How to Install a Toilet Seat


Toilets can last a decade or longer before homeowners have to call plumbing services and have them replaced. The problem is, the seats attached to them rarely last anywhere near that long.

The average toilet seat makes it around five years before developing cracks, instability, or hopelessly bad stains. What that means for most homeowners is that there will come a time when they’ll have to learn how to replace the old seat. Read for a step-by-step guide to toilet seat installation before attempting this DIY job at home.

Step One: Clean and Sanitize

Before breaking out the measuring tape or heading to the store to check out options, homeowners should take one important preliminary step. They should clean their toilet seats and bowls carefully to remove bacteria and other germs. Wear nitrile gloves to protect against pathogens without risking the kinds of allergic reactions that sometimes accompany latex exposure.

Step Two: Remove the Old Seat

The clean toilet seat can be removed by removing the two bolts in the back that hold it onto the body of the toilet. The bolts are often covered by plastic covers. Just pop them off, find the nuts on the underside of the toilet and remove them, then pull the bolts through. If the hardware happens to be made of metal instead of plastic, a socket wrench may be necessary. Once this process is done, dispose of the toilet seat properly.

Step Three: Measure the Bowl

Toilet bowls come in standard sizes, but it’s still important to check the measurements before buying a new seat. To do so, just measure the difference between the two bolts in the back. The standard width is 5.5 inches, although non-standard toilets do exist. Next, measure the seat’s width at its widest point and length at its longest point. These measurements can all be used to determine whether a new seat will fit snugly and safely onto the toilet.

Step Four: Choose a Style

There are two basic styles of toilet seats: rounded and elongated. However, in addition to these two basic styles, there are now a variety of features to choose from. Some toilet seats are quiet-closing, while others have molded bumpers. Different materials are easier or harder to clean, and there’s a surprisingly large range of colors to evaluate.

Step Five: Install the New Seat

The new toilet seat should come with pre-attached hinges and new hardware. Simply place the seat so that the holes for the nuts and bolts are in the right location, drop the bolts into place, and thread the nuts on until they’re hand-tightened. Close the plastic covers, and the job is done.

When to Call a Plumber

Although just about any homeowner can change out a toilet seat, changing out the toilet, itself is not a DIY job. Instead of just looking up any plumber near me, homeowners in Skagit and Whatcom Counties can call LaVergne's Plumbing and Heating. We’ve been in business since 1951, and in that time, we’ve installed countless toilets. Give us a call at (360) 685-8019 to schedule a new toilet installation today.

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