Home Plumbing How To Replace Toilet Seat

How To Replace Toilet Seat

How To Replace Toilet Seat

When you sit on a toilet seat, the one thing you don’t expect to happen is for it to move. Toilet seats are designed to stay stationary at all times. If your toilet seat moves or shakes while in use, you will need to replace it.

Before proceeding to buy a new toilet seat, take the time to measure your toilet bowl. A small toilet seat can break during use, as it will not rest entirely on your toilet bowl. Similarly, a large toilet seat can also bend and break.
Using a measuring tape, measure the following dimensions for your new toilet seat –

  • Measure the distance between the two-seat bolts where your seat attaches to the toilet. Typically, the distance is 5 ½ inches.
  • Additionally, measure the length of your toilet bowl. Take this measurement from between the seat bolts to the edge of your toilet bowl. Elongated toilet bowls will record a length of 18-18 ½ inches, while round bowls will be 16 – 16 ½ inches long.
  • Furthermore, measure the width of your toilet bowl from the outer edges.

A good quality toilet seat will work for 5-7 years. Typically, toilet seats are made from high-impact plastic, which gives the seat its durability. Additionally, there are seats made of white enamel, wood, and in some cases, bamboo, which are good alternatives to plastic seats. But, irrespective of the material used, all seats have a coating of plastic for added durability.

Furthermore, toilet seats come in all sorts of colors. Hence, choose a seat that goes with the color of your toilet tank and bowl. The seat’s color will have no impact on its durability, but from an aesthetic point of view, we advise buying seats that blend or contrast with your toilet.

Average Cost To Replace Your Toilet Seat

Expect to spend between $20-$60 to replace your toilet seat.

Time Required

To replace your toilet seat is an easy do-it-yourself project which will take you between 10-30 minutes.

Tools & Materials

Removing Old Toilet Seat

  • The seat bolts will be located at the back of your toilet seat.
  • Typically, these bolts will have bolt covers on top, which can be removed by pulling on them.
  • Similarly, the seat bolts can have bolt caps on the underside of the toilet. The caps provide added durability to the bolts.
  • Try removing the bolts using an adjustable wrench. Gripping the bolts with the wrench, turn it counterclockwise to remove.
  • For old and rusted bolts, try the following steps to loosen them –

Spray WD-40 directly onto the bolt caps and let it sit for approximately 10-15 minutes. WD-40 is a multi-use spray that lubricates surfaces and makes it easier to remove old or corroded screw connections.

Using the wrench, try removing the bolt caps again. The bolts should turn with ease if the spray worked. If not, you will need to cut away the bolts using a hacksaw.

Place your hacksaw in the small gap between the bolt and your toilet. Firmly saw through the bolt until you have cut across all of it.
Repeat the same procedure for the bolt on the other side of the toilet. Additionally, remove any washers attached to your old bolts.

Attaching Your New Seat

How To Replace Toilet Seat The Right Way
  • Unpack your new toilet seat. In addition to your seat, you should receive nuts, washers, and bolt caps.
  • Place the seat above your toilet bowl, aligning it with the bolt openings.
  • Depending on the type of toilet you have bought, your installation methods will differ –

If the bolts are attached to your toilet itself, while aligning your toilet, drop the bolts through the bolt opening to set your seat in place over your toilet bowl.

Conversely, if your manufacturer has provided the bolts separately, align your seat over the bolt opening. Ensure that the bolt opening on your toilet seat is in line with the openings on your toilet bowl.

Once aligned, drop the bolts through both the openings to set your toilet seat in place.

How To Replace Toilet Seat Properly
  • From the underside of your toilet, following the manufacturer’s instructions, attach the required washers, nuts, and bolt caps.
  • Screw the nuts onto the bolts by hand and then tighten using an adjustable wrench.
  • If your manufacturer provided, hinge caps, snap them into place above your bolt heads.

IMPORTANT TIP – Do not over tighten the nuts as it can lead to breakage of the bolts and damage to your toilet bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions: How To Replace Toilet Seat

What kind of toilet seat is the best?

There is no singular answer to this question. Hard-plastic seats are always the safe bet.

Can I re-use old bolts and nuts on a new seat?

Your new seat will come with nuts and bolts. We advise using what your manufacturer provides you to avoid breakage or damage.


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