Can You Rotate A Toilet?

If the position of your toilet isn’t very convenient or you need to access something behind it, you might want to rotate it. But since plumbing appliances are usually connected to a lot of pipes and tubes in the walls of the house, is it actually possible to rotate a toilet without disturbing the delicate setup?

It’s possible to rotate a toilet. However, you need to make sure you take the appropriate steps or you could cause damage that a professional will have to fix. Consider factors such as drainage, finishing the flooring (tiles/hardwood), and make sure you have the right tools before proceeding.

Let’s take a closer look at what you need to consider when rotating a toilet, as well as the tools you need and how to do it properly.

What Does It Mean to Rotate a Toilet?


If your toilet is inconveniently placed or blocking something, it’s a bad idea to move it entirely because that would involve changing the plumbing too. Moving a toilet shouldn’t be attempted without a professional’s help.

However, you can rotate the toilet in its current spot to change the position, which is much easier and can usually be done as a DIY project.

Which Tools Do You Need to Rotate a Toilet?

Before you start rotating your toilet, make sure you have the following tools. If you’re missing any, you can always rent from hardware stores, which is cheaper than buying them outright:

If your drill has a screw bit, then you can get away with skipping the screwdriver. However, everything else is necessary — and you should also have a sponge nearby.

How to Rotate a Toilet

Underneath the tank, you’ll find a valve that shuts off the water. Make sure to turn this to shut it off, and then flush the toilet to get rid of the water that’s already in the tank. You can use a dry sponge to soak up any remaining water, but the tank should be completely dry when you’re done.

At the base of the toilet, flange bolts hold the toilet to the floor. Remove any covers and then the nuts, but leave the bolts alone.

You should then be able to move the toilet away, giving you clear access to the floor. Use the putty knife to remove the wax ring — you may have to pry it away. You’ll then have access to the flange and can remove the remaining screws, still leaving the bolts alone.

Rotate the flange and slide the bolts to move the position of the toilet. You’ll then have to drill new holes and screw the flange back into the floor in the new position.

Since you removed the wax with the putty knife, proceed to press another wax gasket into the floor. 

Pick up the toilet and move it back, aligning it with the new bolt holes. When you lower it, you may have to wiggle it a bit to get it back into position, but it should slide on over. Reattach the toilet, and make sure you connect the water back up and flush to ensure everything is working properly.

Factors to Consider Before Rotating a Toilet

Man plumber in uniform installing toilet bowl using instrument kit professional repair service

Before you decide that rotating the toilet is a good idea, make sure you’ve considered the situation carefully. 

Make sure there’s still enough slope in the new position for the toilet to connect to the sewer line. Otherwise, you may encounter leaks, which is why it’s important to flush it after you’re done to check that everything is still aligned.

You should also make sure your floor is suitable for the new position and that you don’t have to break into it to change things up. This can happen in the floor is uneven. 

The main thing you need to remember is to go slow and steady with the project. If it seems like something is off, you might want to stop and revisit the idea or call in a professional plumber to make sure everything’s in order before proceeding.

However, in most cases, rotating your toilet isn’t too tough, and it shouldn’t take too long to do, as long as you follow the correct instructions.