One of the most common bathroom problems that arise is a loose toilet seat. This is a problem caused by the constant opening and closing of the toilet seat and eventually, the bolts that secure the seat to the toilet bowl loosen and become unstable leaving you with a wobbly toilet seat.
A loose toilet seat is often just an annoyance but as quickly as they become an annoyance, a wobbly toilet seat can become hazardous, potentially causing you to fall off the toilet bowl and hurt yourself. It is important to tighten the bolts or the wing nut that secures the toilet seat to the toilet bowl and not delay this project.
Usually, a screwdriver will do in completing this task but on the rare occasion, you might need to have a pair of pliers, adjustable wrench, or a ratchet wrench with a deep socket on hand. If you have a specialty toilet seat, you may have a tool that came with the toilet seat.
If you find that you are having an especially tough time keeping your toilet seat from becoming wobbly or loose, you may want to consider using a toilet seat tightening kit. A toilet seat tightening kit comes with a wrench, a bolt grip, and anti-wiggle washers that assist in addressing and preventing a loose toilet seat. The wrench that comes inside the kit works with a common mounting bolt or mounting nut.
If you are unsure of how to use your toilet seat tightening kit, do not worry. This article will go over how to use the kit as well as other ways to prevent a wobbly toilet seat.
- Pliers or Adjustable Wrench
- Ratchet Wrench with a Deep Socket (optional)
- Toilet Seat Tightening Kit (optional)
- New Toilet Seat Fixings (optional)
How to Tighten a Toilet Seat
The following steps are how to tighten a standard toilet seat.
- To begin, locate the bolts that mount your toilet seat to the toilet bowl. Some toilet seats may have the mounting bolt exposed but most standard toilet seats have a plastic bolt cap that snaps closed to cover them. Using your fingers or flathead screwdriver, gently pry the plastic bolt cap open to expose the bolts.
- Using the screwdriver, turn the mounting bolt on each side of the toilet seat clockwise until they tighten. Be sure to tighten the bolts evenly so that the toilet seat sits level with the toilet bowl. If the mounting bolt is spinning but not tightening, you need to use a pair of pliers or an adjustable wrench to grip the nut that is threaded to the end of the mounting bolt. Grip the nut with the pliers or adjustable wrench to keep it in place while you turn the screwdriver and tighten the bolt from above.
Note: Most toilet seats use steel or metallic bolts but on cheaper toilet seats you may have plastic bolts. Take care as to not strip the threads when tightening.
3. You may need to tighten the mounting nut from underneath the toilet bowl. It is possible that the nut has worked its way down the bolt threading, and it needs to be tightened. Using a ratchet wrench with a deep socket will be the easiest way to tighten these bolts.
4. If you find that the mounting bolt on either or both sides of the toilet seat have become worn or the threads have become stripped, then it is time to replace the bolts. You can purchase a replacement mounting bolt, mounting nut, and rubber washer from a hardware or home improvement store as needed.
How to Use a Toilet Seat Tightening Kit
A toilet seat tightening kit includes a rubber washer that fits under the mounting bolt in order to remove any extra space that may cause your toilet seat to wobble. The kits also include a small specialty wrench that should fit most mounting nuts.
- Begin by removing the mounting nut from the mounting nut. If the mounting bolt has a wing nut attached to it, simply twist the wing nut off by turning counterclockwise. Slip the rubber washer onto the bolt from underneath the toilet bowl. Loosely thread the mount nut and/or wing nut back on the mounting bolt.
- Carefully align the seat with the toilet bowl and then begin tightening the mounting nut by hand. Using the specialty tool that is included inside the kit, tighten the bolts another one-fourth to ensure that they are snug to fit. Do this to both sides of the toilet seat.
For a soft closing toilet seat, simply locate the metal hinges that attach the toilet seat to the toilet bowl and identify what kind of screw the toilet seat uses. Once you have figured out the correct screwdriver that you will need, tighten the screw carefully. Do not tighten it too much or else you may risk damaging or running the toilet seat. If your toilet seat has bolts instead of screws, use a ratchet wrench with a deep socket to tighten the hinge bolt.
If your toilet seat uses a plastic bolt or plastic nut, you may want to consider completely replacing the hardware. A plastic bolt will wear down faster than a metal mounting bolt will, and it is possible that the wobbly toilet seat is caused by a plastic bolt that is nearing the end of its lifespan.
You may find that the mounting bolt attaching your toilet seat to the toilet bowl has become compromised or that the threads of the bolt have been stripped. You will know if the threads of the mounting bolt have been stripped if the bolt spins but does not tighten or if the mounting nut spins and does not move up or down on the threads. If this is the case, you will need to completely replace the toilet seat fixings.
For a mounting bolt(s) that you simply cannot remove no matter what you try, it may be time to remove the bolt(s) with a hand saw or hacksaw. If you must go this route, ensure that you have the proper safety equipment and take the steps to protect the toilet bowl from any damage that may occur.
I am John Kluge, co-founder of Toilethackers.org. With 10+ years of experience working with toilets, I have garnered a lot of understanding about resolving toilet-related issues. Knowledge is meant to be shared and I am passionate about teaching people the right way to keep toilets clean and also fix toilet-related issues. I co-founded this blog to share my experiences and keep readers updated about toilet-related issues. Knowledge sharing is my forte and I always do so with ease. With exceptional writing and analytic skill, I use my skill to simplify complex terms and ensure readers grasp more understanding about toilet issues.