Learn the correct way to measure your toilet or old toilet seat so you can buy a new one in the right size.
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How to Measure For a New Toilet Seat

Make sure you're getting the right size toilet seat the first time!

We frequently receive questions about the correct sizing for toilet seats - with good reason. Not all toilets are made the same and it can often be difficult to tell whether your bowl is round or elongated just by looking at it. And that's if you even know what the difference between a round and elongated or extended bowl toilet is! Add to that the fact that almost every retailer (including us) cannot accept returns of toilet seats for hygienic reasons, making sure you're getting the right toilet seat for your toilet can quickly become a stressful endeavor.

Green toilet seat

However, your friends here at PlumbingSupply.com® are here to help with a brief tutorial on the correct way to measure for a new toilet seat. You can either choose to use your existing seat, or if you have a new toilet that did not come with a seat, you can use your toilet bowl. It is important to understand though, that these measurements and the measurements of the toilet seat you purchase may not always be 100% exact matches. The majority of toilet seats available (even those that are sometimes included with new toilets) are made by secondary manufacturers, not by the same company that made the toilet. Thus, there may be minimal differences in the measurements so that the seat can fit a larger number of toilets.

All you'll need to get started is a measuring tape, a pen, and paper. Then just follow the instructions found below to make sure you're getting the right numbers. We've provided basic guidelines for most toilet seats, so if your numbers are widely different from these ranges or if you have an oddly shaped bowl, please measure again or feel free to contact us if you need further assistance. Additionally, you can always check out our complete toilet seat index listing for brand-specific toilet seats, decorative toilet seats, or other hard-to-find seats for older toilets.


Instructions for Measuring Your Existing Toilet Seat or Toilet Bowl

click the arrows on the images below to navigate the tutorial



Things to Remember:

  • Always measure at the widest or longest point - except when measuring bolt holes, which should be measured center to center
  • Double check the dimensions of the toilet seat you intend to purchase with your measurements before purchasing to ensure they are relatively close
  • Typical bolt spread: 5-1/2"
  • Typical width: 14" - 14-1/2"
  • Typical round length: 16" - 17"
  • Typical elongated/extended length: 18" - 19"
  • Toilets are not stepstools! For safety reasons, NEVER stand or squat on your toilet bowl or toilet seat.

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