How to Measure a Toilet seat


Today I will talk about something that is rarely done; how to measure a toilet seat. Let’s face it, how many people even take time to measure their toilet bowls, let alone the seats. We almost assume that this is a plumber’s job. But perhaps you could reduce the cost of calling your plumber just to measure a toilet seat. Instead you could spare that cost for more “filth calls”, like when your drainage is blocked and your commode section is inaccessible. It is easy to measure your toilet or toilet seat as you are about to find out.

Why measure your toilet seat?

I once visited a local plumber’s DIY (Do it yourself) shop in search of a toilet seat (the one I had was poorly made and had become effete). Upon arrival I saw an elderly lady holding a toilet seat that didn’t really seem like one I have seen before, but it didn’t look as clean as something I have ever seen before. I didn’t bother to ask, and just like the other customers, went ahead to line up for what I needed. Upon closer scrutiny I figured that the lady had carried her old toilet seat to the shop with the hope of getting a seat of the similar size. I thought to myself how embarrassing it would be to yank off my old sit to the plumber’s shop just to get the right size. Measuring your seat size will help you determine what seat will fit on your toilet. This is the main reason for measuring your toilet seat and will also answer the question of what toilet seat do I need.

Another reason you may want to measure your toilet seat is obviously because not every toilet is meant to be occupied by a standard toilet seat. Toilet seat sizes vary extensively depending on whatever shape your toilet is. Because toilets are either round or oblong (elongated), it only sounds sensible if you had an idea of how long or wide your toilet is. How to measure a toilet seat becomes easy when you know what type of toilet your seat will occupy.

If you are familiar with toilet seat searching, whether you have done it online or by just asking, you must be aware of the different sizes and types sold today. You must also be aware if you went ahead to purchase one, that toilet seats once sold are not returnable. You may therefore want to avoid unnecessary altercations with your dealer or manufacturer. I personally live in a small town and I do not want to be known as the dandy who always returns toilet seats.

Why else would you want to know the measurement of your toilet seat, would you do it just to be up to date with your bathroom details? I would do it if it meant accuracy and order in my bathroom. Say you wanted to replace the entire bathroom décor but you do not wish to interfere with the builder’s wish. Measuring your seat will ensure the replacement is not something far away from what initially occupied your toilet.

We could debate the whole day about reasons for measuring your toilet seats, but I think the best and most important reason is to replace your current seat. So let’s stop bickering and go ahead with the measuring…

What you need

Think about it for a second, measuring is not something we do on a day to day basis (least if it is a toilet pan that is being measured) but when we do it, it is always for a good reason. You will want to have as much correct information as possible. You also must ensure the information collected is stored perfectly (I have literally reduced myself to an elementary class teacher here). So, you will need a measuring tape, a pen, and a paper, and maybe your Smartphone (well, there is something you are never told). Your Smartphone is your number one best friend; why not trust “him” with little information.

With everything ready and set, please follow the information provided in the steps below very carefully. There are guidelines and specific numbers provided. I do not expect your results to be anything else apart from what is provided, but in case of a rare huge variation, then you might want to check with your home builder or landlord for at least an explanation; otherwise check online for listings of toilet or toilet seat sizes.

The Steps

  1. Measure the width of the bolt holes on your toilet seat. This is the first step. Avoid the obvious method of heading straight to the big holes (if you know what I mean). A typical bolt hole spread is about 5.5 inches or 155 mm. To be accurate and also avoid discrepancies, measure from the center of the right bolt hole to the centre of the left bolt hole.
  2. Measure the width of your toilet seat where it is the broadest. This of course will vary with the type of seat you have. To be smart and even more accurate, do not measure the top of the seat but rather turn it over and measure the flat surface that is the broadest. A typical broadest width section will measure around 14-14.5 inches.
  3. Stretch your measuring tape and hold it at the centre front of the toilet seat and stretch it over to the centre of the hinges between the bolt holes. If you get a reading of between 18 and 19 inches, then that is atypical elongated seat size. If it is somewhere between 16 and 17 inches, then it is definitely a round toilet seat.

There you have it; an exclusive detailed guide to measuring your toilet seat size. It is now safe to go shopping for the best toilet seats in the market. Just remember when shopping that you have a seat that has the closest measurements as possible to your toilet seat size. Double check this information to avoid possible seat returning. Otherwise, with everything set, good luck with your search for the best toilet seat!