Knowing your ‘standard’ from your ‘soft-close’, or your ‘smart’ from your ‘slim’ will put you in good stead when it comes to choosing the perfect toilet seat. Here’s all you need to know about arguably the most underrated bathroom product.
Toilet Seat Shapes
Round toilet seats are common in older designs and suit traditional bathrooms. Round toilets don’t take up as much room as other designs, so they suit those who lack space. They may look simple and understated, but round toilet seats can do wonders when it comes to giving your bathroom a more traditional feel.
Pointed, or elongated toilet seats are also very common. They're available in a range of styles and again, tend to be featured prominently in traditional designs. Most people find elongated or pointed toilets more comfortable, although they are more expensive than rounded designs and take up slightly more space.
Square seats are common in minimalist styled bathrooms. They are modern, generally soft-close and angular, making them great for people who want to add a modern touch to their bathroom.
Like square-shaped seats, D-shaped toilet seats are modern and stylish. They pack a little less of a punch aesthetically than square-shaped seats, so are great for those who want a modern feel in their bathroom without going too overboard.
Wrap-over seats have a lid that completely covers the seat. This makes them minimalist, modern and stylish. They help to keep things neat and compact, in addition to maintaining a hygienic seat that's protected by the top lid. They can be purchased in a variety of shapes but we love the square or D-shaped versions for that extra modern punch.
A vintage bathroom needs a vintage toilet seat to match, and your options are practically endless. Traditional seats are often oval or throne seats, and come in a choice of wooden finishes. Those of you who want the look of a vintage seat with the features of a modern design don’t have to miss out - soft close seats with a vintage look are readily available. The Butler & Rose Catherine Walnut Toilet Seat is one of our absolute favourites here at Drench thanks to its intricate natural wood design and timeless appeal.
Toilet Seat Materials
Toilet seats generally come in a choice of two materials, plastic or wood.
Plastic Toilet Seats
Plastic seats are more common. They are cheaper, more malleable and easy to clean. The main types of plastic used are Thermoplastic and Thermoset, although plastic resin is another option. Thermoset is slightly more expensive as it’s more scratch resistant, but all three types are durable. Resin toilet seats can be made in any colour, and items or pictures can be embedded into the surface of the seat. This makes them great in a kid’s bathroom.
The main issue with plastic seats is they can get cold in winter - not something you should have to endure first thing in the morning! A good (albeit costly) solution is to invest in a heated seat! They can also break or crack if not used properly - in short, don't use your toilet seat as a ladder to change your bathroom spotlights.
Wooden Toilet Seats
Wooden toilet seats are less able to withstand wear and tear, but they will offer you a warmer seat in the winter! Natural wood toilet seats look more traditional and can be purchased in an array of finishes to suit your bathroom. The two types of wood most commonly used include MDF or engineered wood, and solid wood.
MDF wooden seats consist of pressed wood fibres. This makes them hygienic, comfortable, and easy to clean. Solid wooden seats are often made from oak, pine or mahogany. While solid wood seats look fantastic, their durability can vary hugely - so it’s worth doing your research before you buy.
Types Of Toilet Seat
Soft Close Seats
Soft close hinges are, in our opinion, one of the best inventions around, as there’s nothing more rage-inducing than the sound of a lid-slam in the morning. Soft-close seats are easy to operate and can now be bought very cheaply.
Ultra-slim seats are modern and minimalist, suiting practically any bathroom and often available with soft-close hinges. Whilst not specifically designed for smaller bathrooms, they will certainly help your bathroom to look bigger - whereas bulkier seats won’t do you many favours when it comes to space-saving. Despite not taking up much room, ultra-slim seats really pack a punch design-wise. Combining them with other modern features such as smart technology or heat pads will give you at toilet to be proud of - and that’s not something many people can say!
Bidet Seats/Smart Seats
Technology is everywhere, and now it’s in our toilet seats! Japanese-style toilet seats are rapidly growing in popularity in the Western world, thanks to the huge amount of comfort they offer.
This Vellamo Smart Japanese-Style Bidet toilet seat has everything you could ever need, and more, from a toilet seat. The huge range of features includes an adjustable heated seat, LED lighting (for both the day and night time), deodorising capability, air dryer temperature levels, automated cleaning, energy saving mode and adjustable water and temperature levels. All this packed into one neat remote control situated next to the seat.
Toilet Seat Sizes In The UK
There isn’t a single universal toilet seat size in the UK. Lots of different toilet seat sizes are available but sizes tend to be between 350mm and 500mm
Toilet seats vary by both size and shape so it’s important to know which size you need before investing in a new one.
What Size Toilet Seat Do I Need?
To work out what size toilet seat you require, you need to measure your pan in three places. Remove your current toilet seat first.
- Measure from post hole to post hole at the back of the seat area.
- Calculate the width of the bowl where it is the widest
- Measure from the front of the toilet seat back to the post holes.
These measurements tell you what size you need. Toilet seats will show the width and depth in millimetres.
Types Of Toilet Seat Fittings
There are two types of toilet seat fixings: Bottom Fixings and Top Fixings. Top fixing toilets seats work by feeding two bolts into the pan which are then tightened from the top. Bottom toilet seat fixings are fitted from the top and then tightened from underneath, often with wing nuts.
The majority of modern toilets now come with top fixing seat installation as they are easier to fit and remove for cleaning. The toilet seat fixings you need for your toilet will largely depend on the type of toilet seat you want to fit, or the fixings you are replacing on your current seat.
How much do Toilet Seats Cost?
Like most household products, the price of toilet seats can vary by quite a considerable amount. Cheap and cheerful seats are readily available for those of you on slightly more of a budget, while fancy high-tech, high-quality and subsequently high-price-tag seats are also proving popular. It’s important to be aware that your toilet seat gets a lot of use. Opening and closing the lid multiple times a day will take a toll on the hinges, and so investing in something high-quality is the best bet.
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Prioritising low-cost over durability will potentially cost you more in the long run, and it’ll need to be replaced sooner. Something high-quality with sturdy hinges on the other hand will last longer and ensure you don’t need to go back to the shop quite so soon!
If this post hasn’t ignited your passion for toilet seats then, quite frankly, you are a lost cause! When it comes to bathroom styling, the little pieces make a big difference - and toilet seats can certainly make a difference. Whether you’re inspired by the high-tech and comfort of the Japanese designs, or you opt for a simple wooden seat to create that traditional feeling - you’ll be spoilt for choice with Drench’s array of styles.