What size should a toilet seat be? Three important measurements for every toilet seat
- the length of the toilet seat,
- the width of the toilet seat and
- the spacing between the drill holes for the fixing elements.
You can take these measurements either using your old toilet set or simply directly on the toilet itself. To determine the length, measure the distance between the centre of the drill holes and the front edge of the toilet with a ruler. Then measure the width, which is the longest distance between the left and right side of the toilet. Finally, you just need to measure the distance between the two fixing holes at the back of the toilet, again from the centre of each hole.
Toilet seat sizes are not standardised
There is no universal standard for toilet or toilet seat sizes in the UK. However, certain patterns have developed.
Certain standard measures have also developed for the distance between the fixing hinges:
- 7-16 cm
- 9-20 cm
- 10-18 cm
- 11-21 cm
- 14-19 cm
- 15-16 cm
The fixing elements of most modern toilet seats are easily adjustable and not fitted rigidly. More and more models also have rotatable hinges, which can bridge almost double the distance between the fixing holes as needed. This explains the at times considerable differences between the minimum and maximum spacing of the drill holes.
The shape has to match
6 steps to determining the right size toilet seat
If you have the product description and technical specification booklet from the toilet manufacturer, you can find all of the important information such as the shape and size of the toilet seat here. If you are unsure of your toilet model, you can simply follow our step-by-step instructions to find the perfect toilet seat for your toilet.
Step 1: Remove the old toilet seat
First, remove the old toilet seat so that you have a clear view of the toilet. To do this, you should have a corner pipe wrench or water pump pliers at the ready in case you can’t loosen the fixing nuts by hand, plus some penetrating oil to loosen any nuts that are stuck.
Step 2: Determine the shape of your toilet
Now you can have a look and decide if your toilet corresponds with the so-called universal shape (slightly circular with rounded lines). This is the standard shape for toilets and likewise the shape for which you will find the widest range of toilet seats. Also widely popular are oval shaped toilets that are significantly longer than they are wide, as well as the aforementioned D-shaped toilet, characterised by its straight back edge and lines that flow gently forward.
Step 3: Measure the exact length of your toilet bowl
Once you have determined the shape of your toilet, you need to work out the size of the toilet seat. To do this, you need a ruler or tape measure. First, measure the distance from the front edge of the toilet to the centre of the drill holes that fix the toilet seat at the back of the bowl.
Tips for choosing the right toilet seat
The toilet seat should ideally fit the toilet dimensions as precisely as possible, though differences of less than 5 mm don’t usually pose a problem. If the differences exceed this, we recommend choosing a better suited model.
Your toilet seat should be made from a high-quality material, such as Duroplast or real wood. You can also base your decision on weight: if in doubt, favour the heavier model. As a general rule, toilet sets weighing at least 2 kg are sufficiently robust and will not bend under the weight of heavier people.
When it comes to the hinges, you should not compromise on durability or quality. As such, metal hinges are the best choice. They are considerably more robust and durable than models made of plastic or other materials.