How Often Should You Replace a Toilet Seat?


Toilet seats are essential components of every bathroom, and their proper maintenance is crucial for both hygiene and comfort. This guide will cover the circumstances that require a toilet seat replacement, the types of toilet seats available, the pros and cons of various materials, and the recommended replacement frequency. We’ll also provide a checklist for homeowners to determine when a replacement is necessary, along with the tools, materials, steps, and costs involved in the process.

When to Replace a Toilet Seat

Consider replacing your toilet seat under the following circumstances:

1. Cracks or damage: If your toilet seat has visible cracks or damage, it’s time for a replacement to ensure safety and comfort.

2. Loose or wobbly seat: Over time, toilet seat hinges can wear out, causing the seat to become loose or wobbly. This can be uncomfortable and may require a new seat or hinge replacement.

3. Stains or discolouration: Persistent stains or discolouration on the toilet seat, that cannot be removed through cleaning, may warrant a replacement toilet seat for aesthetic reasons.

4. Outdated design or style: If you’re updating your bathroom or simply want a new look, replacing the toilet seat is an easy and affordable way to make a noticeable change.

Types of Toilet Seats and Materials

1. Plastic

  • Thermoplastic: Durable and flexible plastic material, resistant to scratches and stains.
  • Thermosetting (Duroplast): Harder and more rigid surface, highly resistant to stains, scratches, and chemicals.

2. Wood

  • Moulded wood: Compressed wood particles coated with a protective finish.
  • Solid wood: Natural wood, such as oak or mahogany, coated with a protective finish.

3. Ceramic

  • Porcelain or vitreous china: Durable and easy-to-clean material with a smooth, glazed surface.

Refer to the earlier section on pros and cons of different materials for more information, or you can see our wood vs plastic toilet seat article here.

What is the Most Common Toilet Seat Material in The UK

If you are wondering what is the most common toilet seat material in the UK? The most common toilet seat material in the UK is plastic. Plastic toilet seats are popular due to their affordability, durability, and ease of maintenance. They are available in various styles, colours, and designs, making them versatile for different bathroom aesthetics. While wood toilet seats are also present in some households, they are less common compared to plastic seats. Factors such as cost-effectiveness, availability, and ease of cleaning contribute to the prevalence of plastic toilet seats in the UK.

Replacement Frequency

There is no set rule for how often you should replace your toilet seat, as it largely depends on the quality of the seat and how well it is maintained. However, a general guideline is to replace it every 5-7 years or sooner if it shows signs of damage, wear, or persistent stains.

Toilet Seat Replacement Checklist

Signs That Indicate Replacement is Needed

  • Visible cracks, chips, or damage
  • Persistent stains or discolouration
  • Loose or wobbly seat
  • Worn or malfunctioning hinges
  • Outdated design or style

Tools and Materials Required

  • New toilet seat
  • Adjustable wrench or pliers
  • Flathead or Phillips screwdriver (depending on the type of screws used)
  • Gloves and cleaning supplies (optional)

Steps to Replace a Toilet Seat

1. Measure your current toilet seat to ensure you purchase the correct size and shape (round or elongated) for your new seat.

2. Remove the old toilet seat by lifting the hinge covers and unscrewing the bolts using an adjustable wrench or pliers. Hold the nut underneath the bowl with your other hand to keep it from turning as you unscrew the bolt.

3. Clean the area around the mounting holes to remove any dirt or debris.

4. Align the new toilet seat’s mounting holes with those on the toilet bowl and insert the new bolts.

5. Attach the nuts to the bolts from underneath the bowl and tighten them with your fingers or a wrench until snug. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can crack the toilet bowl or seat.

6. Close the hinge covers (if applicable) and check the seat for stability and proper alignment.

Approximate Cost

The cost of replacing a toilet seat varies depending on the type and quality of the seat you choose. Basic plastic seats can be found for as low as £15, while high-end seats made from premium materials or featuring additional functions (such as heated or soft-close seats) can cost upwards of £100.

The replacement process itself is typically a DIY task, so there should be no additional labour costs involved unless you choose to hire a professional. If you are looking to replace your toilet seat, see our best toilet seats here.