How to Change your Toilet Seats

Alternative Post Title: The Least Glamorous Blog Post Ever

Yes I’m not gonna lie, today’s post is not at all glitzy or glamorous (it’s actually a bit embarrassing if we’re being completely honest here). But it is a DIY project that every single homeowner can & should know how to do. I’m talking about changing out your toilet seats. Is that awkward?

toilet-seat-how-to-installEver since we moved into our condo, late last year, I’ve been meaning to change our old toilet seats. They’re 11 years old, they were chipping, and they were just straight-up kinda gross. No matter how much I cleaned them, they just never seemed to get clean enough (TMI?) and it drove me bonkers.

old-toilet-seatSo I finally decided to buy some new toilet seats and ditch the old ones. And let me tell you…it took about 5 minutes for each one and was just about the easiest DIY project I’ve ever tackled.

Before heading to the store, I measured the length of my toilet bowl. Apparently there are 2 types of toilet seat sizes….round & elongated. Honestly, you can probably tell by just looking at the shape of your toilet bowl. But (if you want to be safe and avoid 2 trips to the store!) you can also measure from the screws at the back of the bowl area, to the front of the bowl.

  • Round Toilet Bowl: 16.5 inches
  • Elongated (or Oblong) Toilet Bowl: 18.5 inches

round-toilet-bowlThe width of the toilet seats will vary, but probably not enough to make much of a difference on your toilet. It may be a little narrow or wide, but shouldn’t affect the functionality much at all.

After checking out our toilets, I came to the conclusion that I would need 2 round toilet seats.  So I headed to our new Lowe’s (yay for a Lowe’s in the city of Chicago #finally) and went right to the plumbing area to check out their choices. Because I don’t plan to change these toilet seats again, I opted for the nicest option they had which was about $35 a seat. They do have much less expensive options (like $8 a pop), but I figured this was an easy way to slightly improve our toilet & bathrooms without spending too much money. new-toilet-seatHere’s the one I went with. I like it because it has a soft close and you can remove it to easily clean your toilet. Yes & yes! I also chose a white to match our toilet, but they do have a variety of options to choose from. new-toilet-seat-bathroomWith my new toilet seats all ready to go, it was time to get rid of the old ones so I could put the new ones on. screwdriver-wrenchFor this, you’ll probably just need a wrench and a screwdriver.cleaning-productsOh and don’t forget some cleaning products! Once you take the old one off you’ll be ready to tackle the grossness with a heavy-duty cleaner & scrub brush (or old toothbrush to get in the nooks & crannies!)unscrewing-old-toilet-seatTo get rid of my old seats, I simply had to lift up the flaps on the back and unscrew the bolts. It only took about a minute to get it off. bathroom-cleaner-sprayWith the seat off, I really tackled the toilet with a cleaning product. It’s crazy the gunk that accumulates in the impossible to clean spots (if you’re enjoying your breakfast right about now… i sincerely apologize for that visual). It was nice to give it a good once over before moving onto the new seats. #freshstarttoilet-seat-newWith the old seat gone and the toilet clean, it was time to install the new one. You’ll need to follow the directions that come with your particular seat, but here’s how mine was installed. parts-toilet-seatThe seat came with 2 bolts and then some plastic hardware. toilet-seat-partsFollowing the directions, I placed the bolts through the back hinge caps and placed the seat on the bowl through the holes. nut-toilet-seatThen I attached the nuts underneath the seat and tightened with my fingers.wrenchNext (per the directions), I took a wrench and tightened the nuts until a portion of it snapped off. It’s a bit difficult to get the wrench under the toilet, but do your best and go slow. This was the hardest part of this project…but it’s totally doable!

Rookie Tip: Make sure you keep the seat centered as you tighten everything or else it may be off kilter when you use it.toilet-seat-after-bathroomAnd that’s it! Seriously, it’s that easy. You just put it on there and tighten it in place. Completing this project made me realize that I should have done this waaaay sooner. bathroom-new-toilet-seat-afterWe’ve lived with our new toilet seats (in the master & guest bath) for a couple of weeks now and I’m weirdly excited about them still. Man, you know you’re a dorky homeowner when toilet seats get you pumped! But it really does make a big difference. I love the soft close & they’re so much easier to clean! bathroom-master-shelves So if you’re looking for a quick & easy project to upgrade the bathroom, definitely consider upgrading your toilet seats. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll be weirdly happy every time you walk into your bathroom. toilet-seat-how-to-install-001casey_sig

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  • I feel self conscious about how excited I am for a removable seat. I hate having to use a q-tip to try to clean around the tabs… the neat Nick inside of me is jumping for joy! Lol

    • hahahaha that is hilarious Elise! I feel ya. It was time for new ones that are now much easier to clean! It’s weird how excited I am about these haha.

  • shawnna griffin

    hey Casey great tips! We need new ones to!

  • Peggy

    I’m glad to see I’m good company with my excitement over soft close and removable toilet seats. I definitely see them in my future especially since I’ve recently turned over bathroom cleaning duties to my 14-yr old son. I tend to “outsource” household jobs to my brothers more than I should and feel somewhat embarrassed when I find out they only take few moments to complete myself. Keep these tips coming ladies since I always learn something new and I just celebrated 17 years of home ownership…

    • That is hilarious, Peggy! And so happy to help you complete some projects around the house yourself! Seriously..this one is so easy.

  • Something new to do with toilet seats. Amazing post. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Need to fix removable seats soon.

  • April Blake

    Don’t forget to re-use the old ones in other places around the house! 😀

    • Oh my goodness April. I almost just spit out my coffee. That is amazing!