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How to Install a New Toilet Seat

How to Install a New Toilet Seat

Whether it’s cracked or just cruddy looking, changing your toilet seat can add a lot to your bathroom’s appeal. Toilet seats come in a number of materials — some hard and cold, some warm and squishy. Choosing the right one for you is a very personal decision. Are you wondering how to install a new toilet seat?

Luckily, it’s one of the easiest DIY home projects to perform. But despite the ease of installation, a new toilet seat makes a big difference in your bathroom. Toilet seats can crack and end up pinching you in very sensitive places. Some older models seem to be impossible to keep clean. Padded ones quickly lose their luster when the covering cracks and the foam flattens out.

Whether you want something that matches your décor, or need to accommodate a small child or senior in your home, a new toilet seat is a fast one-hour DIY project.

How to Buy a New Toilet Seat

Shopping for a new toilet seat is more complicated than you’d think. Not because they’re hard to replace, but because there are so many options. You’ll find everything from high-tech seats to whimsical novelty covers.

While the décor and feature options seem endless, you’ll need to know one thing to find a seat that works for your existing toilet.

Toilet seat sizing

The good news is that toilet seats only come in two sizes or shapes: round and elongated. The bad news is that they’re not interchangeable. Elongated seats are larger than round ones. Before purchasing a new toilet seat, make sure you know which shape you need.

Round seats are round in shape and measure 16.5 inches from the bolt holes to the front center of the toilet. Elongated seats are oval-shaped and measure 18.5 inches from the bolt holes to the front. If you’re not sure if your seat is round or elongated, you can use a measuring tape to sure.

Basic materials

Excluding designer and novelty models, most toilet seats available to the general public are made of plastic or wood. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages:

Wood seats are heavier to lift, but they remain warmer in the winter. They may also need more maintenance, such as an occasional oil treatment or even refinishing, to stay looking their best.

Plastic seats are cheaper and easier to lift. However, they’re not as comfortable in cold climates, where they can feel a bit chilly in the winter.

Bells and whistles

Manufacturers regularly invent new features for bathroom fixtures, and toilet seats are no exception. A few handy advancements in toilet technology have given us many options:

  • Quiet-close lids that don’t bang.

  • Microbial finishes to improve hygiene

  • Hinges that allow you to easily remove the seat for more thorough cleaning

  • Heating for a warmer experience in winter

  • Nightlight to prevent unfortunate accidents

  • Bidet functions for that squeaky clean feel

How to Install the New Seat

You’ll need a few hand tools and supplies to replace your old toilet seat, including:


  1. Pliers

  2. Adjustable wrench

  3. Flathead screwdriver


  1. Paper towels or rags

  2. Toilet or all-purpose cleaner

  3. WD40 or lubricating oil

Installation step-by-step

With your tools, supplies, and the new seat in hand, you’re ready for the big change.

Removing the old seat:

  1. Locate the caps covering the hinge bolts on the back of the old seat and pop them open. These are the bolt housings.

  2. Use the pliers or wrench to hold the nut underneath still while using the screwdriver to loosen the bolt. WD40 will help loosen them if stuck.

  3. Remove the old seat along with the nuts and bolts

  4. Give your toilet a thorough cleaning before installing the new toilet seat


Installing the new seat

  1. Open the packaging, and locate the included nuts and bolts

  2. Take the new seat and place it on top of the toilet

  3. Align the bolt holes in the seat hinge with the holes on the back of the toilet

  4. Use the new nuts and bolts to attach the new seat

  5. Hand tighten the bolts and then adjust the seat to ensure it is straight and aligned

  6. Use the flathead screwdriver to tighten the seat to the toilet

Installing a new toilet seat is easy and adds a fresh new look to your bathroom. Considering all the convenient new features on offer, it can be a real lifestyle upgrade.

However, if you need a whole new toilet, make an appointment today with the plumbing professionals at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Pleasantville. We can make your bathroom upgrade dreams a reality.