How To Measure A Toilet Seat: Find Your Perfect Size


Just like everything else that you have in your home, there comes a time when you need to replace your toilet due to consistent use for several years, sometimes even after a decade.

Some of the things that need replacing might be loose screws, the cistern tank, the toilet bowl, among others. Today, we want to focus on replacing the toilet seat, over time, and especially if you have an older type of toilet.

You may need to change the seat due to some reasons starting with wear and tear and un-comfortability. Replacing or installing a toilet seat is supposed to be an easy task, but may end up being a daunting one given the numerous kinds and styles of toilets in the market today.

Thankfully, when it comes to choosing a perfect toilet seat, there are a few. Still, critical elements you must pursue to make your work more comfortable; they include getting in a few necessary measurements to get a seat that fits your toilet perfectly.

So how do you prepare yourself to take the right measurements? Simple, you need to arm yourself with these tools standard in each household;

  • A notepad
  • A pen/pencil
  • A ruler or measuring tape


Taking Measurements

Considering the layout of the bathroom, and the size/type of the toilet, you need to take precise measurements. You want to have a toilet seat with adequate space that is not only comfortable when sat on but allows enough space to pass waste without it getting stuck on the toilet seat.

Since there are different kinds of toilet bowls, let’s look at the different types of toilet bowls and seats that are popular today…

Elongated: this type of toilet seat is a bit longer than a round seat. The seat is standard in both residential setups and commercial applications. Most individuals prefer this type of seat over the others for its comfort.

Round: the most regular kind of toilet seat akin to many residential and commercial properties. Most users prefer this to toilet seat since it fits perfectly in awkward or tight spaces.

Raised/Chair Seat: as the name suggests, these are seats that are a bit higher than the regular seats making them comfortable for persons with mobility challenges because they can stand up with ease after use.

Kids’ Seats: These seats are attached to the toilet securely ensuring that they neither shift nor slide about. The setup makes it easy for children learning how to use the bathroom, moreover, the seats are also ideal for adults and can be changed with ease after wearing out.

Open Front Seats: These are toilet seats that are popular with public restrooms. They usually have a ‘U’ shape. These types of toilet seats have been touted as the most sanitary kind of seat for public use because the genitals won’t come in contact with the toilet seat, neither will the urine splash at the front of the seat.


Having noted the above, you should consider noting down the following…

It would help if you started by measuring three points; start by locating where the toilet seat bolts are and measure the distance between them.

If you are in the US, you can base your measurements to the standard measurements toilet seat bolts which are 5.5 inches.

Next move to the bowl, take the measurements of the width from the widest points. Place the measuring tape from the brim’s outside to get an accurate dimension.

The next step is to take the length measurements, place your tape in between the seat bolts to the exterior of the bowl’s front. For round bowls, the dimensions will land at approximately 16.5 inches. For elongated bowls, the measurements will fall at around 18-18.5 inches.

Now that you know how to take the correct measurements for your toilet seat let’s move on to the next step which includes selecting a toilet seat’s material and style…


Toilet Seat Material and Style

Whether you choose to shop at an online store or decide to go to your local brick and mortar dealer, you will find that there are variations of toilet seat materials and styles to choose from, this can be overwhelming.

Knowing what you want before the shopping trip will help you heaps. To make things easier, let’s talk about the accessible materials that you will never miss in the hardware section…

Plastics: you will always find toilet seats made from either high-impact plastic or plastic coating over composite wood materials. Here, you’ll come across many color and style variations that date from the traditional white, classy black, to patterned and spunky print toilet seats.

Wood: Another common material has to be wood. Ranging from bamboo, natural wood, and medium-density fiberboard are toilet seat materials that you won’t miss in any store, physical or online.

Most shoppers prefer getting a toilet seat made from wooden material since it’s naturally hygienic. Moreover, the surface not only remains cleaner when washed but retains its glossy look even after extensive use, something not familiar with plastic toilet seats.

However, be warned that failure to dry the toilet seat immediately after cleaning could cause it to sustain water damage.

Special Materials: Other materials are used to make toilet seats; they include elevated and cushioned seats. These types of toilet seats are unique since they are mostly used by persons who are either recovering from surgery or have recently delivered.

Elevated seats are perfect for persons having trouble standing up, while cushioned seats are nice, soft and comfortable with individuals that may have a sore behind. Again, the materials feel warmer, unlike plastic or wood, especially during the winter months.

Unfortunately, due to their nature, these materials tend to split and crack over time, and you will find yourself replacing them more often. Only opt for these types of toilet seats when you need to use them temporarily.


Installing The New Seat

After a successful purchase and delivery, the next step is installation. If you are like me and prefer a DIY over spending ridiculous amounts of money calling in a plumber, then you need to follow these easy steps and install a permanent toilet seat.

Take Out The Old Seat: Start by getting yourself a set of tools; in most instances, a screwdriver will be the only thing you need. Pry open the seat bolt caps and unscrew the bolts. For the screws giving you trouble, hold down the nut underneath the toilet bowl steady with either a pair of pliers or with your hand. Proceed to remove them, and you can easily lift the seat off.

Clean The Surface: Before you install the new seat, you must first start with cleaning the dirty surface. Use warm water and multipurpose cleaner, thoroughly clean the toilet, not forgetting the newly exposed post holes. You can also apply a few drops of grease in the gaps to ensure that the screws don’t get rusty neither will they rot.

Seat Installation: Start by aligning the seat bolts with post holes and proceed to push them through.

Screw the nuts from the underside of the toilet loosely. Center the seat on the bowl and use the screwdriver to tighten the nuts, finally, snap the bolts caps into place, and your seat is ready for use!


Final Thoughts

We hope that our guide to finding the best toilet seat has come in handy. The bathroom and the toilet are essential things in our lives, and you should take precautions when shopping for replacement materials.

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