Replace the toilet seat? How to choose a size: round or oblong... and style: wood or plastic (2023)

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Who knew I could spend almost an hour at Home Depotright nowto researchtoilet seat?!

Better yet, who knew I could write a 1000 word article on the intricacies of toilet seats???

Hold on to your fuzzy toilet seat covers folks... here we go!

Ode to a chest of drawers

In preparation for our move (which is many months away), we have decided to replace our old toilet seats and lids with new ones. Three in total.

We hope they last long enough to still look good when it comes time to sell this house in a year or so. In addition, we believe that our guests deserve a nicer palette to rest their stomachs on when they come to visit.

So the hunt for the best toilet seat had begun!

First, some basic information about toilet seats

How long does a typical toilet seat really last?

I couldn't find any facts or figures about this online (see below). In our case,5-1/2 years seems to be the going rate. The toilet in the ladies bathroom doesn't even get much use and one is as bad as the other 2 which are heavily used.

We finally got tired of looking at this old eyesore that was crooked, faded andstained by various cleaning agents. (Why do they make toilet cleanersblueAnyway?! More on that later...)

For the record, our current toilet seats are made by Church. They must be good - I think. But I am willing to try another brand at this point.

What's a girl to do?...

What's a girl to do these days to get good, honest feedback on toilet seats?

(Video) Toilet Seats 101: All the Info You Never Knew You Needed!

You know me... I will research online with the best of them. The only problem is that there really isn't anything online - as far as tips goselectthe best toilet seat.

Oh, there are a million and one articles about itWhyto replace a toilet seatIHowto replace a toilet seat. But that's the least of my worries right now. Seems pretty easy to long as you're good with a screwdriver.

How to change a toilet seat

I know…most people would say that choosing a seat for your toilet is just a matter of personal taste and opinion. But still, I want to read other people's opinions before I go out and "try" toilet seats! I mean, who wants to be known as the person who kept returning toilet seats? (We live in a small town.)

All about toilet seats

So here's what I've learned about toilet seats...

Toilet seat sizes: round vs. oblong

There are real onesonly 2 sizes to worry about: "round" or "oblong"(or "oblong").

Choosing the right size toilet seat

(Video) How to Choose a New Toilet Seat | Ask This Old House

Generally, it's easy to tell just by seeing if you have oneround or elongated toilet. If you prefer to measure (just to be sure), measure from the front of the bowl to the center of the screws on the back of the bowl/lid.

Here isstandard toilet bowl sizes:

  • Round toilet bowl: 16.5 inches
  • Elongated toilet bowl: 18.5 inches

(We definitely prefer an elongated toilet seat!)

Whatdovary is the width of the bowl from left to right. But that's usually not enough to worry about, as most standard-sized toilet seats and lids will cover most toilet bowls, even if they are slightly narrower or wider than the next.

Wondering how to measure a toilet seat?... has a great slide show that walks you through each of the areas you need to measure.

Replace the toilet seat? How to choose a size: round or oblong... and style: wood or plastic (2)

Here's what you need to knowwide toilet seat.

Wooden toilet seats versus plastic toilet seats

We have always had woodin the houses we have rented, bought or built. For no other reason than what the house already had, or what the builder recommended.

✅Toilet seat: Best toilet seats (buying guide)

(Video) How to Replace a Toilet Seat | Ask This Old House

But I've been so frustrated with all the stains from using different cleaners on our 3 wooden toilet seats that I was open to trying a plastic toilet seat this time.

I thought maybe there would be a brand new, modern and high quality plastic chair that would be "all the rage" these days.

But in that case, I couldn't find it - online or in stores.

Which toilet seat did we choose?

So after quite a bit of research on toilet seats, we settled on this one:de Bemis easy-to-clean toilet seat. (Personally, most toilet seats on the market seem to have similar features, so I'm not sure this one is that special. But it works fine for us.)

A couple of thoughts on thattimber versus plastic toilet seat:

  • As a rule,wooden toilet seats are slightly more expensivedan plast toilet seat.
  • In general,wooden chairs are also thicker, warmer to sit on, sturdier and more durableand plastexemplarer.
  • Plastic seats may have some "extra features" built in(such as an automatic slow-closing lid) - but many wooden chairs now also have this function.
  • Plastic lids are likely to have minor scratches— even from soft sponges used for cleaning.
  • Plastic toilet seats and lids are more likely to burst.

Other than that, I can't think of anything else that has influenced our choice of toilet seats.

maybemetal hinges vs. plastic hinges

But if a toilet seat only lasts 5 years, I think the plastic (cheaper) hinges will do just as well. Others may prefer the "look" of metal toilet seat hinges.

I'd love to hear from others if there are any features I likeshouldhas searched. Or, if there are new and improved models worth considering!

(Video) How to Tighten or Replace a Toilet Seat in 3 Minutes

How long will it be like this?...

Iworkthink about itToilets themselves typically last a lifetime, mensthe faucets and fixtures in toilets last about 10 years. Not sure if that includes the chair or not (I doubt it). But as mentioned above, ourtoilet seats last about 5-1/2 years on average.

Okay, so who knew there were so many different colors available? Check this outToilet Seat Colors Cross Reference Table!

Like this post?save itto read again later... or share with others on Pinterest!

Replace the toilet seat? How to choose a size: round or oblong... and style: wood or plastic (5)


I love helping people find unique ways to do things that save time and money - so I write about "out of the box" household tips and life hacks that most people wouldn't think of. I am super organized. And I like to clean! I enjoy washing myself (but not ironing). I'm also a lifelong dog owner, so I often share my favorite tips for living with dogs in the home (like smart home design choices and dog-friendly cleaning and decorating ideas). As for my career, I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year Google started... and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). Prior to that I worked in Higher Ed for over 10 years before switching to instead pursue activities that I am truly passionate about. For example, I have worked at a vet, in a photo lab and in a zoo – just to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors on a bike, motorbike, jeep or motorhome. When I'm not cleaning, organizing, decorating or mending... you can find me on the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 Fun & Helpful Websites). To date, I have personally written over 200 articles on cleaning, organizing, DIY repairs, and household hacks on this site! A few have more than 2 million shares; many others own more than 100,000 shares.

(Video) How to Replace a Toilet Seat – Fix it in 15 | HouseSmarts


Replace the toilet seat? How to choose a size: round or oblong... and style: wood or plastic? ›

The simple answer to the question “Are toilet seats a standard size?” is no. Unfortunately, toilet seats aren't produced in a standard size, however, that doesn't mean you can't easily find a replacement for your own toilet.

Are all oblong toilet seats the same size? ›

The simple answer to the question “Are toilet seats a standard size?” is no. Unfortunately, toilet seats aren't produced in a standard size, however, that doesn't mean you can't easily find a replacement for your own toilet.

What is the difference between oblong and round toilet seat? ›

Highlights. The main difference between elongated and round toilets is the shape and length of the seat. Elongated toilets are longer and more common in new construction. Round toilets might fit better in smaller bathrooms to maximize the space.

Will a round toilet seat fit an oblong toilet? ›

It's a good thing they ask, because toilet seats are designed to fit one of two bowls: round or elongated. A round toilet seat absolutely won't fit an elongated bowl, and, as you may have guessed, the opposite is also true.

What happens if you put an elongated toilet seat on a round toilet? ›

An elongated bidet seat will still mount on a round toilet, as well as function just fine, but the aesthetics and comfort of the seat will be greatly diminished.

How do I know which toilet seat will fit my toilet? ›

How to Measure a Toilet Seat:
  • Measure the space between the bolts where the seat attaches to the bowl. ...
  • Determine the width of the bowl at its widest point.
  • Measure the length of the bowl between the seat bolts and the bowl's front edge.
  • Choose a new toilet seat based on those measurements.
Aug 3, 2021

What is the standard size of an oblong toilet? ›

A round front bowl generally has a dimension of approximately 16.5" from the seat bolt holes to the tip of the bowl. An elongated bowl is approximately 2" longer, or about 18.5". (Note: these dimensions can change from manufacturer to manufacturer, but there is almost always about a 2" difference between the 2 sizes).

Do all elongated toilet seats fit all toilets? ›

No, not all toilet seats fit the same because toilets come in a variety of different shapes, so you'll need to check yours before buying.

What is the most common toilet seat shape? ›

Round Toilet Seats:

This is the most common type you'll encounter in your hunt to find the best toilet seat for your home. Generally, a round toilet seat will cost a little bit less than its elongated cousin. Measuring at 16.5 inches, the round seat will also take up less space.

Which toilet seat is more comfortable round or elongated? ›

Because they extend up to 31 inches from the wall, they take up more bathroom space and can be restrictive in a smaller bathroom. However, most adults find elongated seats more comfortable than round, and people with mobility issues can stand up from them more easily.

Why get an elongated toilet seat? ›

As a general rule, elongated toilet seats (and the toilets that go with them) offer more bowl area than their round counterparts. This makes bidet use, cleaning, and personal hygiene duties more comfortable than they would be on a constricted, round seat.

Should a toilet seat overhang the toilet? ›

Ensure the toilet seat covers the bowl completely, there should not be a gap around the edge and it should not overhang.

How do I know what size toilet I need? ›

Measure from the wall behind the toilet to the center of one of the closet bolts (which hold the toilet down). If the toilet has four closet bolts, measure to the center of one of the rear ones. Then measure from the center of the mounting holes to the back of the new toilet you're considering.

Does toilet seat shape matter? ›

The shape of your toilet seat matters the most. Generally, elongated toilet seats are considered more comfortable than round toilet seats. The material the toilet seat is made of also influences how comfortable it is to sit on. Some toilet seats are built with a user-friendly material, making them more comfortable.

Why are toilet seats oval shaped? ›

The design “eliminates an area that could be contaminated with urine” and also “eliminates the user's genital contact with the seat.” There is a sensible exception to the Uniform Plumbing Code requirement. If a public restroom has an automatic toilet-seat cover dispenser, the seat doesn't need to be U-shaped.

Why are some toilets oval shaped? ›

Front-wiping is much easier.

A primary motivation for the U-shape code requirement is to accommodate female users. The elongated bowl design along with the open-front seat makes it possible to access the more private areas without having to come in contact with the toilet.


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