If you found the toilet seat is cracked, or it’s simply too stained to clean, it’s probably time to replace it and install a new toilet. This is a job that anyone can do, but we still need to unscrew the nut carefully when remove the old toilet seat from the bowl. Corrosion on the bolts — which may also be preventing you from tightening the seat — can make the bolts difficult to remove, and you may need special tools.
Find the toilet seat replacement
First of all, we need to find the right size of your old toilet seat. With the lid up, measure your current toilet seat from the front of the toilet bowl to the center of the bolt holes and buy a replacement with the same specifications. Standard shapes are round (about 16½ inches) and elongated (about 18½ inches). Delta’s slow-close family seat, pictured here, closes quietly and prevents slamming; it’s also equipped with NightLight technology for nighttime navigation.
Remove the Old Seat
Removing the old seat should be straightforward and easy to accomplish, as long as the bolts are in good condition. All you have to do to remove the seat is lift the flappers covering the bolt heads on the top of bowl, using a flat-head screwdriver. Hold the heads steady with a flat-head or Phillips screwdriver, and unscrew the nuts by hand. If the nuts are metal, you’ll probably have to loosen them with a pair of pliers before you can unscrew them. Once you’ve removed both nuts, lift out the bolts and remove the seat.
Dealing with Stuck Nuts
A simple procedure can turn into a gnarly, problematic one if the bolts are corroded. An easy trick for loosening the bolts, which works in most cases, is to lock a pair of locking pliers onto each nut in turn, and turn the bolt head with a long-handled screwdriver. The locking pliers rotate with the nut until they hit the toilet bowl, and when they do, they prevent the nut from turning, and it should loosen. You might have to spray lubricant on the bolt threads to dissolve some of the corrosion. If the corrosion is extreme enough to prevent this trick from working, you may have to drill through the nut and break itto get it off.
Discard the old toilet seat
Lift the seat off and discard (toilet seats cannot be recycled). Wash around the holes with a toilet-bowl cleaner. Dry the area before installing the new seat to avoid moisture and prevent the growth of mold.
Installing a New Seat
Place the new seat on top of the bowl, lined up over the bolt holes. Insert new bolts and nuts (they’ll come packaged with the toilet seat). If you’ve got bolt covers, press them back down into position.