This article explains how bidets can be installed on skirted toilets. Some of the information also applies to toilets with concealed trapways that aren’t necessarily skirted.
The skirted bowl is a sleek and polished design that helps gives bathrooms a modern look. Like any toilet design, they come with their own set of drawbacks.
While they conceal all the toilet’s innards imparting that sleek minimalist look, covering the toilet’s components means you can’t access them. This makes modifications (like installing a bidet) more difficult than it would be otherwise. For that reason, a lot of folks wonder if it can be done.
Can bidets be installed on skirted toilets? Bidets can be installed on skirted toilets. In some cases, there are zero issues with the installation. In other cases, you may need a special T-connector that attaches to the shutoff valve instead of the fill valve. Alternatively, an extension hose can be used to make the fill valve accessible.
Below are the steps you need to take. I’d recommend giving steps 3-5 and 9 a quick look before getting started. They cover challenges that might necessitate sourcing an extra part or two in order to complete the installation.
You may know right off the bat whether you need these parts, and it would be ideal if you had them on hand before getting started.
Step 1: Close the Toilet Shutoff Valve
Sticking out of the wall or floor should be a small valve, usually to the left of the toilet.
Turn off the water at the shutoff valve next to the toilet. The valve should be located next to your commode or right behind it. To close the valve, turn it clockwise.
If you don’t see one, then you must have a tankless or wall-hung toilet in which case you should read the article on how to install a bidet on a tankless toilet.
Step 2: Flush the Toilet to Empty the Tank
Once the water is off, you need to give the toilet a flush, probably twice for good measure. Just make sure there isn’t any water left in the tank.
Step 3: Locate the Fill Valve and Remove Hose
Flush tank toilets have a fill valve that serves as an inlet for water entering the tank.
Troubleshooting Step 3
Is the fill valve accessible enough to remove the hose?
- No. If the fill valve isn’t exposed and/or you can’t access it, then you’ll just see a hose running inside the toilet. If that’s the case, then you’ll probably need a new T-valve so you can move on to step 5.
- Yes. If you can locate where the hose is positioned on or in the tank and can get to it easily, then remove it by turning it counterclockwise as in the picture above. Move on to the next step.
Step 4: Attach the Bidet’s T-Connector if You Can
Your bidet should have come with an adapter. It may go by another name (T-valve or T-adapter, Y-valve, Y-connector, etc.).
After removing the hose, you should see the fill valve which is a threaded shank. On regular two-piece toilets (typically non-skirted), the shank extends from the bottom of the tank where it’s easily accessed. As mentioned, on skirted toilets, the fill valve can be hidden or difficult to get to.
This threaded shank is where the T-connector (or T-valve) that came with your bidet is supposed to connect to.
The T-connector is the adapter that comes with your bidet that looks like this.
Right side up, it looks like this:
In the US, the fill valve side (water to tank) is typically 7/8”.
Now, try attaching the T-connector to the threaded shank.
Troubleshooting Step 4
Can you thread it on?
- Yes. Continue threading the connector on the fill valve by turning it clockwise. Turn by hand and then by wrench, but don’t overdo it. See the below explanation and then move on to step 6.
- No. Then you’ll need an extra part—probably a T-connector designed to thread onto the toilet shutoff valve. See the next step.
The fill valve serves as the opening where water enters the tank. It receives water from the shutoff valve on the wall next to the toilet. The water coming out of the shutoff valve needs to be fed to both the tank and the bidet.
To allow this, you have to attach a T-connector to the threaded shank. The T-connector puts a fork in the road that sends water to both the tank and the bidet.
Often, the place where the T-connector would go is too cramped—the space is big enough for the hose to thread on but not the t-valve.
There are a couple of reasons it may not fit:
- The toilet is too close to the wall. Skirted toilets tend to be one-piece (not always, but usually). One-piece toilets are more seamless in their design and are often near flat in the back allowing them to be positioned against the wall. So, even if the fill valve is exposed, it can still be hard to get to. If you have one, check out the article on the best bidets for one-piece toilets.
- T-connectors can be bulky. Sometimes the fill valve is accessible enough to remove the hose but little else. It might be in a tight space or partially obscured inside the toilet. T-valves are bulkier than the female end of supply hoses and awkwardly shaped so it’s no surprise when they don’t fit. The t-valve that comes with the Tushy bidets is called the “mega adapter” for a reason. This doesn’t pose a problem for most toilets, so the bulky design persists.
Step 5: Source and Install the Special Connections if Needed
T-Valves for Skirted Toilets
The main method for working around this issue is to get a special T-valve that’s meant to be attached to the water shutoff valve coming out of the wall.
In the US, it’s usually 3/8” (shutoff valve) x 3/8” (fill valve) x 1/2” (bidet hose).
But the size you’ll need will depend on several factors. Make sure to get one that fits your bidet and country (dimensions vary by country).
Here’s the typical setup for a non-skirted vs. skirted toilet.
- Remove the hose from the shutoff valve by turning it counterclockwise.
- Thread the new T-connector onto the shutoff valve by turning it clockwise. Turn by hand and then by wrench, but don’t overtighten.
- Attach the hose to the side of the T-connector that goes to the tank. Do this by turning it clockwise.
The Extension Hose Method
Again, the T-valve usually solves the problem.
But another option is a fill valve extension hose like the one made by Bidet King.
A supply hose used for this purpose would be a foot or more in length and have a male and female end. The female end attaches to the fill valve and the mail end would attach to the T-connector that came with your bidet.
- If you haven’t yet, remove the current hose from the fill valve by turning it counterclockwise.
- Attach the female end of the extension hose to the fill valve by turning it clockwise.
- Take the T-connector that came with your bidet and thread it onto the male end of the hose by turning it clockwise. Again, first by hand and then snuggly with a wrench.
Step 6: Connect Water Hose to T-Connector
If the T-connector fits at all, this part should be easy.
Step 7: Connect the Bidet Hose to the T-Connector
Locate the side of the T-connector where the bidet hose fits. Tighten by hand and then by wrench but not too much. If installing a bidet seat or attachment, don’t attach the other end of the hose to the bidet just yet.
If you have a sprayer, then this step will probably complete the installation because the other end of the hose may already be attached spray handle.
Step 8: Remove the Toilet Seat (Seats and Attachments Only)
Use a large flathead screwdriver to remove the current toilet seat.
Step 9: Install the Bidet on the Toilet
For this part of the installation, you’ll be following the instructions that came with the bidet. For bidet seats and attachments, there may be some modifications.
These attach to your existing toilets like bidet seats but don’t replace anything. Rather, they fit and are attached underneath your seat.
These are non-electric. They lack all the fancy features of their electric counterparts but are easier to install (usually 20 minutes vs the hour it takes to get electric seats up and going).
At this point, installing a handheld bidet will be as easy as connecting its hose to the T-connecter.
These come in electric and non-electric, but the former seems to be the most common. They bring all the high-end technology that’s come to be expected of modern bidets (water heater, warm air dryer, etc.).
Bidet seats (electric and non-electric) completely replace the seat/lid on your current toilet.
The bidet seat will have come with its own plastic mounting hardware–usually anchor bolts (bolts that thread into sleeves) or bolts that thread into barrel nuts.
You won’t be able to use this hardware with most skirted toilets, because you need access to the underside of where the toilet seat attaches.
Most bidets are made with conventional 2-piece toilets in mind. On most toilets, you can access the underside of the seat where it’s bolted down. This allows you to easily swap out the original nuts and bolts with the hardware that comes with the bidet.
On most skirted toilets, the bolts extend down inside the toilet making it impossible to use the nuts or sleeves that came with the bidet.
If you have access to the underside (where the nuts or sleeves go), then the installation will be textbook and you can use the mounting hardware that came with the bidet. This is unlikely unless you have a concealed trapway toilet (not a truly skirted design).
The current seat is probably fastened down with top mounting bolts. If the bolts are long enough to secure the new seat along with the mounting bracket, then you can use the toilet’s current mounting hardware.
If they’re not long enough, then you’ll need a longer bolt that fits—I’d just go ahead and get new top mounting bolts from a bidet manufacturer.
Step 10: Review All the Connections
Make sure everything is connected in the right order and tightly fastened. To avoid making a mess, you don’t want to turn the water on or run the bidet until you know everything is good to go.
Step 11: Turn the Water and Check for Leaks
Start by turning the shutoff valve counterclockwise.
If the T-connector has an adjustable valve, make sure it’s open. At this point, water will be sent to the tank and bidet.
When the tank is full, give it a flush and let it refill. While letting the tank fill, watch for leaks along the entire pathway that water takes from the shutoff valve to the toilet and bidet.
Step 12: Test It Out
Now test your bidet by letting it run for a session or two. If it’s an attachment or seat, you’ll need to be sitting down. Alternatively, you can use a cup to block the spray or just clean up the water after it’s done.
Electric bidets don’t need electricity to test out the basic water spraying function. To test out its other features, you’ll have to plug it in. Follow all the instructions for features that require electricity like the warm air dryer and heated seat.