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Toilet Seats

What to Look for When Buying a Toilet Seat

Some people call their toilets their thrones – it's an important fixture in any home. If your throne needs a new cover, it isn't as simple as choosing a basic plastic seat. Why not explore some fancier options, since this is a place you sit every day?

Your local hardware store is the easiest and most convenient place to shop for a new toilet seat. Big-box home stores will have a larger selection. If you are having your bathroom redone professionally, your contractor may also have connections to suppliers, so consult with them first. Finally, if you're looking for something a little wacky or hard to find, there are many specialty bathroom stores with online shops that ship across the country, so check the Web.

Here's your guide to buying the perfect toilet seat for your needs:

  • Plastic toilet seats. This is the most common variety. Plastic is inexpensive and durable. You can get plastic toilet seats in almost any color, and many companies sell seats with designs or patterns on top as well. Plastic is easy to clean and disinfect and can be replaced easily.
  • Wood toilet seats. Depending on your bathroom's décor, a wood topper can add a little bit of sophistication to a modern bathroom or a little bit of country style to a cottage-themed or simply decorated room. Wood seats are heavy and durable, but this also means they can slam shut and be a nuisance. They are often not the best choice for families with small children.
  • Soft-closing toilet seats. A better option for people with butter fingers or small children is a soft- or slow-closing seat. These are equipped with special hinges that close quietly and slowly, so nobody will be disturbed by midnight bathroom runs or accidental seat slams.
  • Raised toilet seats (or elevated toilet seats). These can be lifesavers for people with arthritis or mobility problems. They elevate the height of a toilet to a comfortable level and can be adjusted according to individual needs. Many varieties attach directly to the toilet and must be removed for cleaning.
  • Unique toilet seats. Many people like to stick out from the crowd. With a little searching, it is possible to find toilet seats shaped like guitars or covered in fur. Some seats even open outwards with hinges on the side – like opening up the cover of a book. The benefits of these seats are debatable, but they certainly are fun!
  • Designer toilet seats. If you want to get even more creative, it is possible to order specially designed toilet seats to fit your bathroom perfectly. If you have a sea-themed bathroom, consider looking for a toilet seat with shells attached right to the cover. Floral styles, stripes and contemporary patterns are gaining popularity all the time.
  • Soft toilet seats. If you're looking for a little cushioning, consider a soft toilet seat. Some people like the thin layer of padding and the fact that these seats don't get as cold as plastic seats. Soft seats can also be healthy additions to bathrooms for those who have back problems.
  • Elongated toilet seats. Sometimes, a plain, classic color can be made more exciting by a new shape. If you are redoing your bathroom, you might consider an elongated toilet – and of course, you will need to purchase an elongated toilet seat to match! Most companies have started to make the same designs in round and elongated styles, so you don't have to sacrifice design for shape.
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