Toilet Seat Sizes Guide – Find the Right Model

In the ordinary sense, the main job of a toilet seat is rather primitive: it opens, it closes, and it makes the toilet look neat. Nevertheless, picking the perfect model can have a significant impact on your overall bathroom experience. In this post, we will talk about how to choose between the many different toilet seat sizes and shapes available today.

Are toilet seats universal size?
There isn’t a standard size for all toilet seats because there are a variety of toilet styles. To find the best size for your toilet, you need to measure it.

We will also discuss the most crucial aspects to consider when looking for an option that meets and, better yet, exceeds all your expectations. Keep the following tips in mind next time you go shopping for this bathroom accessory.

How to Pick the Right Toilet Seat Size for Your Bathroom?

Buying a toilet seat sounds like a mundane task, but when it comes to it, you have to know what to look for, or you risk ruining your bathroom time. This post will explain how to measure a toilet seat accurately and how to choose between different toilet seat sizes to find the right one.

There comes a time for any homeowner to replace their toilet seat with a new one. Whether it happens for reasons like natural wear-and-tear or one simply wants to give their bathroom a bit of freshening up, there are things to know that will make sure the process will go smoothly.

First things first, let us see how toilet seats can differ in types, shapes, materials, and which special features they may include.

Toilet seat types

Today’s toilet seat types vary in terms of the closing mechanism they utilize. Thus, there are standard close and soft close toilet seats available. The first type is more widespread and usually costs less; however, the latter produces less clatter and eliminates the risk of having your fingers pinched.

Toilet seat sizes and shapes

There is a diverse range of toilet seat sizes and shapes presented on the market today, and shopping for such an item without fully understanding your own needs and the unique requirements of your commode is going to make the task more challenging. Keeping that in mind, let us take a quick tour of the most common and popular sizes and shapes a toilet seat comes in.

Toilet seat shapes

Depending on the shape of your W.C. bowl, a modern toilet seat can have the following forms: round, elongated (oval), square, D-shaped, and U-shaped (open-front toilet seats mainly used in public washrooms).

Round and oval toilet seats are the most prevalent ones since such toilets are cheaper, easier to install and maintain and occupy less valuable bathroom space.

Toilet seat sizes

The two most common sizes a toilet seat can have are 16-18” and 19-22” in length. These are known as round seats and elongated seats, respectively. As for the width, it is generally the same (13-15”) for all seats of conventional shapes.

Toilet seat materials

The material you choose for your toilet seat will influence its cost, durability, comfort level, ease of cleaning, and appearance. That is why it is crucial that you take your time to shop around and equip yourself with some information about how each material works before you make the final purchasing decision.

Users today can pick from plastic, enameled wood, wood finish, vinyl, and even stainless steel, which is famous for its excellent antibacterial, hygiene-enhancing properties.

white toilet seat

Toilet seat special features

As far as toilet seats are concerned, keeping things simple is usually the best option. However, simple does not necessarily mean bare and boring. Today, a toilet seat might well be both ingeniously uncomplicated and heavily functional. When purchasing a toilet seat, think if you are willing to pay a little bit extra for the following nifty features:

  • Family toilet seat: the product is supplied with a second smaller pull-down seat secured by magnets.
  • Quick-release toilet seat: the design of the item ensures a quicker removal from its hinges for easier cleaning.
  • Secure fit toilet seat: the model utilizes a novel fixing method where an adjustable hinge mechanism keeps it tightly in place after proper pressure has been applied.
  • Deodorizing toilet seat: this toilet accessory includes a carbon filter for neutralizing unpleasant odors.

How to know what size toilet seat to buy?

One of the first questions any homeowner facing the need to purchase a new toilet seat asks themselves is: “how do I know what size toilet seat to buy?” I will try to help answer this question as accurately and relevantly as possible.

As mentioned everywhere throughout this post, most toilet seats used in households today are either round or elongated. The exact category the product falls into is usually indicated on the packaging. However, if you have no way to check it, you will need to take some measurements to know the correct toilet seat dimensions to purchase the right replacement. So, how do you measure a toilet seat?

toilet seat, half-round

How do you measure a toilet seat?

It is not always possible to know what size toilet seat you need just by glancing at it. Luckily, it will not take you long to get the dimensions right. Here are the three key measurements you will need to know:

  • Toilet seat length: calculate the distance from the central point at the rear (between the two bolt holes where the seat attaches to the bowl) and the very front edge of the toilet. It will tell you whether your toilet seat should be round (around 16 ½’′) or elongated (over 18 ½’’).
  • Toilet seat width: this measurement only matters if you have an unusually shaped toilet bowl like a square or D-shape one. For the more conventional round and oval W.C. bowls, the width of the seat will depend on their length. To measure the width, calculate the distance between the two sides at their widest point.
  • Bolt spread: the spacing between the two fixing holes is called bolt spread, and it determines what kind of toilet seat you have – an American (5.5’’) or a European (6.5’’) one. The measurement is essential if yours is a specialty toilet model.

Just follow the above recommendations carefully, and you will be on your way to the nearest sanitary ware shop in no time!

toilet seat opened

FAQ on Toilet Seats

There are bound to be many questions when looking for a toilet seat that is just right for your bathroom. Below, I have tried to answer the ones that come up most often. If you cannot find the needed information here, feel free to inquire about it in the comments to this post!

Are toilet seats universal?

There is no standard toilet seat size since modern toilets come in many different designs and styles. While the user can adjust most seats to accommodate the most common W.C. bowl shapes, they will still need to know a few precise dimensions (length, width, the distance between fixing holes) to choose the right product.

How do you tell if you have a round or elongated toilet?

You will not have to take many toilet seat measurements to tell if yours is elongated or round. If the length of your W.C. toilet bowl is around 16.5 inches, it is round, and if it is about 18.5 inches or longer, you have an elongated toilet.

elongated toilet

How do you measure a toilet seat for a replacement?

Gauge the length of the bowl from the center point between the toilet seat fixing holes at the rear to the frontmost part of the toilet bowl.

How often should a homeowner replace their toilet seat?

You can wait for your seat to show any signs of damage (cracks in the finishing, irremovable staining) before replacing it. When such a need arises depends on the frequency of use and the family’s toilet cleaning and maintenance routine, but the average exploitation time is 5 to 7 years.

Alternatively, you can purchase a new toilet seat when you want to give your bathroom a cleaner look or enhance your comfort with a few extra features that the latest models can provide.

Are padded seats better than hard ones?

A cushioned toilet seat adds a layer of comfort that will surely be appreciated when it comes to prolonged sitting sessions, especially by people affected with certain medical conditions such as hemorrhoids.

Besides, padded seats are a better option for cooler regions. On the other hand, a plastic lavatory seat made of polypropylene is considered more hygienic and durable. It does not trap unwanted substances and is less prone to cracking over time.

Also read:

Getting the Right Toilet Seat Is Important

While the coziness in your home starts with proper lighting, pleasant temperature, and attractive scents, it continues with some more specific things like having a convenient seat installed on the commode in your toilet room. Hopefully, this guide provided you with some practical advice on how to choose the best one that will ensure your utmost comfort and continued bathroom satisfaction.

Which features did you look for when picking a toilet seat for your home? Leave a comment below and share any other tips that might assist the readers of this blog in making an informed buying decision.

Gerald Carpenter

My name is Gerald Carpenter and I am a professional plumber in the third generation. My father was a plumber, my grandfather was a plumber. I wish I had records on my other ancestors.

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