How to Replace a Toilet Seat

Your toilet is one of, if not the most, important element to any bathroom. After all, everyone uses a toilet. Whether a seat is cracked, rusted or falling apart, toilet seat replacement can be, well, a dirty job. To make the job as easy as possible, follow these steps and you'll have a new 'throne' in no time!

Step # 1: Gather the Tools
Like any good handyman or handywoman, it's always important to make sure you have all the tools you will need prior to beginning the task. Tools you will need are the following: an adjustable wrench, a standard screwdriver, pliers, an additional Phillips head screwdriver, a hacksaw, painters or masking tape and penetrating oil.

Step # 2: Purchase a Replacement Seat
Before you go ahead and uninstall your current toilet lid, it's important to determine that your replacement seat actually fits. Be sure to measure the length, width and height. Most seats come in circles or elongated ovals; note which style your current seat is shaped.

When you are browsing for the ideal replacement seat, consider your current seat. If your seat matches the porcelain, you might want to keep the color scheme consistent. For a bolder style, choose a rich, dark color such as black, burgundy or hunter green.

Step # 3: Remove the Current Seat
Now that you are equipped with all the proper tools and the replacement seat, it is time to remove the existing seat. Close the toilet seat. Loosen the nuts on the bolts with an adjustable wrench; they are typically located underneath the toilet rim. These bolts are usually covered with a plastic cap. To remove the cap, use a flathead screwdriver. If they are rusted or corroded, be careful.

If you are having difficulty loosening the nuts, use your pliers to hold the bolt steady as you loosen the nuts. Apply penetrating oil to help; for very difficult nuts, allow the oil solution soak over night. If you are concerned about stripping the porcelain, wrap tape (painter or masking) around the nut and then apply gentle pressure.

Before you call a professional to remove stubborn nuts, try using a saw. Before you use the saw, however, tape cardboard around the toilet bowel rim to protect the porcelain. Additionally, raise the lid (both the cover and the actual toilet bowel rim) and cover the top of the toilet bowel as well with cardboard. Now saw through the bolts with the saw.

Step # 4: Clean the Area
Before you install your new seat, properly dispose of the old seat as it may be covered in germs. Additionally, examine the area to wipe away rust stains or other debris from the toilet area. Be sure to check under the toilet bowel rim to remove any rust stains.

Step # 5: Install a New Seat
You're now ready to install your new toilet seat. Align the seat correctly and insert the two bolts that fasten the seat to the toilet; there should be two holes where the previous fasteners were located. To prevent a difficult removal process the next time, coat your existing bolts with petroleum jelly juts in case. Next, slip on the washers and then the nuts. First tighten the nuts with your fingers, and then tighten the nuts with your adjustable wrench. If you find that the nuts are turning the bolt as you are attempting to loosen, hold the bolt in place with a pair of pliers. Be sure to lift the seat up and down a few times to be sure the lid moves freely. If the unit seems too loose, continue to tighten. Finally, apply the plastic caps to cover the ends of the bolts.