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Monday, July 22, 2013

Toilet Seat Replacement Tips ... It Seems SO Simple

Toilet seats are not complex technology. The fasteners that hold them in place are straightforward enough.

But there are a couple little details that will really cause you trouble if you aren't aware of them.


  1. Toilet bowls upon which your new seat will sit are either round or oval. It has nothing to do with the look of the interior opening, which can be oval in a round bowl. 
  2. To determine if the bowl is round or oval, you should measure from an imaginary line between the mount holes for the seat in the back of the toilet bowl to the front, outer rim of said bowl.
  3. Round toilet bowls measure 16.5" from hole to bowl front edge; oval bowls measure 18.5". You don't have to get too accurate with your imaginary line as your starting measuring point as the difference is great enough between the two bowl shapes that you'll be able to tell, even if you are a little off. 
  4. Toilet seats in the store will state whether they are for round or oval bowls, often providing the measurements I just gave you. 
  5. When you bring your new seat home, open the box and remove the seat from the box without removing the plastic from around the seat. Place it on the bowl for one last check to make sure you picked up the right seat. The reason for leaving the plastic in place is that if you were wrong and take the perfectly good seat with the open box lid back to the merchant, the store can resell the returned seat IF and only IF the plastic is intact. If you opened the plastic bag inside, they must throw away the returned item that is otherwise in fine shape. Sad ... but true (or at least true for the big box store I frequent).
  6. If the previous seat on your toilet that finally gave up the ghost was plastic, take this into consideration when purchasing your next seat. Seats come in plastic or enameled wood. If you decide to go with enameled wood instead of plastic, be aware that the enameled wood has a "firmer" feel to it, with none of the give you've gotten used to. Just a little something to keep in mind. 
With this information and a little measuring, you should be able to save yourself multiple trips to the hardware store and all the muttering that ensues. With a single screwdriver, changing the seat should be simplicity itself. 

Good luck, DIY guys and gals! 

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