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DIY and how to guides

How to change a toilet seat

Whether you need to replace it because it’s broken or you just fancy a new style, all you need are a couple of basic tools and the right sized replacement. It should only take a few minutes to replace your toilet seat. 

Image: How to change a toilet seat

How do I change a toilet seat?

Types of toilet seats

Toilet seats come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you know which one you’re working with first.

There are two main types of toilet seat: standard close and soft close. Soft close toilet seats are great because they stop the seat from banging against the bowl when you let go. If you have a family bathroom, they’re also a good way to avoid any small fingers getting trapped.

Before you remove the old toilet seat, measure your toilet and make sure you have the right sized replacement. To measure your seat, just put on some rubber gloves and grab your tape measure to work out what size and shape seat you’ll need. Once you’ve jotted down the measurements, head to your local DIY store to choose a new toilet seat.

Step 1

Look at the edge of the old toilet seat, near the cistern. You might see plastic bolt caps where the seat’s hinges attach to the toilet bowl - there should be one on each side. If you spot them, gently slide a flathead screwdriver under their edge and pry them off.

Step 2

Work your way around the cap if it doesn't pop off in one try. If there are no bolt caps, you’ll just see the bolts holding the old seat onto the toilet bowl.

Step 3

Look underneath the toilet bowl and you should see the two bolts sticking out on each side, held in place by nuts. Twist the nuts anti-clockwise to loosen them - you can do this by hand or using an adjustable spanner.

Step 4

Once you’ve undone the nuts, gently lift the whole toilet seat off the bowl. If your old seat has washers between the nut and bowl, remove those as well. Now you’ve got the seat off, take the opportunity to give the top of your toilet bowl a good clean.

Step 5

Now, remove your new seat from the box. The box will also contain bolts and nuts, and might also include plastic caps to go over the bolts. The hinges on the seat will be pre-attached - place these exactly where the hinges on the old seat were located.

Step 6

The hinges will have holes for the bolts, which will be positioned directly on top of the holes in the top of the toilet bowl. Drop the bolts through the holes in both the hinges and bowl (with the head of the bolt on top).

Step 7

Look at one side of the toilet bowl - you should now see the end of one of the bolts sticking down through the top of the bowl. Turn the nut onto the bolt clockwise until it’s as tight as you can get it. You can use an adjustable spanner to tighten it a little more but be careful not to overdo it - you could crack the toilet! Repeat with the other nut on the other side of the toilet.

Step 8

If your new toilet set includes washers, place these on the bolt’s threads then put on the nut. If the hinges have plastic caps attached (or if these are included in the box with the new toilet seat), snap these in place by pushing them down on the heads of the bolts once you’re done.

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