Have you ever been in a situation when you spent hours upon hours looking for the right toilet seat and when you finally bought one and tried to fit it, you discovered that you have picked the wrong size seat replacement? The problem is quite common because many people do not know that there is more than one standard size of toilet seats. Some people know they need to buy the right size but they know nothing about measuring toilet seat. Keep reading to learn what you should know when replacing a toilet seat.

Steps to Measure Toilet Seat

Keep in mind that you will end up losing your money if you do not pay attention to size when buying a replacement toilet seat. Here are the steps to learn how to measure toilet seat:
  1. Be sure to take measurement from post hole to post hole. It means you should start measuring at the back of the seat area – the standard size is 5 ½ inches between holes.

  2. Take the measuring tape and reach out for the center front of the toilet bowl. Now, stretch the tape and notice the size between the center of the hinges, which is between the holes.

  3. Record these measurements.

  4. You may want to buy a round seat if your measurement was 16 ½ inches, but you will be better off buying an elongated seat if your measurement was 18 ½ inches.

Here is a video to help you understand how to measure toilet seat properly:

How to Replace a Toilet Seat

Once you know how to measure toilet seat and buy the right one, you will have to understand how to replace your old toilet seat. Here are the steps to follow:

Things You Need

  • Get a toilet seat (they come with nuts, bolts, and hinges)

  • Wrench


  1. Start by cleaning the rim, bowl, and seat. Close the lid.

  2. Look for the bolts at the back of the seat – these bolts attach the lid to the bowl. Remove the plastic caps if the bolts are covered.

  3. Find two long bolts behind the bowl and use the wrench to loosen the nuts that keep those bolts in place.

  4. Remove those bolts after removing the nuts. You will now be able to remove your old seat and lid. You will now have a bare toilet rim with a couple of holes near the tank.

  5. Take your new toilet seat and align the bolts with the holes on the rim. Thread the bolts properly before closing the seat and lid.

  6. Move behind the bowl and find the bolts. You have to thread the new nuts onto them and tighten the nuts with the wrench.

Here is a video that teaches you how to install a toilet seat in the right way:

How to Choose a New Toilet

Now you already know how to measure toilet seat and how to replace your old seat. Sometimes, you do not need a replacement but you have to choose a new toilet completely. If that is the case, you should keep the following points in mind.

Know Rough-In Measurements and Standards

To ensure your new toilet fit your space, you have to measure the rough-in size, which is the distance between bolts that hold the toilet to the floor and the wall behind the toilet. It is easier to take these measurements while your old toilet is still intact. Although the standard rough-in is 12 inches, you may sometimes encounter 14 inches and 10 inches rough-ins as well. Know these measurements before you start shopping for a new one.


Know the Toilet Models

You can find toilets in one-piece or two-piece models. You have a two-piece model if you see the bowl bolted to the tank. These types of toilets do not cost much and are relatively inexpensive than one-piece toilets. It is, however, easier to clean a one-piece toilet. You may also encounter wall-hung or wall mount toilets, but before buying these, know that they may require you to modify the waste system.


Learn More About Toilet Tanks and Flushing Systems

Toilets usually have a similar tank capacity, but you should consider flush lever positioning and flush valve size before making a purchase. It is equally important to consider the flushing systems – you can choose from gravity-flush and pressure-assisted systems. You may also find some additional toilet technology, such as dual flush, which come with two flushing options for partial or full flush; and waterless toilets, which work in areas where plumbing or water is not available.


Check the Toilet Seats

You need to keep in mind that most toilets will not include the seat. It means you will have to buy a seat separately. There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a toilet seat.

  • For instance, you should select a seat that compliments that existing décor of your bathroom.

  • Moreover, you should select a seat considering the shape of bowl – you can choose between elongated and round.

  • Also, consider the material of the seat before buying – you can find seats made of molded wood composition, real wood, plastic, cushioned vinyl, or polypropylene.

  • Finally, check what amenities a toilet seat offers – it may offer amenities such as heated surface, warm water stream, deodorizer, or warm air-drying.


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