Simple DIY Tips to Measure and Install a New Toilet Seat

Home / Simple DIY Tips to Measure and Install a New Toilet Seat


Shopping for toilet seats is not something you do routinely. It can happen once in a year or more. Therefore, it is possible for you not to be aware of the various sizes of toilet seats available at local outlets. When shopping for a toilet seat, you have to ensure that the one you pick is the right one. As such, taking proper toilet measurements is an important skill to possess.
Your local home improvement outlet will be glad to sell you a replacement toilet, but of course it would be really absurd to bring your old toilet seat for measurement comparison. Thus knowing how to measure your toilet seat is an indispensable skill to learn.

Measuring new toilet seat

In taking the measurements, there are three important things to be measured:

  • First locate the bolts on which the seat is affixed to the toilet bowl then take measurement of the distance between. Basically, the bolts are separated by 5.5 inches. This is a standard for toilets in the US.
  • Take note of the widest point of the seat and then measure the width. Ensure that the measuring tape is placed to the outer side of the seat’s brim. This is necessary for taking accurate measurements.
  • Next, measure the bowl’s length form the region between the bolts and the outer edge of the bowl’s front part. For rounded bowls, the dimension is 16.5 inches while for elongated bowls it should be between 18 and 18.5 inches.

Choosing your preferred seat style and material

Once those measurements have been taken, you are set to hit the road to your local home improvement outlet. At the outlet, there are probably so many seat styles, sizes and material types to an extent that it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the choices. But not if armed with your measurements.
Most commonly used material is plastic that can withstand high impact. Sometimes composite wood material covered with plastic is also available. As for styles and colors, the choices are virtually endless. There are the basic white colored seats to the posh black with patterns or gutsy prints. If you like attractive styles and designs, you have the power to do so.
Still on material type, wood is also among the commonly available seats. Popular choices include bamboo, natural wood as well as fiberboards of medium density. Most households prefer wood as it tends to be more hygienic. It can remain much cleaner as compared to the standard plastic seats. But failure to drying the seat after cleaning can lead to possible damage by dampness.
For those with some special cases, such as those under recovery from a surgery or child delivery, specialty seats are available as well. They include elevated seats and those with cushions. The latter are soft while the former makes it easier for users to stand up. These types of materials are also cozier and warmer as compared to plastic or wood type. However, they can crack or split as time goes by, hence frequent replacements may also be needed. The fact that they are for special uses makes the need for replacement from time to time not much of an issue.

Installing the new toilet seat

After selection and purchase of the new seat, the installation bit closes the replacement chapter. Here’s a simple guide to doing the installation:

  • Detach your old seat
    Remove the caps covering the seat bolts and then loosen them using a screwdriver. If this doesn’t seem to work, you may require to tightly hold one nut beneath the bowl with your one hand, then use the other hand to loosen the bolt as before.
    Repeat the same for the other bolt and once done, lift and remove the seat from the toilet.
  • Clean the surface ready for new seat
    Using a multipurpose cleaner, clean the surface of your toilet bowl thoroughly, including the post holes that have been exposed.
  • Begin actual installation
    Ensure that your seat bolts are aligned with post holes then push to affix the seat to the bowl. Next, loosely the underside nuts to just hold the seat. Have the seat placed at the center then start tightening the nuts to a snug fit. Once tightened, fix the bolt caps on the bolts, there you go! A new toilet seat fitted with a simple DIY!

The process above is very simple and can be done by anyone, regardless of their DIY knowhow. But in the event that your toilet is clogged in an ugly manner, or want a replacement done, Kwik Plumbers is a call away!
If you have any queries regarding the measurement of your new toilet seat, or need our expert plumbers’ services, contact us today!



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