How to Install a Toilet Seat

Sometimes you are moving into a place with terrible toilet seats, sometimes you realize you’ve lived a very long time with the same toilet and the seats are not what they used to be and sometimes they break, slip, or slide. Whatever the reason, if you’ve ever wondered how to install a toilet seat, we’ve got all the information you need for this simple project.

How Often Should You Replace A Toilet Seat?

You only need to replace your toilet seat when it is dangerous, broken, or if you simply want to for aesthetic reasons. In general, you will only need to replace your toilet seat every 5-8 years or so. Here are some of the ways toilet seats can fail:

  • The paint on wooden toilet seats can wear down and look dingy no matter how clean they are
  • Plastic seats can splinter or crack
  • Plastic seats can yellow with age and look nasty no matter how clean they may be
  • Either type of seat can get damaged at the bolts and hinges causing it to slip & slide
  • Either type can simply break at the hinges or across the cover or even the seat 

It is very easy to put a new toilet seat on your existing standard toilet. The process is simple and takes just a few minutes. You don’t necessarily even need any tools. It is a beginner-level project that pretty much anyone can take on.

Do All Toilet Seats Fit The Same?

You do want to be aware that there are two types of toilet bowls on a standard toilet and so you want to purchase the correct toilet seat to fit it. Toilet bowls are either round or elongated. While it is possible to put an elongated toilet seat on a round bowl and vice versa, it isn’t recommended because it will compromise comfort, safety, and durability. The vast majority of toilets are “standard size” ( typically between 28 to 30 inches deep, 20 inches wide, and 27–32 inches high) and toilet seat covers are, too. But there are some specialized toilets that may be different, in which case you will want to take measurements and check the model to find the best toilet seat and cover.

Toilet Seat: Up Or Down?

Before we get to the step-by-step instructions, this seems like a good time to address the age-old question of the best way to keep the toilet seat – up or down? In terms of manners, if you are in someone else’s house, leave it the way you found it. As far as keeping a sanitary bathroom, you are better off keeping the seat in the down position, since water actually splashes out of the toilet every time you flush.

Steps To Replace Your Toilet Seat

Here are the quick steps to replace your toilet seat. (You may want to clean the toilet first, or use disposable gloves while working):

  1. Remove the old toilet seat by unscrewing the bolt under the underside of the part of the toilet that connects the bowl to the tank at the back of the seat
  2. There may be a plastic cap to remove before you can pull the screw bolt out of the toilet bowl, if so it will just pop up or pop off easily, or you may need a screwdriver.
  3. Once you have removed the screw, the whole seat, both the seat and the cover, will come off easily and can now be replaced with your new seat.
  4. Line up the holes of the new seat over the holes in the toilet and insert the screws into the toilet. Alternatively, you can place the screws through the cover and then align it with the holes in the toilet base.
  5. Reach underneath the screw on the bolts to the underside of the toilet, tighten, and replace any covers.

That’s it, a pretty simple process with a very satisfying outcome. There are very few jobs in the bathroom that are this easy, so if you are having any problems that a plumber can help with, we hope you will think of us. If you are in the Mesa or Gilbert area, give us a call at 480-388-6093 or visit online to learn more at