When is it time to replace a toilet seat?

I googled this and could not find a good answer. Plenty of information about dermatitis, and plenty of home fix-it how-to’s, but little advice on: Ok, it has finally gotten impossible to scrub off all those grotty stains on the flip side of it, time to start fresh.

My general questions are:

Have you ever changed one of the toilet seats in your home?

How long had it been in use?

Or: is the reverse of your toilet seat of of such pristine cleanliness that you have never considered that it might be necessary to replace it?

Note, decor is not a huge factor, the current seat started life as plain white, its successor is likely to be the same.

Since the OP is looking for advice and opinion, this is better suited for IMHO than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

When it cracks or breaks. I wouldn’t think of tossing one because it might have bacteria on it. And anyway, toilet seats have been shown to be several orders cleaner than your kitchen sink.

My advice is to not buy the cheapest one you see. The main price difference is in the connectors that hold it to the bowl. Cheap ones will break quickly, so you’ll end up replacing it more often. The most expensive isn’t really necessary.

I changed the seat when I moved in as it was one of those puffy ones. The new one only lasted a few months, so I got a better one.

I change them when moving into a new home.

I prefer the painted wooden ones. Eventually the feet on the cover wear through the finish of the seat. That’s in my experience a process that takes over 5 years.

So my reasons to replace them are:

  1. New Home
  2. Finish is worn through
  3. Hardware breaks

Seats are relatively cheap so if you any reason to do so, go ahead. Not a difficult project either.

Changing a toilet seat is very easy, so if you are concerned about what kind of job you are looking at, it’s a very simple home improvement job.

The obvious answers are if it’s cracked or split, or if it is pinching your butt. Or if it’s nasty to look at. Toilet seats are pretty reasonable, so price shouldn’t be an issue. If you don’t want to look at the nasty underside, get rid of it.

One note from a former puffy toilet seat owner. When the puffy plastic seat cracks, replace it immediately. My buttocks would get pinched more often than not, making the bathroom experience less than pleasant. (I have never purchased a puffy toilet seat since.)

Every spring. It’s not as if they cost much, after all.

As mentioned, they really don’t cost all that much these days - go to your local home improvement store and check them out.

We have two bathrooms in our house - one for us in the master bedroom, and the other for guests downstairs.

We probably buy a new one every couple of years for our master bedroom, if not more often. Downstairs, probably only once or twice in ten years because it is not used that often.

But seriously - it doesn’t cost all that much and if it starts to get impossible to get rid of any stains, just get a new one. Oh, and we hate those padded ones - they get icky really fast.

Honestly, if you’re asking when it’s time; it’s time.

I prefer the plastic ones to the painted wood. Given the nature of bodily fluids, they lend themselves to staining paint a lot more readily than staining plastic.

Every couple of years, because eventually that gross stain on the underside gets impossible to remove. Plus the hardware breaks. It takes, what, two minutes to replace one?

The one in my car has lasted for years.

mine still has one linkage left…why spend muny till its absolutely necessary. :smiley:

Ha! Not if it’s an old one, with actual metal nuts & bolts holding it onto the toilet, and they have rusted solid over the years. And they are usually located where it’s hard to get at them with big wrenches or hacksaws without damaging the toilet itself.

I’ve had to spend 30 minutes to an hour removing an old one (and then about 90 seconds installing the new one).

The metal bolt ones are a pain in the butt! I change mine when it looks like it needs changing. You can get them at Walmart for 5 bucks. I won’t use the wood ones either because you can’t bleach them. I prefer the hard plastic over painted wood because the paint comes off eventually.

Drill baby drill.

It depends – the quality of the seat, your personal tolerance for stains whether icky or just cosmetic, etc. make all the difference.

The cheapest seat Home Depot lists on their site is about $10. It’s “durable molded wood [with] a superior high-gloss finish that resists chipping and scratching.” The most expensive plain seat (not heated or with a bidet attachment, etc.) is $226. It’s “constructed of resilient plastic that resists chips, wears and stains.”

I have changed seats maybe three times, primarily for cosmetic reasons – splotchy yellow bleach stains on a green seat, fingernail polish on the lid of a white one – and once when a hinge broke and made the seat slide abruptly sideways whenever sat upon. I have no idea how old any of them were (though the green one could have been as much as 40 years old). I’ve never had a problem with stains from, you know, normal use, so I can’t speak to that.

Our house is about 15 years old. Replaced all toilet seats this spring. They were molded-wood, and we noticed that after all that time, the paint on the underside was getting discolored and textured, presumably a response to being continuously exposed to a high-humidity environment.

The new ones are solid plastic, and the hinges include a friction mechanism that slowly lowers the seat and/or lid when you flip them past vertical; it’s impossible to accidentally slam them down onto the bowl. Nice.

We replace ours when moving into a new home (rental or owned). Or if they start wobbling even after tightening. They are like 25 bucks at Big Orange or Big Blue, and completely worth it.

I got one of these when the old one cracked. Another benefit is that the attachment hardware doesn’t come loose and need to be tightened. I don’t have a problem with falling seats, but it still seems to be better quality than my old one.

Just a note for the OP - make sure you know whether your current seat is round or oval. There are only two choices, but sometimes this is something you don’t really notice. I usually take the old part to the hardware store to be sure, but I draw the line at a toilet seat.

If you eat chips on the can, you deserve stains IMHO.

Seriously, though, I say it’s worth the extra cash to get one of those soft-closing seats. I recently got one and it’s great just being able to drop it nonchalantly, without fear of a loud CRASH - it just gradually and gently settles into place. I haven’t left the seat up once since we got it!