Whether your existing toilet seat is old or broken and in need of replacement or you’ve just installed a new toilet, fitting a toilet seat & lid should only take a few minutes when you know what you’re doing. This quick and simple DIY project is an easy way to brighten up your bathroom without much effort or any professional tools.
Here are seven tips for replacing a toilet seat & lid and one ultimate trick to bear in mind to keep your bathroom plumbing in tip top condition:
If you’re considering installing a new seat & lid on your toilet because your existing seat isn’t working properly, then you may not need a new seat at all! An unsteady or sliding toilet seat can often be fixed with just a simple hinge or bolt adjustment.
Tightening a loose hinge or bolt or replacing a broken bolt may be all that’s needed to make the seat steady. Adjustments to the hinge position will also prevent problems like the toilet seat falling down or the seat not covering the bowl properly.
Just replacing some or all of the fittings could save you some money and mean that you don’t need to spend time trying to find another toilet seat & lid that matches your bathroom design.
One of the most important tips to bear in mind when replacing a toilet seat & lid is to take measurements. You’ll need to measure the existing toilet seat and take note of the shape to make sure that you buy a replacement that fits properly.
If your toilet doesn’t have a seat, then measure the width of the toilet bowl, the space between the holes, and the length of the bowl from the middle. The likelihood is you’ll either need a round or oval seat, as these are two of the most common toilet seat shapes.
While you’ll need to match your existing toilet seat for shape and size to get the correct fit, it doesn’t mean that you can’t upgrade your toilet seat in another way.
One thing to consider when replacing a toilet seat & lid is the option of a soft-close toilet seat. These can cost more than a traditional seat, but they close smoothly and quietly by themselves. Some soft-close seats also come with other advanced features like built-in night lights.
If you’re replacing your toilet seat anyway, it’s worth shopping around for an upgrade if you’re budget can stretch to it.
As with any project, it’s best to start with the tools you need ready. Thankfully, replacing a toilet lid & seat doesn’t require much equipment, but you will need a:
You may also want to wear gloves while working on the toilet or clean it thoroughly first with an anti-bacterial spray. As you’ll likely need to kneel down when removing and replacing the seat, it may be easier to use knee pads or place a towel or soft rug on the floor.
On most toilets, there’s a bolt on either side that needs to be removed to take off the seat. You’ll need to remove the bolt caps and hold the nuts in place while you unscrew the bolts, or alternatively remove the nuts first and then the bolts.
For older toilet seats where the bolts don’t come off easily, you may need to spray them with WD-40. WD-40 will loosen the bolts and make it much easier to remove them.
If WD-40 doesn’t do the trick, then the other option is to cut the bolts using a hacksaw. Simply protect the toilet bowl with tape and saw off the bolts beneath the hinge.
Installing your new toilet seat & lid may be as simple as following the same process for removing the seat but in reverse. However, it’s always best to read the instructions carefully before attaching the new seat & lid.
Much like removing the toilet seat, the installation process will vary depending on the type of toilet seat you’re installing; different types and brands of toilet seat will also come with different hardware. The installation process will go much simpler when you know what you’re doing before you begin!
To get the perfect fit for your new toilet seat & lid, make sure that you leave the nuts loose during the installation. Tightening the nuts too much while you’re still fitting the seat will limit the adjustments you can make. Only tighten the nuts fully when you’re 100% happy with the final position.
If you’re using plastic nuts, then you may not want to tighten them all the way. Plastic nuts that are too tight may break sooner and mean that you’ll need to replace the fittings again. Over-tightening metal nuts may also prove problematic at a later date if you need to remove or adjust your toilet seat.
Much more can go wrong with your bathroom fixtures than an old or broken toilet seat. There are many problems that can affect your toilet, such as issues with the flush, constantly running water in the tank and moisture around the toilet fixtures.
For peace of mind over the health of your plumbing, booking a home plumbing inspection is a great idea. The inspection will cover everything from the pipes and lines in your home to toilets and sinks to give you the ultimate reassurance that your plumbing is in excellent condition.
Contact Arco Plumbing in Westmont IL for bathroom plumbing maintenance, installations and replacements as well as repairs, or give us a call for advice about any aspect of your plumbing.