Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Back to Basics: How to Replace a Toilet Seat

Replacing a toilet seat is one of the simplest home repair or improvement tasks you can do.  The only tool required is screwdriver and it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to remove the old toilet seat and lid and install a new one.   

Step by Step Instructions

Remove the old seat

 Step 1 – Find the screws.  With the lid closed look between the seat and the tank.  You should see two covers.  Lift the covers with the flat end of your screwdriver or some other flat tool such as a putty knife.  They may come off completely or may be on a hinge.



Step 2 – Loosen screws.  Under the cover (cap) you will see a screw.  The screw may be plastic or metal depending on the model. Using your screw driver, remove the screws.  You may need to use your other hand to hold the nut underneath from moving as you turn the screw.Step 3 - Remove the screws, nuts and the old seat.













Install the new seat




Step 1 – Place new seat on bowl. Place the new seat in place on the bowl making any necessary adjustments to line it up with the bowl.
Step 2 – Insert screws and install nuts. Insert the screws into the holes from the top and carefully install the nuts onto the bottom of the screws.  Do not tighten yet.
Step 3 – Tighten screws.  While hold the nuts in place, tighten the screws from above.  Be careful not to over tighten especially if you have metal screws going into plastic nuts.  You can easily strip the threads.
Step 4 – Snap the covers in place or install the covers provided with your toilet seat.













Tips for choosing a toilet seat. 

You can find a toilet seat that costs anywhere from $10 to $1200, yes you read that right $1200 specialty toilets seats are available.
What style do you need? For the typical homeowner there are 2 main types, rounded (shown in the pictures) and elongated.
What material do you prefer?  You can choose from molded wood, composite, plastic, soft or china.  The typical toilet seat found in most homes is either plastic or molded wood.  It really comes down to personal preference.
Other features to consider:
o   Quick release.  This feature allows for easy removal of the seat and lid for cleaning purposes.
o   Children’s toilet seat.  They make seats with an extra one that kids can use, great for potty training.
o   Elevated.  You can also buy elevated seats that help for older or disabled people who need a higher seat without having to buy a new toilet.

Judy Browne is a Residential Real Estate Consultant and teacher.  
Judy has more than 10 years of comprehensive experience in residential real estate as a broker, home inspector, teacher, landlord, homeowner, student and handywoman. She has inspected over 350 homes, taught home improvement skills to more than 500 homeowners, owned and managed investment properties and has volunteered for over 10 years building homes with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.  Judy's range of knowledge and experience will insure your home selling and buying experience happens quickly easily and with few surprises.

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