Are Toilet Seats Universal?

Are Toilet Seats Universal?

There are so many different toilet seats to choose from that you might just want to buy the first one you see and leave. I think I can save you time and trouble, though. The first thing you really need to know is: Are toilet seats the same size everywhere?

In the United States, there are two sizes of toilet seats that are the norm. They have a round shape and are long. The length of an elongated toilet seat is 18.5 inches, while the length of a round toilet seat is 16.5 inches. Measure from the end of the bowl to the middle of the seat post holes to find out what kind of toilet seat you need.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand any of this. In the next couple of sections, I’ll show you how the two are different and how to measure your toilet seat to get the right size.

Are Toilet Seats Universal? 

No, toilet seats are not all the same. They can be of different sizes and shapes. Before you buy a toilet seat, you need to measure your toilet and figure out exactly what kind you need.

Since toilets come in different shapes, it will be important to match the shape of the seat. Then, you have to get the length and width just right, since some toilets are an inch or two longer or shorter and don’t line up perfectly with the seat.

Even though some companies say they sell universal toilet seats, they may not fit perfectly. Before you buy a new toilet seat, it’s best to take the time to measure your toilet. This will help you replace the seat more easily and make sure it fits just right.

Different toilets require different seats

There are many different styles of modern toilets. Close coupled toilets, in which the bowl is close to the cistern, are by far the most common. However, you can also find back-to-wall toilets, wall-hung toilets, and high-level toilets in the style of the past.

Then, these types of toilets can be very different in shape (square, angular, round, or D-shaped) and size, with length and width differences ranging from 350mm to 500mm. So it’s easy to see why there’s no standard size for toilet seats, which makes it harder to find the right one for your toilet. But help is on the way.

What is a proprietary toilet seat?

The shape (square, angular, D-shaped, round) and size of a toilet can vary a lot. The size of a toilet can vary anywhere from 350 mm to 500 mm. For example, D-shaped toilets are becoming more and more popular in the UK.

There are also toilets of odd sizes or that are made only for one company. In this case, the maker needs to make a toilet seat that goes with it. It can be hard to find a toilet seat for an odd toilet, but it’s not impossible.

What are the typical toilet seat sizes?

The most common toilet seat sizes are shown in the round vs. Here’s how you can tell them apart:

Round Toilet Seats

Let’s start by taking a look at the measurements. The size of a round toilet seat is about 16.5 inches long and 14 inches wide. There are more round toilet seats in homes and houses in general. They are also used more often in bathrooms with less space than their longer counterparts because they take up less room.

Also, since these seats are a couple of inches shorter than the longer ones, they cost a little less, but not by much.

Elongated Toilet Seat

The length of an elongated toilet seat is about 18.5 inches and the width is about 14 inches. A lot of people, especially men, like elongated toilet seats because they are longer. This is the standard seat in most large businesses, like hotels, gas stations, and airports, because it is so popular.

Even though they are more common in big businesses, you can also find them in houses and apartments.

How to Measure Your Toilet Seat

Now that you know the standard sizes for toilet seats, you might be wondering how to figure out what size yours is. Before going to a store, there are three things you need to measure to make sure you have everything you need:


By far, this is the most important way to measure. The other two numbers are usually standard, so get this one if you don’t want to have to remember three different ones.

But if you want to make sure you have a standard-sized seat, you should measure the other two.

To get this measurement, measure from where the seat post holes are to the end of your bowl. Make sure you measure to the outside edge of your toilet bowl. If you don’t, your measurement will be shorter than what you need.


The width is usually the same in every toilet, but it is still measured. There are also toilets that are an odd size, and yours might be one of them. Find the widest part of your toilet bowl and use that measurement. Again, make sure that you measure from edge to edge. Most likely, you will get a measurement of 14 inches. A toilet that is not standard will have a different width.

Seat Post Holes

To find out if your toilet is a standard size, measure the distance between the holes in the seat post. The distance from the center of one seat post hole to the center of the other hole is used to get these measurements. Don’t worry if you don’t have the toilet seat off; just try to get your measuring tool as close to the center as you can.

If the holes in your seat post are 5.5 inches apart, any standard toilet seat will fit, whether it’s round or long.

Toilet seat options 

Bidet functions

In other parts of the world, like Asia and the Middle East, toilet seats with bidets are common. They are becoming more and more popular in the US as well. If you try them, you’ll never use dry tissue Paper again. They make sure people are cleaner and less likely to have plumbing problems.

European Toilet Seat

If your toilet seat doesn’t look like most, you might have a European toilet seat. European seats come in two styles that are similar to elongated and round seats. They also have a pretty common D-shaped seat.

This D-shaped toilet seat is pretty easy to order online and has shipped to you. Make sure you measure well before you buy something to make sure you get the right size.


When it comes to materials, toilet seats are mostly made of either plastic or wood. Plastic seats seem to be more popular because they are cheap, can be molded into many different shapes, and last for a long time. Thermoplast seats are very light and durable, while thermoset seats don’t get scratched easily.

Wooden seats are more traditional and come in many different colors and finishes. They give a bathroom a lot of warmth and charm.

Porcelain Toilet Seats

Thomas Crapper did not invent the toilet, despite what most people think. However, he did promote some innovations through his plumbing business in the 19th century, such as putting the work of potter Thomas Twyford on display in his Kings Road showroom.

People say that Twyford made the first English porcelain ceramic flush toilet that was all one piece. Crapper popularized the idea of putting toilets in homes. He did plumbing work for both King Edward VII and King George V.

Who did what is lost in the mists of time, but porcelain has stayed a popular material for making toilets because it is strong and long-lasting.

Read more: How Doxycycline Ruined My Life?

Soft close

Many new toilets come with a soft-close seat as a standard feature. This seat uses a spring to make sure that the seat and seat cover don’t drop all at once with a loud bang. It also helps keep the toilet bowl and seat from getting worn out too quickly.

Even though a soft-close seat is a good choice, it needs to be handled carefully so that the spring doesn’t get broken. This means you shouldn’t push down on the seat. If you have kids, this can be hard to do, but a soft-closing seat keeps little fingers from getting stuck.

Easy to take out

No matter how careful you are, toilet seats will get dirty, especially at the back and around the seat posts. When the seat is in place, it is hard to clean these areas. Because of this, you might want a toilet seat that you can take off easily and clean without tools.


Look for hinges that can be moved so that your toilet fits you best. Some seats also have top-fixing hinges and a handy “lift off” feature that makes it easy to put them in place and clean them.

Wrapping It Up 

Even though toilet seats don’t fit every toilet, all you have to do to make sure you buy one that does is measure your toilet before you go shopping. Remember that the toilet seat will last longer and be more comfortable the better it is made.

Buy a toilet seat that is easy to clean and doesn’t have hinges that are hard to wipe. This will save you time cleaning and make it easier to clean the toilet.


So, that’s all you need to know about how to measure a toilet seat and whether or not it will fit on either of the two standard toilet types. Also, keep in mind that toilet seats are made of different materials and have other differences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Are Toilet Seats Universal?

Do toilet seats fit all toilets?

Fits every toilet seat the same? No, not all toilet seats fit the same way because toilets come in different shapes, so you’ll need to check yours before buying. Most homes in the UK have one of three types of toilet shapes. The seats are square and have a round D-shape.

Are toilet seats the same size?

As we’ve already said, toilet seats can be round or long. Every toilet seat is either of these two, which is written on the box.

Can I put an elongated toilet seat on a round toilet?

Even though it won’t look as nice and won’t be as comfortable, an elongated bidet seat will still fit on a round toilet and work just fine.

Are all toilet seat hinges the same?

There are two main ways to attach hinges: from the top or from the bottom. It’s important to note that not all hinges can be used on all toilets. Bottom-fixing toilet seat hinges are fixed in the traditional way by putting two bolts into the pan and then tightening them from underneath.

How do you know what size toilet to buy?

Just like with rough-in standards, make sure your space can fit a long bowl before you go shopping. Most bowls are 14 to 15 inches tall when measured from the floor (without the seat). For comfort and ease of use, there are bowls that are the height of a standard chair (16 to 19 inches).

How much does it cost to replace a toilet seat?

The cost of materials to install a toilet seat ranges from $28.25 to $67.32 per seat on a national scale. Labor and materials together cost $133.78 per seat, which is between $106.05 and $161.52. Your actual cost will depend on where you live, the size of the job, the conditions, and the type of finish you choose.

Do plumbers replace toilet seats?

For example, a handyman or plumber can replace a toilet seat in 10 to 15 minutes, while it could take you several hours the first time if you buy the wrong size seat and have to go back to the store.

What are the two sizes of toilet seats?

If your toilet is round, it will be about 16 or 18 inches long. This is how long an American standard toilet has to be. Buy a round toilet seat if your toilet is 16 to 17 inches long. If it’s between 18 and 19 inches, you need an elliptical toilet seat that’s long.

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