How to remove or replace a toilet seat
Help and advice
If you’re looking for instructions on how to remove and replace a cracked or broken toilet seat, then you’ve arrived at the right place. In the following article, we’ll explain exactly what you need to do in stages, including all the tools and parts required to get the job done correctly.
What you'll need:
A few basic tools that include the following:
An adjustable wrench
A pair of pliers
A flat head screwdriver
WD-40 or similar lubricant
A tape measure
Antibacterial spray (and a cloth)
A pair of silicon gloves is also recommended for hygiene reasons. However, please be aware they can break easily and will numb your sensitivity to touch when handling the tools and toilet seat fixings.
If you prefer, you can use a barrier cream to limit your exposure to any potentially nasty bacteria. Just rub the cream into your hands thoroughly before you get started.
How to remove your toilet seat
Most of the time, your toilet seat is attached with two fitting bolts. These bolts are usually located at the back of the toilet and covered by plastic caps. You’ll need to remove these caps with your screwdriver, taking care not to damage the porcelain.
After removing the caps, you should have access to the bolts which pass down directly through the toilet. You should also be able to see the nuts attached to the other end of the bolts below the toilet. To remove them, you’ll need to clamp each nut in place using the pliers and unscrew the bolts anti-clockwise using the flat head screwdriver or adjustable wrench.
Once the nuts are removed, you may find that the bolts are still stuck in place due to an accumulation of grime and limescale over the years. This is where a couple of sprays of WD-40 will come in handy, just remember to leave the WD-40 to do its work for 5 minutes or so.
When the bolts are free, remove the old toilet seat. Don’t worry about keeping any of the bolts and fittings as your new toilet seat will come with everything you need.
At this point, it's probably a good idea to use the antibacterial spray to clean the toilet thoroughly. This will make it easier to take measurements and fit your new toilet seat without having to worry about bacteria.
How to measure for your new toilet seat
Most toilets are standard sized, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to make sure that you are purchasing a toilet seat that will fit.
The key areas of the toilet to measure for your new toilet seat are:
The distance between the two bolt holes, which is usually 155mm.
The width of the toilet bowl at its widest point.
The distance from the front of the toilet bowl to the centre point between the two bolt holes.
How to fit a new toilet seat
Fitting your new toilet seat is no more difficult than removing the old one. Start by following the instructions that come in the box. This will usually involve some basic assembly of the hinges and fittings to the new seat.
When you’re ready, place the new seat over the toilet, taking care to line the hinges over the holes at the back. Once you're happy with the positioning, slot the bolts through the hinges and down into the holes through the porcelain.
Grip each bolt with your pliers and thread the washer (if there is one) and turn the nut clockwise by hand until the nut is tight. You can then use the adjustable spanner to tighten more securely.
If the new toilet seat fittings came with plastic caps to cover the bolts, they can now be clipped over the bolt heads to seal them. Job done.
How to fix a toilet seat
Now that you know how to fit a new toilet seat, you’ll also find it relatively easy to fix a loose or squeaky one. Most of the time, all you need to do is tighten, or loosen the nuts attached to the toilet seat fixings. A few squirts of WD-40 may also do the trick too.