How To Replace A Toilet Seat

There is no nicer feeling than that of squatting down onto a brand new toilet seat. round or elongated; closed front or open front. Regardless of its style, there is something uniquely relieving about an upgraded toilet bowl. You may laugh but trust me — once you install a new seat, you will be impressed by the difference it makes.

Replacing a toilet seat is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to revive the overall look and feel of a bathroom. Not only is a new seat more comfortable and easier to operate, but it can infuse a new energy into the room by matching — or by strategically contrasting — with other design elements.

The replacement process itself is simple and straightforward. If you are good with your hands — or if you regularly tune in to HouseSmarts television and radio shows — then you should be more than capable of handling it yourself. Just be sure to refamiliarize yourself with the process beforehand. After all, no handyman is above doing homework!

To help you get started, we have put together a quick, easy-to-read walkthrough of all the steps involved. So, keep reading to learn everything involved in a toilet seat replacement.

7 Step Toilet Seat Replacement

1. Determine what type of seat you have.

  • In the United States, there are two main types of toilet bowls: round and elongated. The type of bowl that you have will dictate the shape and size of the toilet seat. So before getting started, make sure you familiarize yourself with your bowl. Measure its length from the seat bolts to the front edge or, if you are in a hurry, just take a picture before heading to the hardware store. Otherwise, you risk accidentally buying a round toilet seat for an elongated bowl — or vice versa.

2. Determine the type of material and style of a seat that you want.

  • When it comes to toilet seats, there is no one one-size-fits-all option. In fact, there are dozens of brands, styles and materials to choose from — wood, plastic, soft or slow close, quick change, metal seat hinge and so on. So, it is important to decide which qualities are most important to your lifestyle and to make an appropriate decision based on those preferences. The fact is, you can buy a cheap seat or you can upgrade. (Pro tip: Upgrade. You deserve it).

3. Remove the old seat.

  • It’s time to say goodbye to your old companion! Most seats have covers over the bolts that flip up, so you may need a small screwdriver or socket wrench to loosen the screw or bolt head. These fasteners can be made of nylon or metal. Use a pair of pliers or adjustable wrench on the nut below the edge of the toilet bowl. If they will not budge you may need to spray the threads with a spray penetrating oil and once removed, you can take off that old seat.

4. Clean the bowl.

  • Once the toilet seat is removed, you should have unfettered access to both its interior bowl and the outside of the toilet. So, it’s probably an appropriate time to do a little cleaning. Use whatever cleaner you normally use to wash the china and remove residue that may have built up. You will be thankful later — after your hands have been washed — that you didn’t save this chore for another day.

5. Install the seat.

  • Finally, it’s time to bring in the new toys! Place the new seat onto the toilet bowl and double-check to make sure you purchased the right one. Then follow any instructions included with the seat.

6. Make sure everything is secure.

  • A comfortable seat will not do any good if it’s detached or loose from the toilet. So, install the fasteners through the seat and hand tighten each bolt and nut. Take your time. Believe me — You don’t want to mess this up!

7. Double check the alignment.

  • The last thing you want is to notice an issue with the toilet seat later, after you have already moved on to bigger things. So, double-check everything before calling it a day. In particular, check the alignment of the seat to make sure it is centered on the base of the toilet. Once you’re confident that is, tighten the fasteners to a snug hold. Do not over tighten as the fasteners depending on the material can snap.

Time To Enjoy

And that’s all there is to it! In just 7 easy steps, you replaced your toilet seat and breathed new life into one of your home’s most intimate rooms. The process wasn’t so bad, was it?

Whether you are looking to add some color, to maintain a specific aesthetic, or to simply replace an outdated elongated toilet seat, a quick replacement is the easiest, most affordable solution.

Now it’s time to sit down (see what I did there?) and relax in your newly revamped bathroom. You deserve it!