How to Install or Replace a Kohler or Toto toilet seat: 4 Easy Steps

A toilet seat can be a pain to replace, especially if you’re not very familiar with plumbing. However, it’s not too difficult to learn how to do it yourself. Here are some simple steps you can follow to remove or install a new toilet seat.


The tools you’ll need for this project

Toilet seat replacement is not a do-it-yourself project. You’ll need a few basic tools to help with the job:

  • Socket wrench (sometimes a tool is included with the toilet seat)
  •  Screwdriver
  • A small knife (optional)
  • Replacement toilet seat. There are elongated and round toilet seats so get the right one for your toilet. Check if new bolts are included. Often you can reuse the existing ones as well)
  • Cleaning gear
  • Bucket
  • Glove 
  • Protective glasses

You can also get a dedicated tool instead of using a socket wrench. This can work better if the bolt is quite long. This is also great if you have to use it in tight spaces.

Older toilet seats can be harder to replace as the grime and dirt can make them stick. You will have to apply more force to do this. Be careful as toilets are quite fragile.

How to remove an old toilet seat

The first step is to buy a new toilet seat. Make sure that the size of the toilet seat is the same as your current seat. Also, check if the same connectors are used so that it is easy to install. Generally, bolts will be used for this. Older toilets might have other systems in place. Take a picture of the toilet seat and fasteners (this can be found under the toilet) and show it in the store if you are not sure which one to get.

If you are lucky, your seat has a quick-release button. This makes it easy to remove and replace the seat. Just press the two plastic hinges and you can take it off. Most toilets don’t have this though and we will have more work. 

Example of a bolt that holds a toilet seat. This can be found under the toilet.

Step 2: To remove a toilet seat, you’ll need to unscrew the two bolts holding it in place. These can be found under the toilet. It should be right under the toilet seat when it is in a standing position. These bolts are used to tighten a toilet seat as well.

It is possible that you have to remove some plastic parts before you can see the fastener. It might be needed to push these with a screwdriver or a knife. If it is hard to reach, it can be a great idea to use your smartphone to take a picture. This allows you to see what is going on. You can then use your socket wrench to get these loose.

This is done by turning the bolt counterclockwise. A normal wrench will not work as you often don’t have enough space to turn it. A socket wrench is deeper and allows you to reach the bolts. You might need to use a saw to remove a part of the bolt screw if you can’t reach it with your socket wrench.

Finding out the size of socket wrench that is needed can take some time and a few tries. It is always a great idea to wear gloves and protective goggles when you do this. Having a bucket nearby is also a great idea. You never know when things break when you are working on a toilet. 

You can use lubricants such as WD40 if the bolts are not moving. Don’t apply too much force as a toilet can crack!

Step 3: Once these are removed, pry the old seat off of the hinges and set it aside. This is the perfect moment to clean the toilet. This allows you to reach spots that are often hard to clean.

Step 4: After that, take the new toilet seat and screw the bolts back into place. It is possible that you have to attach a small rubber piece between the toilet and the bolt.  Then, replace the hinges and tighten them by hand. When you install the toilet seat, make sure that you don’t overtighten to bolts. You can do it step by step and see when the seat stays in place. This is done by turning the bolts clockwise.

Make sure that the seat is level. You can use a leveling tool for this.

 It can also be a great moment to add some silicone around the toilet. This makes sure that no dirt gets around it. You can also clean the toilet tank while you are working on your toilet. 

Types of toilets

There are several types of toilets. The most common type is the standing toilet. These toilet seats are the easiest to replace, especially because they’re often attached by bolts or screws. Furthermore, there is often more space to reach the bolts. Sometimes there’s an internal catch that releases the seat when you push down on it, which makes replacing them easier.

Finally, there are hanging toilets. which is found in some newer toilets. It isn’t as easy to replace as other types of seats as there is often not a lot of space to do so. Furthermore, sometimes these are design toilets and they can get damaged quite easily.

What to take into account when buying a toilet seat

In addition to looking for compatibility factors, consider what other features your new toilet seat will have. Consider whether or not it will come with a heated seat or any other features that would make it easier for you to live with. Finally, consider how long you want this toilet seat to last and the price point you need to stay within. Some manufacturers give 1 year of warranty.

The design is obviously important. Make sure that you don’t get cheap prints as these disappear after a while and you will have to replace the seat again. Seats are made out of the following materials: wood or plastic. Cheaper toilet seats often use inferior materials and the seat might be less thick, making it less comfortable. It is best to buy a decent brand such as Mayfair.

There are also higher seats for the elderly. Some seats also have an addition for kids. Getting a seat that closes softly is also a great idea as lowering a toilet seat without this feature can make a lot of noise. 

 You can also consider getting a bidet at this point. Bidets replace toilet paper and can be a comfortable way to get yourself cleaned. It is not very common in the USA but is becoming more popular given the aging population. 

To conclude we can state that it is generally quite easy to replace a toilet seat and is something that you can do on your own if you have the right tools. It should be done every 5-10 years to keep everything clean.

Toilet seats generally only last about 5 years. After a while, they start to discolor and look dirty. They can also break down. Luckily replacing a toilet seat is quite straightforward. Just make sure that you get the right model for your toilet as there are different sizes of toilet seats. Toilet seats also come in different materials from wood to different types of plastics.

In this post, we have outlined how you can replace a toilet seat. In most instances, this is quite easy.