The toilet and the bathroom can be the most bacteria and germ infested place if not thoroughly cleaned. This is because of the spillovers from the fast flushes. Surface cleanups are not always enough in such cases, then you will have to undo your toilet seat in order to clean the hidden parts.
This may seem like a complicated process that you might need to consult with a professional plumber which makes the whole process expensive. It also seems more difficult when the bolts are concealed.
However, this process can be done by almost everyone with minimum help. With the right tools, you can remove your toilet seats, clean the hidden parts and replace them on your own by simply following a few easy DIY steps.
First, the screws need to be removed by unscrewing the bolts and nuts, which in most cases the nuts are metal or plastic and easily reachable.
While others have concealed bolts and screws making it seem a bit difficult to remove the toilet seats. The hidden fastening mechanism is designed to protect them and also make the toilet look fancy and neat.
Step by Step to Replace a Toilet Seat with hiding fittings
With this quick set of steps, you can do it yourself without actually calling a plumber and experiencing high expenses.
Supplies and tools needed
- Protective gloves
- Flat head and star screw driver
- An adjustable wrench
- A pair of pliers
- Penetrating oil
- Drill with bits
- Duct tape
1. First you should wear your gloves to protect your hands.
2. Using the duct tape, Tape the toilet seat to the cover. This makes it easier to handle. In case it is necessary to drill or cut the bolts, then you can cover your toilet with something such as cardboard to protect it.
3. Check the back of the toilet as well as below to make sure the screws are visible.
4. Feel your hands at the rear of the toilet to see if you can spot the ends of the screws, which should show you where they are, look at the upper part of the toilet to remove the caps which could conceal the bolts.
This is because some caps might be attached to the seats while others pop right off. With this little know how you will be able to easily disclose the hinge mechanism.
5. Some toilet seat models may need to use a socket wrench. Socket wrenches are used to rotate the suction cups counter-clockwise to reach the bolt holding the seat, exerting some pressure until the nut loosens.
6. In the event that the nuts do not loosen because the toilet is old or they are worn out. Then you will need to apply the penetrating oil such as WD-40 Penetrant Spray to lubricate the rusted nuts, this will permit deeper lubrication of the rusted nuts or screw, thereby losing it.
7. Now use the screwdriver to unlock the bolt. Check under the toilet seat for loose bolts, start unscrewing the nut with your hands. A pair of pliers may be used to keep the bolt steady during the removal of the nut.
8. If the screw heads are too rusty or too bare, you may be required to cut the bolts using a hacksaw, use the mini hacksaw when the space to work is too tight. You may also require a knife to cover the porcelain around the bolt to protect it from damage.
9. Secure the rest of the toilet with duct tape as you don’t want to hack through any other parts of the toilet.
10. Another option is to drill. Use a drill about 1/16 thick, drill carefully through the rusted screws while applying constant pressure to crack the bolt and nut.
Add slightly larger pieces than the previous one to the drill to widen the holes, do not drill with too much energy as this may cause damage on the toilet.
11. This means that you will need to replace the screw heads and bolts when you refit your toilet, just make sure you purchase the correct sizes.
12. Carefully raise your toilet seat to prevent damage. You may now clean it thoroughly. You can also quickly locate rusty metal parts and replace them.
Now that you have successfully removed your toilets, you might want to fit it back after a thorough cleaning the toilet seat or maybe install a new one.
This process is basically the reverse of the removal process.The first step is to ensure you get the correct measurements so that your toilet can sit properly and fit in well, that is in case you are installing a new toilet.
In most cases, the new toilet seats will still come with directions from the manufacturer. When you get a new toilet that meets the specification, in some cases you might have to drill new holes. Realign the toilet seat to fit the toilet perfectly before starting to reattach the bolt.
Tighten the hinge screws. If not tight enough, the screws loosen further and the toilet starts to wobble over time. Slide the bolts into the holes of the toilet bowl and move them sideways to adjust the adjustment. Align the seat with the pan.
Insert each bolt into the adjuster bracket and slide the bracket and bolt into the hinge plate. You should use washers to secure the bolts.
Hold the bolts using a screwdriver as you tighten the nuts and ensure the seat is supported in all sides of contact and all pipes and wires are in place and air tight to avoid leakage.
How do you tighten a toilet seat with concealed fittings?
A loose toilet will always move side to side or wobble around. It is important to always fix such toilets as soon as they start moving, this will prevent further damage and also breakage of the toilet meaning you will have to incur more costs to repair the toilet .
Toilet seats are always attached to the toilet bowl using bolts, nuts and washers. The bolts are either made up of steel, plastic or brass, the top is always covered with plastic to protect them.
- Flathead screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench
How you tighten your toilet seat will depend on the type of your toilet seat. They are classified depending on their fixing.
- Top fixing toilet seats
- Bottom fixing toilet seats
- Quick release toilet seats
A toilet is held in place and secured by two bolts at the back of the toilet bowl. In most cases, the toilet seats are concealed by plastic tabs. These tabs prevent the toilet from sliding and also protect the bolts from water thus avoiding corrosion.
To access the bolts, using a flathead screwdriver, pry off the tabs some tabs are designed in a way that you can easily lift them with your finger.
The toilet seat bolts are used to tight the toilet seat by the use of nuts and sometimes washers. If the bolts and nuts are plastic, then you can always undo them by just using your hands, in the case that they are made of metallic substance then you might need to use a flathead screwdriver or an adjustable wrench.
In a top fixing type of toilet seat, where there are no nuts, the toilet is tightened from the top using a screwdriver or a drill by using the correct bit size.
When dealing with a toilet with plastic bolts, you should always exercise caution not to strip the bolt while tightening. One of the best ways to do it is to ensure you have a big enough screwdriver to fit the bolt’s groove.
Insert the screwdriver in the groove of the bolt head but do not turn, use it to hold the bolt as you work on the nut below.
Reach for the bottom of the bowl and start turning the nut clockwise. Do the same for the other bolt. You have to be careful not to tighten too much as this will strip out the plastic bolt groove.
The screwdriver is only used to hold the bolt in place while tightening the nut but not to turn the bolt. Turning the bolt might deform its groove thus making it useless.
It is advisable to use metallic bolts over plastic bolts since they don’t loosen up as easily, they are durable and they maintain their groove for quit a long time.
When using metallic bolts in a top fixing toilet or bottom fixing toilet, you will have to hold the nuts at the bottom of the bowl as you turn the bolt using a screwdriver. You can use an adjustable wrench to hold the nut as you tighten the bolt clockwise.
It is always advisable to tighten both bolts alternatingly. When you tighten one at a time, The other side will lift up thus making your toilet disproportional. Your toilet will wobble and the bolts will become loose with time.
It is important to be careful when you are using the adjustable wrench to avoid causing damage to the toilet bowl.
When you are tightening a quick release toilet seat, remove the plastic tabs covering the bolts to expose the bolt heads, hold the nuts underneath the bowl with your hands and tighten the toilet seats bolt carefully using the screwdriver with your other hand.
Why does my toilet seat keep coming loose?
Toilets tend to become loose or wobble around the seat hinges when the holes in the toilet bowl rim seem to be too large for the bolts to hold making your experience with it very uncomfortable. Regular tightening of the nuts should do the trick.
If that doesn’t work then you might consider purchasing rubber kits or washers and fit them around the bolts. You can also improvise by cutting small pieces of old rubber from tubes and making holes on them big enough to fit the bolt, this should help them fit well in the holes and prevent the toilet from swaying around.
How do I stop any toilet seat from wobbling or moving sideways?
A sliding toilet is one of the most annoying recurrent domestic problems. It will definitely occur over and over even after working hard on the nuts and bolts.
This happens because the diameter of the holes are larger than the diameter of the bolts hence the toilet can’t hold its position even after constant tightening.
One of the recommended solutions is to fill this gap between the bolt and the porcelain. This can be done by fitting rubber or washers on the bolt to ensure a firm grip and the toilet will stay in place.
This can be done in just easy steps.
Things you might need
- Flat-head screw driver
- Adjustable pliers
- Washers or rubber
Lower the seat and try to find the two screw covers at the back of the seat. When you locate where the two screw covers are at the back of the seat, Use a screwdriver to clip-off the covers to expose the screw heads.
Put the flat-head screwdriver in the screw slot carefully to avoid damaging the screw grooves and hold it steady while you unscrew the nut from underneath the bowl.
If the nut is plastic, you should be able to do it by hand, if the nut is metallic, or it’s too tight to turn it then you might need to use adjustable wrench or pliers to turn it.
You have to note that in the cases that the bolts are corroded, you might have trouble loosening them, thus you might need to apply some lubricant on them.
Remove the nut and bolt carefully and take the seat off the bowl. Clean the ceramic with soap and water to clean any buildup, then replace the seat.
Insert the screws back in the holes, Remove the backing from a pair of washers and slide one along the ends of each bowl until it makes contact with the bowl,
If you are using rubber make sure it is tight around the bolt. Tighten the nut by bare hand carefully as far as it will go, if it’s metal, continue tightening it with adjustable pliers.
The nut will forcely push the washers into the washer hole, securing the bolt and stopping the seat from slipping.
Are toilet seat fittings universal?
Toilet seats are designed and crafted differently.Toilets come in varying styles, designs and sizes. Toilets also exist in different shapes: the square ones, the round ones, the angular ones and the D-shaped ones.
These toilets differ in terms of dimensions that are both in length and width. Due to these variances, it is difficult to come up with a universal toilet fitting for all toilets.
Some are fitted from beneath the fixing holes and some from the top, toilet fittings also come with varying sizes of hinges. However this does not mean you cannot get the correct fittings of your toilet.
However there are several factors of which you should consider when sourcing for the right models for your toilets.
- The Shape of your toilet pan. The shape of your toilet is a major determinant, you have to note that different shapes require different fitting hardware. Fittings for a D-shaped pan may not necessarily be suitable for a round-shaped or square pan.
- The measurement of your toilet. In order to get the right fittings for your toilet, then you will have to get the right measurements. You will have to measure the length of it. That is from the holes in your toilet to the very front edge of your toilet. You also have to measure the diameter from edge to edge to determine the width.
- Measure the distance between the holes in the cistern or wall to determine the height of your toilet.
- Measure the distance between the centers of each fixing holes.
- The material used in the toilet fitting and tighten toilet bowl. There are mainly three materials used, the plastic, wooden and thermoplastic materials.
- Plastic materials are relatively cheap and considered durable and easy to work with hence they are the most popular of the three.
- Thermoplastics are lightweight while wooden materials are used to give a stylish and elegant look to their toilet.
- You have to note that it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to avoid damages during fitting and also the seats from coming loose in future.
Why is My Toilet Seat so Cold? Here are Causes and Solutions
Daniel Keringet is a market researcher and publisher (Best Osmosis Experts) who got an interest in topics related to
Water safety out of curiosity and passion from the time he got into college. Now he is a full-time writer living in Naperville Illinois.