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How to fix or replace a loose toilet seat

Show your wobbly toilet seat who’s boss with our guide on how to tighten or replace a toilet seat.


By Cleanipedia Team

How to tighten toilet seat: toilet in a bathroom
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Key steps

  • To tighten a toilet seat, locate the screws and tighten them by turning them clockwise.

  • Hold the nut in place to tighten.

  • To replace a toilet seat, remove the old one, line up the new one and screw into place.

  • Don’t forget to check the positioning before tightening the screws.

A wobbly toilet seat makes visits to the WC significantly less comfortable. If a toilet seat is moving around it might be that it has come loose from its fixtures, or it might be that a part of it is broken and needs replacing. Whatever the problem is, this guide has your back(side): we’ll show you how to tighten toilet seats that are loose, and how to replace a toilet seat if it’s broken beyond repair.

If you replace your toilet seat, keep the bolts and nuts that you remove. You can keep them as spares in case you need to replace the ones on your new seat.

How to fix a loose toilet seat: Steps to tighten a wobbly toilet seat

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Before you start looking at how to replace a toilet seat, pause:  it may just be a case of tightening your toilet seat instead! Here’s how:

  1. Locate the two screws which hold the toilet seat in place:

    • These are usually at the back of the toilet seat.

    • They run through the porcelain at the back of the toilet bowl.

    • They are held in place by two nuts at the base.

  2. If your screws are covered, use a fingernail or flat head screwdriver to open the cover.

  3. Centre the toilet seat to the position you wish for it to remain once the screws have been tightened. It may be worth having a seat to test it out and check it’s in the right spot.

  4. Use your dominant hand to tighten the screws until the seat is tight. Once you think it’s tight enough, give it one final quarter rotation to ensure it is secure. Keep these tips in mind:

    • Weigh down the seat in place to stop it wobbling as you work.

    • Using an old rag, hold the nut in place to stop it moving while you tighten the screw. For a firmer grip, use a pair of pliers.

    • Ensure that you use the correct screwdriver head. Most screws for toilet seats will require a crosshead, just check which size you need so you don’t blunt the screw head.

    • Take particular care if you have a cheaper seat design with plastic screws.

    • Not sure which way to tighten it? Remember: “righty tighty, lefty loosey”. This means you should turn the screwdriver clockwise to tighten it.    

How to change a toilet seat: A step-by-step method

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Now you know how to fix a toilet seat that has become loose, it’s time to show you how to replace a toilet seat that is beyond repair.

  1. Choose your new toilet seat.

    • There are plenty on the market, from varnished wood to fun plastic designs. Choose your favourite!

    • Don’t forget to check which type of seat you need to fit your toilet. There are two standard types: round and elongated.

    • For the perfect fit, find a seat which matches the toilet manufacturer. While other brands may work; they are unlikely to fit as well.

  2. Install the new toilet seat.

    • Start by locating and removing the screws from the old toilet seat. You will need to unscrew them and remove the screw and nut.

    • While you’re at it, why not give your toilet a good clean? You’ll have more access to the space under the toilet seat while it’s off.

    • Place your new toilet seat in position. Make sure it is properly aligned. Don’t be afraid to test out the positioning before tightening it into place.

    • Put new screws through the holes in the back of the toilet seat, and the porcelain at the back of the toilet bowl.

    • Tighten the new screws and nuts in place.

Now you know not only how to fix a wobbly toilet seat, but replace one which has broken beyond repair you can visit the loo in peace and comfort.

Originally published