How Do You Know What Size Toilet Seat to Buy

Shopping for a new toilet seat is probably not one of your regular errands. Knowing which size of toilet seat that is needed will prevent a headache and a return trip to the store. Here is what you need to know.

1. Know the Shape of the Bowl.

Toilets come in “round” and “elongated” shapes. The elongated shape juts outward somewhat, providing more comfort to the user. Round bowls are the space-savers of the toilet world. If your toilet bowl does not look circular, then there’s a good chance you’ve got an elongated toilet seat to purchase.

2. Find Your Measurements.

Look for the bolts where the toilet seat will attach to the bowl. Measure the distance that is between them. In the United States, most toilet seats will have 5.5 inches of space between these bolts, but older toilets can be different. Then measure the width of your toilet bowl at its widest point, followed by a measurement of the bowl length from the seat bolts to the outside edge of the toilet.

Most round toilet bowls are 16.5 inches in length. Elongated bowls tend to be 18 or 18.5 inches in length.

3. Choose Your Toilet Seat Style.

There are two common materials available for the average toilet seat: composite wood or high-impact plastic. Wood toilet seats tend to be cheaper and easier to install, but they’re also heavy. High-impact plastic seats are lightweight and easy to clean, but can feel flimsy when using a cheaper model. Specialty materials can be added to both options, including padding, heating elements, and even portable bidets.

Now You’re Ready to Install the New Toilet Seat

Once you’ve selected the correct toilet seat at your preferred retail location, it is time to install it at home. Remove the old toilet seat by opening the bolt caps and unscrewing the bolts. Some bolts can be rusty and may be locked in place. You may need to use pliers to remove the nuts while keeping the bolt steady.

After the old seat is removed, thoroughly clean the toilet.

Then align the new toilet seat into position. Push the seat bolts through the bowl’s post holes. Screw the nuts into place and then tighten the nuts so they are snug. You may need to tighten the nuts a few times over the first month until the new seat has a nice fit to it.

That’s what it takes to know what size toilet seat to buy and then how to install it.

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