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How to Measure Toilet Seat and Install a New One

How to Measure Toilet Seat and Install a New One

The toilet seat adds comfort and stability on the chilly toilet rim. While it comes in standard sizes nowadays, it would still be wise to measure it before buying a new one. There are general guidelines for the measurements, and there are also proper ways on how to measure toilet seats accurately.

Toilet seats come in two major types: the rounded and the elongated. The rounded toilet seat, which measures 16.5 inches, is the most common type because it is more affordable and takes up less space. The elongated toilet seat is 18.5 inches and has an oval shape.

How to Measure Toilet Seats: The General Guideline

It is easier to take measurements of the modern, standard toilet seats. It can be done by measuring from the back to the front side.

If the length is approximately 16 inches or 41 centimeters, a standard round toilet seat can fit into the toilet rim. If it is around 18 inches or 46 centimeters long, buy an elongated seat.

For older or specialty toilet bowls, it is not as easy as the above. However, measuring the toilet seat regardless of the type should not be difficult.

The Steps

In order to take accurate measurements, you need to measure three points.

  1. Locate the bolts where the toilet seat connects to the toilet bowl. Identify the distance between these two parts. Most standard USA-made toilet seats have bolts that are 5.5 inches apart.
  2. Determine the width of the bowl at the widest portion. Place the tape measure on the outer side of the toilet rim to get the accurate number.
  3. Then, measure the seat bolts to the outside end of the front of the toilet bowl. The elongated bowl should measure from 18 to 18.5 inches, while the round bowl should be around 16.5 inches.

Measuring for the Specialty Toilet Seat

The most important measurement to take for a specialty seat is the distance between the bolts and the centers of the bolt holes. If the bolt spread doesn’t measure 14 centimeters (American toilet) or 15 to 17 centimeters (European toilet), a specialty toilet seat is what you need.

Then, measure the toilet bowl length and width. Start at the centers of the bolt holes up to the front end of the toilet bowl. To measure the width, do it at the widest part of the bowl.

You also need to measure the distance between the tank and the bolt holes. This is to ensure the accessories such as seat warmers, elevated seat, and bidet connection meet the minimum allowance between the tank and bolt holes.

If you are planning to purchase a snap-on toilet seat, measure the old toilet seat including its width, length, and height, and buy a new one with similar measurements. The snap-on attachments are common in raised toilet seats intended for the elderly and people with limited mobility.

How to Choose a New Toilet Seat

After getting the right measurement, you can easily identify which type of toilet seat you need to buy. This way, you trim down your choices. Once you hit the hardware store, you will realize how vast your options are among the various materials and styles.

The solid plastic or plastic-coated composite wood is the most common toilet seat. It comes in white and different shapes, with or without seat cover, and in a wide variety of styles from plain to fancy prints.

Another variation is the wooden toilet seat which is considered naturally sterile. It stays cleaner than the standard plastic toilet seat. However, it needs to be constantly dried off to prevent water damage.

Factors to Consider

Since you spend a significant time of your life sitting on a toilet seat, it is important to feel comfortable. The shape, material, design, and stability all contribute to comfort. It should stay in place and not wiggle when you move, sit, or stand up.

Plastic toilet seats are convenient to clean and maintain its quality. They are generally affordable and consume less space. The wooden toilet seats are more hygienic but require more attention and care when keeping it clean and dry.

Durability is also an important factor since toilet seats are frequently used throughout the day. They should withstand chips, wears, and cracks regardless of user weight. It would be wise to read buyer reviews when scouting for a heavy-duty toilet seat.

How to Install the New Toilet Seat?

When you have successfully taken the exact measurement and chosen your preferred toilet seat, the last step is to install it on the toilet bowl. Here is how to do it:

  1. Take out the old toilet seat by unscrewing the seat bolts. If they don’t loosen up after minutes of unscrewing, you probably need to grasp the nut under the toilet bowl while unscrewing. Once the bolts are taken out, the toilet seat can be lifted off from the bowl.
  2. After removing the old toilet seat and before installing the new one, take time to clean the surface of the toilet bowl. The exposed post holes probably need a special solution to remove rust and other leftover dirt.
  3. Install the new toilet seat. You start with arranging the seat bolts in line with the post holes and then shove them in.
  4. Screw the nuts a little bit. Evaluate whether the new toilet seat is in line with the toilet rim. Then, securely tighten the nuts.

The Conclusion

Toilet seats are parts of every civilized home, as they provide more comfort and steadiness while sitting on the bowl. Since they now usually come with the toilet bowl, they could be a challenge when replacing with a new one.

The first thing to know is how to measure toilet seat. This way, you can identify the type, shape, and style of the new toilet seat that you are going to purchase and install. Likewise, this is to ensure compatibility and snug fit around the toilet bowl rim.

For specialty toilet seats such as raised toilet seats, secure fit is critical because they are intended to support the elderly, injured, and people who underwent surgery.

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