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Are Toilet Seats Universal? Materials, Types, & Measurements

Toilet shape_Shutterstock_Volodymyr Maksymchuk

Since there are many options available to choose from, finding a perfect toilet seat can become difficult. While you may have thought that toilet seats are pretty much universal and all the same, you will be astounded to find out how many different options there are. From different shapes to colors and features—toilets have developed to provide maximum comfort and style to a modern bathroom.

Since there isn’t a universal toilet seat size that fits every toilet, learning to differentiate your toilet and measure its size will be essential before purchasing a toilet seat. Below, we’ll explain the easiest way to determine which type of toilet you own and which toilet seat will fit it perfectly.

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Are All Toilet Seats the Same?

Contrary to popular belief, not all toilet seats have the same size. While toilets and toilet seats may seem universal, various shapes and sizes exist. Since toilet seats endure a lot of wear and tear during a year, especially in larger families, they are necessary to replace after a while. You may wonder which type of toilet seat to buy and whether one size fits all. To find out which toilet seat will fit your toilet best, it is necessary to observe the general shape of your toilet and measure its size.

Toilet shape_Shutterstock_Happy_Nati
Image By: Happy_Nati, Shutterstock

Types of Toilet Seats

Since there are many types of toilets available for you to choose from, we will lay out the essential differences that may help you make the right decision.

  • Elongated – Elongated toilets are one of the most popular choices of many homeowners. They are usually a part of a traditional design, and are pointed and much bigger than rounded toilets, which makes them take up more space in the bathroom. Some homeowners believe these toilets are the most comfortable, which is probably why they are more expensive.
  • Round – Rounded toilets can be seen in any traditional toilet with an older design. They are small and practical and perfect for tiny bathrooms. These toilets are simple and the most common type because of their timeless style and practicality.
  • D-Shaped – D-shaped toilets are a great connection between modern and traditional since they look similar to rounded toilets with a more modern twist. These toilets can make a bathroom seem contemporary without going too overboard.
  • Square – Square toilets aren’t as standard as other types, although they are slowly gaining popularity due to their sleek and contemporary style. They fit perfectly in minimalistic bathrooms with a more modern look and feel.
Image By: yackers1, Shutterstock

Different Materials

  • Plastic Toilet Seats – Plastic toilet seats are the most widespread type of seat. They vary by price and quality of plastic. Some types of plastic toilets are much more durable and expensive. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can acquire a plastic toilet seat for an affordable price that will last a long time.
  • Wooden Toilet Seats – Wooden toilet seats are not as common as plastic seats. You rarely see them in residential bathrooms simply because they are less durable than plastic ones. Nevertheless, these toilets are excellent at enriching the design of the bathroom while providing an easy-to-clean, hygienic toilet seat.

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How to Find the Perfect Toilet Seat for Your Bathroom

While toilet seats are not universal, some toilets come in standard sizes. When your toilet is a standard-size toilet, most toilet seats can fit, regardless of the shape.

elongated toilet seat
Image Credit: Sidorov_Ruslan, shutterstock

Determining the Type of Toilet

There are many ways to determine which type of toilet seat you already own before purchasing a new one. The first step is to observe the shape of the toilet, and determine whether it is round, square, D-shaped, or elongated. Even though buying a matching toilet seat is recommended to achieve the most comfortable and appealing toilet, it is not the end of the world if you buy the wrong toilet seat. If you buy a round toilet seat for your elongated toilet, it will function properly, although it won’t fit the toilet perfectly.

If you are a perfectionist, this may be a problem, but if you are just looking for a new and clean toilet seat, you’ve got to go.

Measuring the Toilet Seat

While getting a matching toilet seat for your toilet is recommended, it is not necessary. Still, you may want to buy the closest match possible to achieve the most comfortable toilet that won’t be unpleasant to use.

To determine which toilet seat to buy you will need to measure the seat post holes, the width, and the length of the toilet.

To measure the length correctly, place the tape measure between the post holes. You need to measure to be from the very outside of the bowl. This is when you will determine whether your toilet is elongated or round. Below are the standard sizes for both:

Elongated: 5 inches
Rounded: 5 inches

Next, you will need a measure of the toilet bowl width, from one outside edge to the other. This measurement should be around 14 inches, a typical toilet seat size.

Lastly, measure the distance between the center of one seat post hole to the center of the other. If this distance is around 5.5 inches, all standard toilet seats will fit your toilet, no matter the shape.

white ceramic toilet and sink in a bathroom
Image Credit: rccf.1, Unsplash

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Final Thoughts

After learning the correct way to measure your toilet seat to acquire the most accurate dimensions, you will be able to find a toilet seat that provides maxim comfort and appeal. Using the wrong toilet seat can become very uncomfortable after some time, being too big or too small for the toilet bowl. While there are some standard sizes of toilet bowls, toilet seats come in many different shapes that you can choose from depending on your desires and preferences.

Featured Image Credit: Volodymyr Maksymchuk, Shutterstock


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