How to Fix Your Toilet

A homeowner’s life is filled with mini hazards that pop up at a moment’s notice. Our appliances make life easier, but they are subject to malfunction. A broken toilet interrupts your day and can cause serious water damage, which emphasizes the importance of timely repairs. The following tips to fix your toilet will help you get your water system and your home life flowing properly again.

If these repairs are beyond your capabilities, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber.

Problem: there’s water around the base of the toilet

A leaking toilet can have you dealing with the perils of a water damage emergency in no time. If there’s water around the base of your toilet, that’s a telltale sign that the leak has sprung from the wax ring seal. You’ll have to remove your toilet to replace it.

How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

  1. Use a wrench to disconnect the water supply from the shutoff valve. Drain the tank until all water is removed from the bowl.
  2. Disconnect the water supply valve from the toilet tank. Using a screwdriver and wrench, remove the caps on the base of the toilet and the hex bolts beneath them.
  3. Grab the toilet by the bottom and lift it from the ground. Set it aside on material that will prevent damage to your bathroom floor, like a towel or blanket.
  4. Remove the old wax gasket from the flange and install a new one on it by centering it on the flange and pressing it down into place.
  5. Reinstall the toilet by placing it on the bolt holes, keeping it level as you go. Use your weight to press down on the toilet bowl before putting the bolts back in. This helps to compress the new gasket. Caulk around the base of the toilet if needed.
  6. Reconnect the water supply to the shutoff valve and open it before giving your new toilet a test flush. If there are no leaks, you’re done!


Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: photovs


Problem: the toilet won’t stop running

Another common issue homeowners face is a running toilet. The constant sound of running water coming from your bathroom isn’t just annoying; it wastes water and can cause spikes in your utility bills. A running toilet is typically due either to a faulty flapper or the water level being too high in the tank, causing overflow.

How to Fix a Running Toilet

  • The most common cause of a running toilet is that the flapper chain is caught on something. To check for this issue, take the top off the tank to see if the chain is too taught. If so, see if you can release it, after which the flapper should fall into place and stop the run.
  • If the flapper or the chain are compromised, they’ll need to be replaced. But no sweat, that’s easy! Start by shutting off the water supply and drain the tank by pulling up on the flapper chain. Remove the flapper by unhooking it or removing the ring that holds it in place. Pick up a new matching flapper at your local hardware store and reverse the process to install it and reconnect the chain. If this doesn’t solve your running toilet problem, it may be a larger issue, such as the flush valve.

Problem: the toilet isn’t flushing correctly

If your toilet isn’t flushing correctly, there’s likely something wrong with the flush handle or the water level, or it could be a clogging issue.

How to Fix Flushing Issues

  • Tighten the flush handle if it’s loose and see if that solves the problem. When you do, make sure the flush lever is working properly. If there’s too much slack in your lift chain, it won’t trigger a proper flush. Make sure it’s not too loose, but not so tight that it can’t flush properly either.

Problem: the toilet has started wobbling

Sometimes homeowners will suddenly notice their toilet feels uneven or is rocking slightly. This is usually because the flange that connects to the drainpipe is sitting higher than the floor.

How to Fix a Wobbly Toilet

  • The best fix is to wedge shims under the base of the toilet and caulk the area to solidify it.

For more tips on home maintenance, read the following blog post about controlling mold:

How to Prevent and Deal with Mold


­­­­­­Featured Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Fertnig

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A Guide to Remodeling Your Bathroom

There are a variety of reasons that a homeowner may decide to remodel their bathroom;  they could be looking to increase the value of their home for a future sale, they may have discovered repairs that need to be made, or perhaps they’re simply looking to maximize their enjoyment of the space. Whatever your motivation may be, consider the following information before the hammer hits the tile to make sure your bathroom remodel turns out as successful as you’d hoped.

A Guide to Remodeling Your Bathroom

Which bathroom remodel projects have the highest ROI?

Before you decide which projects to tackle, it’s worth your while to identify which bathroom remodeling projects have the highest ROI. This can be especially helpful if you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future. According to recent nationwide data released by Remodeling Magazine, bathroom remodels can have as high as a sixty percent return on cost, while larger projects like bathroom additions return roughly fifty percent of their costs. The point is you likely won’t recoup every dollar you spend on your bathroom remodel, so choose your projects wisely. If you’re preparing to sell your home, talk to your agent about which bathroom projects are seeing the highest return in your local area.

How can I save on my bathroom remodel?

There are various ways to keep your costs down when remodeling your bathroom, but it depends on the scope of your project. If, while preparing to sell your home, you identify a handful of outstanding repairs that need to be fixed before you list, it may be difficult to pull off a low-budget bathroom remodel while still fetching a competitive sales price. Neglecting these issues can be a costly mistake, and in some cases can even jeopardize a sale.  

One way to save money on your bathroom remodel is to do it yourself. Identify the pros and cons of either doing a project DIY or hiring a professional. Though you may save money on labor, if you get in over your head on a project the costs can add up quickly, and you may end up having to hire a contractor to remedy the situation. If you decide to hire a contractor, thoroughly research multiple companies, ask for referrals from family and friends, and get multiple quotes before deciding which is best for the job.

Simple Bathroom Upgrades

As the scope of a bathroom remodel changes, so do its costs. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, a midrange bathroom remodel cost an average of roughly $24,000 nationwide, while an upscale bathroom remodel was just over $75,000. But fear not, there are ways to give your bathroom a makeover without having to break the bank. Here are a few ideas for budget-friendly bathroom upgrades.

  • Refinish Your Tub: Remove all hardware from your tub and sand the entire surface smooth, evening out any chips or cracks and filling them with epoxy. Once the epoxy has dried, sand those areas one more time. Apply multiple layers of primer and topcoat as advised and buff the surface to finish off the job.
  • Add Décor: A well-decorated bathroom can revitalize the space. Add a fresh coat of paint to the walls, install a new faucet and shower head, and match your towel rods and shower curtains for a quick bathroom refresh.
  • Finishing Touches: The right bathroom lighting can make all the difference. Experiment with softer light bulbs or dimmers to create a sense of calm and relaxation. Add candles, scented oils, and new towels to make your bathroom feel like your own personal spa.

For more ideas on remodels, décor, and all things home design, visit the design page on our blog.

Windermere Blog – Design

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Simple Bathroom Upgrades

The thought of upgrading a bathroom often brings to mind large-scale renovations, demolition, and hefty price tags. Even projects like replacing a backsplash or repairing tile can be more involved than you might think. However, it’s possible to give your bathroom a makeover without breaking the bank (or your back). Whether you’re looking to just freshen it up or make it feel like your own personal spa, these simple projects can help take your bathroom to the next level.


Upgrade your Décor

If you want to make a big splash without spending big money, consider upgrading your bathroom with new décor. A fresh coat of paint on the walls or a bold, patterned wallpaper can completely change the character of the space, while accent pieces like a new shower curtain and towel racks can reinforce your color choices. Installing shelving is a simple, functional tactic that gives dimension to your walls. Whether it’s in the shower, above your toilet, or beside your vanity, a shelf can save surface space while helping to tie the room together.


Upgrade your Tub

Upgrading your tub doesn’t have to mean buying a replacement. Simply refinishing your tub will have it looking brand new and helps you save money. Over time, tubs accumulate cracks, dings, and discoloration due to mold, but refinishing can cure these imperfections right away. Start by removing all hardware from the tub. Sand the whole surface, fill in any cracks or holes with putty or epoxy, then sand them smooth. Apply multiple layers of primer and topcoat, give it a buff, and enjoy your brand-new bathtub.

If refinishing your tub is too much to handle, consider simply touching it up. Fill in any cracks and apply a fresh line of caulking around the surface. After this is done, shop around for new tub hardware to polish off your cost-effective bathtub makeover.


Upgrade Your Vanity

With just a few tweaks, you can turn your vanity area from a mirror with counter space to an impactful centerpiece. Instead of going all out with a new cabinet install, simply replacing your cabinet hardware and drawer pulls can make a big difference. Think of ways your new hardware can reinforce the style of your bathroom. Match them with your shower rod, faucet, and showerhead to make your bathroom more eye-catching.

Your vanity also offers a great opportunity to add some color to your bathroom. Giving it a fresh coat of paint will help to liven up the space at a low cost. For wooden vanities, a re-stain is a great way to give them new life. Start by removing the doors and drawers. Apply wood stripping to all surfaces, then let them sit for the recommended time. Now you can begin to scrape away the old finish. Sand down all surfaces and apply the primer before staining the wood. Once your stain settles in, apply a second coat and your vanity will be good as new.


Finishing Touches

Well-organized surfaces and compartments will help to create serenity in your bathroom. Whether it’s in the shower, the medicine cabinet, or below the vanity, look for multipurpose organizers that help cut down on bathroom clutter and save space. Add in natural elements like bamboo and river rocks to make your bathroom feel like a soothing sanctuary.


For more ideas on affordable home makeovers, check out our tips for upgrading your bedroom, home office, and kitchen.

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