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Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Toilet Seat

Alex Sanders
Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Toilet Seat

A toilet seat isn’t something that most people are in the market for everyday. And while it’s not the most exciting purchase you’ll make this year, it might be one of the most important. Take your time and make sure you know what you’re getting!

When to Buy a New Toilet Seat

A toilet seat isn’t like a loaf of bread or gallon of milk. It doesn’t come with an expiration date. It’s not even like a mattress, which comes with a recommended replacement date. Nobody tells you how long a toilet seat is supposed to last or when you’ll need a new one. So…how do you know when it’s time for a replacement?

According to one handyman, “Toilet seats will generally last for 5 or more years. Exactly how long a specific toilet seat will last depends on a number of factors, including the material the toilet seat is made from, the quality of the hardware, and the amount of use it receives.”

The materials that impact a toilet seat’s lifespan include materials, hardware, amount of use, the environment, and accidents. A plastic toilet seat in a public restroom, for example, isn’t going to last as long as a more durable seat in a private master bathroom.


You’ll know it’s time to replace your existing toilet seat when some of the following start happening:


  • The toilet seat becomes cracked or broken
  • The hardware or hinges become broken
  • The color or design becomes dated/ugly
  • The toilet seat is stained (usually from bleach)
  • The toilet seat is uncomfortable
  • The paint or finish is worn off
  • You no longer like it


The good news is that toilet seats are fairly inexpensive to replace. And as long as you have a couple of basic tools, this is something you can replace yourself.


Tips for Selecting the Perfect Toilet Seat


Buying a new toilet seat isn’t something you need to stress over, but you should take some time to ensure you’re selecting the perfect option for your bathroom. Here are several tips:


Measure properly. Unfortunately, toilet seats do not come in a standard size. Every toilet is different and it’s important that you get the proper measurements for yours. Here’s how you do that:

  • Place a tape measure at the front of the toilet and measure the distance to the fixing holes on the back. This is your length.
  • Place a tape measure from right to left alongside the widest part of the bowl. This is your width.
  • Measure between the two fixing holes on the back side of the toilet to get a measurement for the distance between the hardware.

You should also take note of the general shape of your toilet. Common shapes include circular, oval, and rectangular.

The good news is that, while there is no standard size, many toilet seats can adjust to fit different sizes. The key is to select the right shape or orientation. In other words, if you have an oval toilet, get an oval toilet seat.

Choose the right material. Toilet seats come in a variety of materials. This includes wood, plastic, and even plush/cushioned seats. Then there’s the hardware, which can be anything from plastic to metal. Know what you want and shop around until you find the right material.

Consider extra features. Toilet seats have features? Well, some do. While some people opt for a standard toilet seat, many choose toilet seats with bidet attachments. If nothing else, it’s something to consider for yourself.

As BidetMate explains, “Bidet toilets come in all shapes and sizes. It's important to choose a design that will fit in with the rest of your bathroom decor. You also want to make sure that the bidet seat is comfortable to sit on.”

Maybe you don’t want a bidet, but there are other features that come with upgraded toilet seats. For example, you can get a heated seat, which makes for a more pleasant bathroom experience when the weather is cold.

Shop around. A toilet seat isn’t a huge financial investment, but it can pay off to shop around and compare prices. If you can save 10 to 15 percent by looking at a couple of different stores, why not? That’s money you can spend on something else.

Adding it All Up

As you can see, there are several factors to take into account when buying a toilet seat. Hopefully, this article has given you some pointers to make the process simple, easy, and carefree. Good luck!

Alex Sanders
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