-level cistern or eco-toilets can cost more. They use design to pressurise the toilet so you can flush using less water. However, you won’t normally spend more than £500 on average unless you pick a designer toilet.
Accessible toilets like hands-free toilets are more expensive. These can average between £950 and £1,000 just for the toilet. However, they start from around £500. They’ll also require more fitting costs, because they require either an electrical line or batteries.
And, integrated, built-in or hidden-cistern toilets can take a significant amount of time to install because you might have to dismantle a wall to fit them. They’ll also cost more to buy, but not too much.
In fact, hidden cistern toilets still average at around £350- £500 for a good quality one.
2. Toilet Brand
Toilet brands can vary a lot in price. Sometimes that’s about amenities and quality. For example, you might get an actual porcelain toilet instead of a ceramic one.
However, often, it’s just a brand. A designer toilet may be £1,250 but it may not be any better quality than the £250 option at the local hardware store. However, it may fit the aesthetics and design choices you want for your home – there’s much more to choosing toilet units than quality.
Here, basic and budget options usually start between £100 and £150. This will get you a bare-bones option. However, you may notice that the internal mechanisms aren’t as high quality and aren’t as smooth as higher-end toilets.
Mid-range toilets typically start at around £250 and go up to about £700. These balance appearance, mechanism quality and materials. However, you’ll still have to look at them individually to determine quality.
3. Same or New Model
Fitting a new toilet of the same model and type into an old space will take about an hour at most. In most cases, it’s a simple matter of undoing old bolts, re-greasing rings and bolting the new toilet on.
If you have a hidden cistern toilet, you may have to open up the wall, replace the cistern and then re-tile over it. However, all of the spaces will be there and you can relatively easily fit the new toilet.
On the other hand, if you’re moving from one type of toilet to another, fitting a toilet may be more complicated. That’s especially true with hanging and hidden cistern systems. Here, you may have to remove tile from the wall and even expand the size of the wall to hide the cistern inside.
Even if you’re moving to a close-coupled toilet, you might have to make changes to the water pipes or the wall. For example, if the toilet takes up less space, it may show unsightly pipework that the previous toilet covered.
4. Local Rate of Labour
Most plumbers charge £40-£60 per hour or up to £480 per day. Most toilets can be installed within a day, no matter what the type of toilet. So, you’re typically looking at about a maximum of £480 for fitting costs.
However, in some areas, plumbers may charge more or less than the average. For example, in Greater London and East England, costs may be as high as £80 per hour. If you’re spending 6 hours fitting a new toilet, that can be significantly more expensive.
In rural areas, costs may be lower. However, plumbing is a high-skill job, so rates usually don’t go lower than £40 per hour for a plumber in the Competent Person’s Register.
5. Other Cost Factors
There are plenty of other cost factors that may affect what you pay for a new toilet. Some of the most important include:
- Whether you’re moving the toilet or not. If you’re replacing it in the same location, costs will be minimal.
- If it’s a new bathroom. Even a new WC can cost up to £4,000 and may require planning permission and notifications, which will add up to £840 in costs.
- Delivery costs can run over £100 if you can’t pick the unit up yourself.
- Disposing of an old toilet can cost up to £75 if you can’t dispose of it yourself or if the plumber doesn’t dispose of it for you.
- The condition of the drains and soil pipe. If they’re old and corroded, it might be a good idea to upgrade them before fitting the toilet.
In most cases, you won’t see any of these complications. However, if you do, it will greatly increase the cost of your project.
What’s Involved In Fitting A Toilet?
The steps to install a new toilet can vary quite a bit depending on what kind of toilet you have. For example, a wall-mounted toilet requires different steps than a floor-mounted toilet.
However, fitting a toilet normally looks like this:
- Finding a New Toilet – You’ll want to find and purchase the new toilet before you remove the old one. That’s important because you can’t leave the soil pipe uncovered. Have it ready to install in your home.
- Removing the Old Toilet and Flange – Turn off the water in your bathroom. Then, flush the toilet. Have a bucket ready. Then, unbolt the water lines leading to the cistern. Allow them to drip into a bucket. From there, all you have to do is unbolt the mounts at the base of the toilet (normally four) and your toilet will pull off the floor. Make sure you have someone to help.
- Fitting a Toilet Flange – Remove the old toilet flange and fit the new one in the same place, ensuring that the bolts are in place. In some cases, you’ll be able to replace the wax seal on the old flange. In other cases, you’ll have to cut the old one out and then glue the new one in.
- Fitting the Toilet – Slide the new toilet over the bolts and onto the flange. Bolt it in place, following the instructions that came with the flange. Keep in mind you want it tight enough to flatten the wax seal so that it becomes water and airtight. Fit the cistern – either by hanging it on the wall or sliding it onto the back of the toilet and bolting it into place. Then, connect the water lines. Turn the water back on and test the toilet.
If you have a toilet with a hidden cistern, you’ll have to remove that as a separate process. However, the steps will otherwise be the same.
Types Of Toilets
In most cases, choosing a toilet is about preference. In other cases, it’s about accessibility, space or the layout of your bathroom.
A standard lever or push button cistern toilet features a toilet unit with a cistern mounted to the back. This cistern is normally up to 8 litres but may be as small as 4.8. The mechanisms are close together – meaning that the toilet is cost-effective to produce.
However, standard toilets may take up more space and use more water than other models. At the same time, they’re also the most cost-effective option, because they are the basic option everyone has.
Low cistern toilets are a good option for anyone with kids. These have a toilet seat as low as 300mm from the floor or up to 10 cm lower than a standard toilet. However, these toilets are not ideal for the elderly or the mobility impaired, as they can require more stress to get up from.
However, these toilets also normally have a cistern situated higher from the toilet bowl. This means they provide more pressure when flushing.
You can therefore use less water than with a standard toilet. Therefore, many people choose them as a water-saving option, even if they don’t have kids.
Close-coupled toilets feature a toilet and cistern that are typically one piece. These save space and can look better in your bathroom.
However, they’re also heavier and harder to move. Otherwise, they offer the same pros and cons as a standard toilet.
Hands-free toilets use sensors or foot flushing mechanisms to allow you to flush without hands. This makes them ideal for accessibility and for anyone who would like to maximise cleanliness.
However, these systems can be extremely expensive, with most averaging around £900. Still, they can allow someone with mobility issues to flush a toilet without extra help, making them an essential to many.
Hidden cistern toilets use a thin and flat cistern system that instals inside the bathroom wall. Here, most systems are designed to insert between two wall studs and bolt into place. You then run a water line out to the toilet itself.
Having the cistern out of view can free up space in your bathroom. That makes this kind of system ideal in small rooms.
However, it also allows you to increase the height between the cistern and the toilet. You can therefore use less water – which can save you money over time.
Hidden cistern toilets are often double the price of a standard toilet and can cost more than twice the amount to install. Therefore, you should like the look before you choose this kind of toilet.
In addition, hidden cistern toilets can cause complications if something goes wrong with the flushing mechanism in the cistern. Therefore, they’re also more expensive to repair.
Hanging cistern toilets use a mechanism similar to that of the hidden cistern but don’t build the cistern into the wall. Instead, you hang it, wherever you want. This allows you to improve height difference and water pressure if you’d like.
It also means you can create more space by avoiding the bulky look of a standard toilet. However, there are no other advantages – except that you don’t have to put the cistern on the same wall as the toilet if you live in a small or oddly shaped room.
How To Save Money On A New Toilet
Saving money on your new toilet is usually a matter of being conscious of what you’re choosing and why:
- Choose the Same Model – Replacing your existing toilet with a matching style of toilet will minimise fitting costs. This means you’ll pay less in labour and might be able to reduce the job to about an hour of work.
- Look for a Mid-Range Toilet – A good quality toilet with a longer warranty will provide a better value than a budget toilet that’s more prone to breakage. However, you don’t have to pay more than about £250 for a good-quality toilet. Shop around and find something that meets your budget and quality standards.
- Don’t Invest in Low-Water Toilets – Finding a toilet built to use less water will save you money over time. However, it will take a while. The standard rate of water in the UK in 2022 was £1.3818 per 1,000 litres of water. A low-water toilet can reduce total water from about 6 to 2.5 litres – which means you save 0.0048 every time you flush – or an average of £0.024 per day, per person in your home. So, if you’re looking for cost-savings, you can’t pay much for a low-water toilet for it to be worthwhile – because if you have a 1-person household it will never pay off.
- Compare Installer Quotes – Plumbers charge vastly different rates. Some will offer toilet disposal as part of the quote. Others will charge lower rates because they’re closer to you. Comparing quotes from different plumbers will give you a better idea of what you should be paying and what you should get for that money.
And, of course, if you want to do other work in your bathroom, you’ll always save money by having it all done at once.
Finding A Qualified Professional For The Job
Most areas have multiple qualified plumbers who can fit your toilet.
Use the form at the top of this page to have certified plumbers in your postcode get in touch – so you can skip the search and the calls to find the right fitter for your new toilet.
Plumber Hiring Checklist
Finding a qualified plumber is a relatively simple process of looking for qualifications, reviews and costs:
- Are they in the Competent Persons Register?
- Do they have good reviews and references?
- Who is responsible for disposing of the old toilet?
- Do they supply and fit or just fit?
- Can they offer clear and detailed quotes?
- Will they handle notifications to council where required?
- Do they have relevant qualifications such as an NVQ or BPEQ diploma?
- What are their rates and how do they compare to competitors?
DIY vs Hiring A Pro
Fitting a toilet is a relatively simple job and many people can choose to do it themselves. In fact, providing you have someone to help and enough strength to lift the toilet, there are a few reasons not to attempt a DIY approach.
However, there are some cons:
- Toilets are expensive and easy to break. If you drop the toilet bowl or the cistern and don’t have liability insurance, you’ll have to buy it again.
- Over or under-tightening seals can mean leaks, which can be a disaster to fix
- You’ll need two people to pick up and safely set the toilet in place
- Pipe glue, picking up the toilet from the supplier and the cost of toilet disposal may cost almost the same amount as hiring a plumber.
Having a professional do the work for you means someone comes into your home, removes the old toilet and fits the new one. This is almost always a team of two, so you can safely handle and insert the toilet.
Professionals do the job quickly, have liability insurance and typically have workmanship guarantees, meaning that if they make mistakes, it’s on them.
There are also cons:
- The plumber may not dispose of the old toilet
- You might have to hire a general contractor to remove tiling or put it back
- You’ll have to do the work during business hours, meaning taking time off work
In many cases, a professional plumber is the way to go because it offers a guaranteed good result. However, if you’re handy and are mobile enough to lift a toilet easily – there’s no reason not to try DIY.
Replacing the toilet is a relatively fast job but one that will likely cost around £250. However, rates can be as low as £100 and as high as £1,250 depending on what you get.
If you supply the toilet yourself, you’ll pay about £60-£250 in labour. If you get supply and fit, rates average between £250 and £500. However, if you want specialty toilets like a hidden cistern or a hands-free toilet, you’ll pay much more.
Once you know what kind of toilet you want, you can easily get an idea of pricing in your area by comparing quotes. Use the form at the top of the page to request quotes from plumbers in your area.