by Staff Writer
There are many different factors to consider when you're choosing a replacement toilet seat. Shape, mounting option, material and style are the main considerations for toilet seats. Whether you choose round or oval, plastic or wooden, your toilet seat should complement your bathroom decor. Look below to learn how to take these factors into account and find the right toilet seat.
Determine which shape of toilet you have. Toilet seats don't come in sizes, but they do come in two different shapes: round toilet seats and elongated toilet seats, each of which correspond to two different toilet bowl shapes. Round toilet seats are still the standard in most homes, and they're the toilet seats you typically see most often. Elongated toilet seats are becoming more popular, and they have a long oval shape. Before you begin shopping for toilet seats, find out if you have a round or elongated toilet bowl so you can shop accordingly.
Pick a mount type. Decide whether you want a conventional bolt-and-nut mount or an integral bolt and nut. While they look better in the beginning, integral bolt-and-nut mounts can be very frustrating when they need to be removed, as the nut must be drilled out to remove the seat. Conventional bolt-and-nut mounts are easier to use and still the standard for most toilet seats.
Choose a material. Decide whether you want plastic, wood or a cushioned seat. Most toilet seats are made of high-impact plastic or a plastic coating over composite wood. Plastic seats are available in white, black and several pastel colors. Plastic toilet seats can be very cold in winter and also in summer when central air is running, and they are more likely to split and tend to show marks from cleaning. Natural wood is warmer, but it can be stained or damaged by many toilet bowl cleaners. Cushioned seats are nice and soft but tend to crack and split over time. If warmth is a big concern, consider buying a heated toilet seat.
Think about padding. Soft toilet seats are more comfortable for people recovering from surgery or childbirth, but they can make transfers to and from wheelchairs or shower benches more difficult. Firmer seats are better for transfers. Some people prefer soft toilet seats over the standard hard ones simply because they find padded toilet seats to be more comfortable and warmer than regular toilet seats.
Choose a style. Toilet seats are made in a wide array of styles, so whether your bathroom is sleek and modern or comfy and traditional, you can find the perfect seat for your toilet.
Most toilet seats are one-size-fits-all; you just need to know what shape your toilet is.