Tightening a Loose Toilet Seat

High angle view of domestic bathroom
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A loose toilet seat is a common problem that occurs often. Constant opening, closing and sitting will eventually result in a loose toilet seat. Tightening a loose toilet seat is easier than installing a new seat and all you will usually need is a screwdriver. Occasionally, you may need to tighten the nut which could be done with pliers, a deep socket, a crescent wrench or a specialty tool that comes in a toilet seat tightening kit (see below).

Tightening a Loose Seat

  1. Some toilet seat bolts are exposed, but most just have a plastic flap that snaps closed to cover them. Lift the cover that sits over the toilet seat bolts so you can see what type of bolt fastens the seat to the toilet bowl. This can be easily done with a flat screwdriver.
  2. If the bolts are the type with the screwdriver slot, then tighten them by turning clockwise until they are tight. If the bolt just spins and does not tighten, then you will have to hold the nut on the bottom with pliers while you tighten the bolt with a screwdriver. Most toilets seats use steel screws, but for cheap seats, the screws are made from plastic. Be extra careful with plastic screws!
  3. Tighten the nut from underneath. From under the bowl turn the toilet seat nuts clockwise until they are tight. This simple adjustment should take only a few minutes.

Note: If the toilet seat bolts break or refuse to tighten, you can purchase replacement bolts at a hardware or home improvement store.

Bolts that are frozen may have to be cut off with a hacksaw blade. Use only the blade (not the hacksaw), because it is very thin and it will fit under the head of the bolt; it can usually cut the bolt without scraping the porcelain on the bowl. However, if the seat itself is in poor condition, purchasing a new seat might make sense.

Toilet Seat Tightening Kit

I found a handy toilet seat tightening kit at my local home improvement store and decided to try it on my own loose toilet seat at home. This kit came with three sets of rubbers washers that go around the bolts of the toilet seat to help prevent it from loosening by stopping the wiggle. The set also came with a tool that is supposed to fit all nut sizes. These washers should fit the majority of toilet seat bolts and the tool should as well, but it's made of plastic so you may have trouble with nuts that are really hard to remove.

  1. To use the washers, remove the toilet seat nuts from the bolts and slip the rubber washers onto the bolt from underneath the toilet bowl.
  2. Make sure the seat is aligned the way you want it before putting the nuts back in place. Hand tighten and then add perhaps an additional 1/4 turn more with the tool to make sure it's snug.