A toilet between a glass-paneled shower and a vanity sink in a bathroom.

How To Remove A Toilet Seat

Originally contributed by • last updated 5/28/2021

5 minsActive Time
EasyDifficulty
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5 minsActive Time
EasyDifficulty

We get a lot of use out of our bathrooms, and it’s just one of those spaces we need to be fully operational.

Therefore, we sometimes have to make changes to keep everything clean and functional.

Toilet seat replacement is an easy way to keep bathrooms fresh and hygienic. It’s also a simple and surefire method to finally fixing that loose seat.

In this lesson, we’ll teach you how to remove an old toilet seat and change it out for a new one. 

We’ll also explain seat measurements and sizes, so you know which seat is suitable for a specific toilet.

Let's Make It

Equipment

  • Can-do attitude!

Materials

  • Toilet seat replacement kit

Are Toilet Seats Universal?

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We’re often asked how to measure a toilet seat, so we thought we’d set the record straight.

There are two main shapes, which depend on the style of throne you have. These are ‘round’ and ‘elongated.’ Try to find a seat that matches your specific toilet shape.

With the shape in mind, take the seat measurements. You can do this by measuring the width of the outside wall of the toilet from the widest part of the bowl. The width is usually a standard size.

For the length, measure the longest distance from the holes at the back that will hold the seat or lid to the front edge of the bowl. Use these measurements to select the appropriately sized toilet seat.

Distances between the seat bolts and screws are almost always standardized. This is regardless of whether you have a round or elongated bowl.

How To Remove A Toilet Seat

01/8

Unlock Toilet Seat Hinge Plates

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To start with the toilet seat replacement, unlock the hinge plates on the old lid. 

The hinge plates are located at the back of the lid, and in most cases, can easily be opened by hand.

Info: Hinge plates vary in design. Some rotate like in our example; others slide into place. Alternatively, toilet hinge plates can also simply flip up. Flip hinge plates are the most common. Determine which type of hinge plate your seat has, and open it to access the screws/bolts.

02/8

Unfasten Toilet Seat Bolts

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Look underneath the toilet and remove the nut that is attached to the seat bolts. This is what’s holding the toilet lid in place.

Tip: If you’re unable to remove the nuts by hand, use a wrench. Keep in mind that a wrench can damage the plastic nuts, but that’s okay because you’ll be replacing them anyway. Replacement kits come with new screws/bolts and nuts.

After removing the plastic nuts, give the underside where they were attached a good cleaning.

How To Take Off A Toilet Seat

03/8

Remove Toilet Seat

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Once both seat nuts have been unfastened, the bolts will now be free, and you can remove the toilet seat and lid.

To do this, simply lift the seat off.

With the seat removed, thoroughly clean the areas where the bolts and hinge plate covers were on the toilet. This is the easiest time to wipe down this area.

How To Replace A Toilet Seat

04/8

Open New Toilet Seat Hinges

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Open the hinge plate covers so that the bolts or screws may be placed inside.

You can open the hinge plate cover by simply lifting the square or rectangular top in most cases.

Info: There are various ways the hinge plates are connected to the toilet seat and lid. With this model, the hinges are able to slide away from the seat.

See the manufacturer’s instructions included with the replacement kit to identify what type of covers you have and how they work.

05/8

Insert New Toilet Seat Screws

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Slide the screws/bolts into the hinges as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Next, place the screws/bolts and hinges into their holes from the top.

Info: Not all hinges are detachable. If they aren’t, place the seat on the toilet during this time so the screw/bolts can be aligned with the bowl.

06/8

Attach And Adjust Toliet Seat

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Attach the seat to the hinges when applicable.

Once attached, adjust the seat and lid so that it’s flush with the toilet.

How To Tighten A Toilet Seat

07/8

Fasten New Toilet Seat Bolts

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Once the seat is lined up with the bowl, hand fasten the plastic lock nuts from underneath.

Fasten both sides but don’t tighten the nuts all the way. While the seat still a little loose, double-check to make sure it's still aligned with the bowl and make further adjustments when necessary.

With the seat fully aligned, finish fastening the lock nuts until they are hand-tightened.

Tip: It’s best to hand-tighten the plastic lock nuts because using metal pliers or a wrench can damage/break the plastic or nylon hardware.

08/8

Close New Toilet Seat Hinge Plates

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All that’s left to do is close the hinge plate covers at the back of the seat.

Click the covers shut, or rotate them to the closed position.

Once the seat is installed, test to make sure the lid easily opens and closes, is stable, and that everything stays firmly in place.

And you’re done! You now know how to remove and install a toilet seat. That wasn’t so hard, wast it?