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How To Change a Toilet Seat

Toilet seats come in different materials-everything from pressed wood products to solid wood, molded plastic, and exotic materials. They, like everything else, wear out or break and need to be replaced. Sometimes, a change of decor requires that you install a new toilet seat that matches or compliments your new look. So, learning how to change a toilet seat is an easy task and one that is rewarding as well as money-saving. If you do not change your own toilet seat, you may have to call a plumber to do it and pay a service call fee. The method of changing a toilet seat changes little from manufacturer to manufacturer and from model to model.

Preparation for changing the toilet seat

Changing a toilet seat is an easy money-saving task for the do-it-yourselfer

Changing a toilet seat is an easy money-saving task for the do-it-yourselfer

  1. Take note of the style of your toilet. An elongated bowl requires an elongated toilet seat. A round bowl will, of course, require a round seat.
  2. You have your choice of an open or closed front seat as well as a seat only, or a seat and lid combination. Usually, residential toilets utilize a closed front seat and lid. Commercial toilets utilize elongated, open front seats only to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
  3. Some people such as the elderly and disabled require elevated seats. These can be mounted on standard round bowl toilets as well as elongated ones for special purposes like hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living complexes, etc.

Changing the toilet seat

  1. All toilet seats or seat and lid combinations are secured to the toilet bowl with two mount bolts that extend from the rear of the seat down through the hinges and the  bowl.
  2. Pry up the top cap of each mount bolt location at the rear of the toilet seat with a small bladed screwdriver or knife blade.
  3. Reach underneath the edge of the toilet bowl on one side and grasp the toilet seat mount nut with a pair of slipjoint pliers or waterpump pliers.
  4. While holding the nut so it will not turn, Loosen the bolt with a screwdriver in the slot of the bolt head.
  5. Loosen the second mount bolt in the same manner.
  6. Remove both mount bolts.
  7. The hinges of the toilet seat are held firmly in place by the addition, in many cases, of a self-adhesive patch that acts as an anti-slip washer and a pad between the bottom of the hinge and the top of the bowl.
  8. Move the toilet seat gently side to side to break the adhesive and lift the toilet seat straight up to remove it.

Installing the new toilet seat or seat and lid combination

  1. Clean the top of the toilet bowl surface and dry it thoroughly.
  2. Remove the protective film from the adhesive side of the new washers and center them over the mount holes in the bowl. Press them firmly into place.
  3. Remove the protective film from the top of the adhesive washers or pads.
  4. Install the new mount bolts through the holes in the hinges of the new toilet seat.
  5. Lower the seat into position, making sure that the bolts go through the mount holes in the bowl.
  6. Install the washers and nuts on the ends of the mount bolts under the top of the toilet bowl.
  7. Tighten the mount bolts securely.


Do not overtighten the mount bolts because, in most cases, they are plastic and you can strip them out.

If you cannot remove the old brass mount bolts because of corrosion, simply cut them off with a hacksaw blade between the hinge and the top of the bowl.

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