• Geoff Burke

How Do I Replace My Toilet Seat? It's Easier Than You Think!


This week, we’re getting down to basics. We’re going to talk about toilet seats and how to replace them. In my experience, most of you have a wobbly, loose toilet seat that needs replacing, not just tightening (again). You must feel like you’re going to fall off the toilet every time you use it!


The biggest mistake most people make is thinking that they can tighten the seat over and over again. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Over time, toilet seats need replacing – this is something you most definitely don’t need to call the plumber for.


First, let’s talk options. It may not look like it to the untrained eye, but toilet seats come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Depending on the shape of the toilet bowl, you will need a round or elongated seat. Do you want a slow closing seat? An “open-front” seat? Elevated? Do you own a restaurant? If so, don’t go buying seats with covers – inspectors won’t like it! For most home owners, a standard “round front” or “elongated” seat will work; just check the shape of the toilet bowl before heading to the hardware store.


Now that we have our seat, we’re going to replace it. As you likely know, there are two bolts under what we fittingly call “bolt caps” on the seat. To open those caps, simply use a flat screw driver and pop them open. Using that same flat head, or sometimes a Philips screwdriver, unscrew the existing bolts. Depending on the state of the bolts, you may need to use an adjustable wrench or pliers to hold the nut on the underside of the toilet bowl. This does take some coordination, but I believe in you! In rare cases, the bolts just don’t want to budge. If this happens, first try some sort of thread loosener; if that doesn’t work, you may need to cut the seat off from the underside of the bowl. This is rare, but can be a big pain!


Once you have the old seat off, its time to put the new one on.


The first (and most important) step in replacing a toilet seat is to make sure you thoroughly clean AND DRY the area where the new toilet seat bolts will sit. If there is any debris, or if you’ve used a cleaner without drying afterwards, your newly installed seat will slide along the nice a slippery porcelain toilet bowl.


When installing the seat, make sure to follow the directions that come with it. Each seat wants you to put the washers somewhere different, so make sure to know what goes where! Make sure the seat is sitting squarely on the bowl and isn’t angled in one direction or another. Tighten the bolts as much as you can, without stripping them.


After you’ve successfully done this, sit down and take a break. You deserve it! Marvel at your newfound DIY skills and call in the whole family to sit down and give it a try. They will applaud you like never before!

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