Buying a new toilet seat? Read this first.

When selecting your toilet seat there are many factors to consider.  The reality is that a comfortable, functional and attractive bidet toilet seat or toilet basin seat is an essential part of any bathroom fit-out. Considering the amount of time that people spend on the toilet, it's surprising how little attention is paid to selecting the right seat for the household's needs. We're here to change that, providing the low-down on the various toilet seat options on offer, as well as tips for ensuring you end up with a toilet seat that suits you and our bathroom.

TOTO washlet

Check your sizing!
Today modern toilet suites can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A toilet seat that fits one toilet, won't necessarily fit another. Before selecting your chosen toilet seat, check that it's right for the dimensions of your toilet basin. It's also important to note that toilet basins come in several different shapes: square; rectangular; lozenge-shaped; and circular; as well as some more specialist shapes commonly seen in vintage toilets.

PARISI Hermitage toilet suite

What type of hinges does your toilet basin have?
Traditionally, toilet seats have been fastened to the toilet basin using a couple of bolts that pass through the back of the basin, and are fastened in place beneath it. Modern toilet seats can sometimes fasten differently, particularly those that have been made as part of an integral unit. Before purchasing a new toilet seat, make sure it's compatible with your existing fixings.

Argent Spring seat with Fastfix hinges

Lid, or no lid?
Modern toilet seats almost always come with an integral lid. The lid, which can be shut prior to flushing the toilet to help contain odour and germs, can also provide a more aesthetically appealing option in comparison with the seat alone. That said, there are some contemporary single seats available, that can really add to the atmosphere and presence of a bathroom, without the need for a lid.

Soft close toilet lids for privacy and quiet
It’s possible to choose from a simple toilet lid, hinged option, or invest in a "soft-close" toilet seat. The former, as the name suggests, consists of a lid that's fastened to the seat by either a single or a double hinge. Hinged toilet seats work just fine, but there is the chance for the lid to bang on the seat when it's shut carelessly. Not only is this noisy and indiscreet, repeated banging can damage the toilet basin and/or seat. To combat this problem, many toilet seats are now fitted with a "soft-close" lid. A "soft-close" closing mechanism ensures that, when the seat is lowered, it moves with a slow, quiet action, touching down gently on the seat. The process is extremely quiet, as well as smooth. Reducing damage to the toilet lid, as well as being a quieter option. Soft-touch lids are the preferred choice in modern bathrooms.   Caroma ‘s handy guide to choosing a toilet seat is a useful read:

Selecting a toilet seat and lid combo that can be easily removed for thorough cleaning (often called a quick-release seat) is preferable. Good hygiene is paramount, and a detachable seat makes cleaning much easier and more effective.  Read more about Caroma’s Cleanflush ® toilet featuring the Hygenic rimless bowl making cleaning quick and easy!

Caroma Liano soft close seatPARISI Pressalit Sway D2 Toilet seat

Toilet seat contouring
Toilet seats may be flat, sloped or rounded. Ultimately, the preferred profile is a matter of personal taste; some people find that the sloped profile offers a more comfortable seat, whilst others find it easier to rise from a seat that has a rounded seat profile.

Lid shape
Lids may be the same shape as the toilet seat (which echoes the shape of the basin), or contoured differently. Toilet lid shapes have varied considerably over time, so if you want to recreate a bathroom from days gone by, the toilet lid could be the perfect place to start! A shell-shaped toilet lid, for example, can deliver an astonishing amount of retro appeal. Contemporary toilet lids frequently benefit from a square shape. Straight lines fit well with the recent minimalist bathroom trend, providing clean, sharp edges that are appealing to look at and easy to keep clean. Curved lids are also a popular option, with softer contours complementing a bathroom with a cosier feel. Lids often match the shaping seen in the other sanitary ware in the bathroom, but can also be a contrasting shape in order to provide a unique asthetic.

Toilet seat materials

By far the most common material for toilet seats these days is some form of plastic or resin. The advantages of synthetic material for toilet seats are numerous: plastic warms quickly, making the seat more comfortable to use; plastic can be easily cleaned; plastic doesn't degrade when powerful cleaning agents (such as bleach) are used; plastic is flexible enough to cope with people sitting on it, without buckling or fracturing; plastic or resin is a safe material to sit on, with no splinters or danger of shards. Whilst historically other materials were used for toilet seats and lids, today, compounds such as Duroplast (all the benefits of synthetic material but with an attractive, ceramic look) are the preferred choice.

Coloured toilet suites

Toilet seats and lids need not always be white: there is a wide range of colours on the market that can add some contrast to a bathroom, as well as blend with other accents to create an intriguing, yet coordinated, look. A coloured toilet lid can provide a fantastic feature, providing an opportunity to update a bathroom without changing the entire suite. Take a look here at the latest wall hung pans from PARISI.

 PARISI Link Wall Hung Pan (GoClean) in AnthracitePARISI Link Wall Hung Pan (GoClean) in Fango

Choosing the right toilet seat for your toilet suite is an important part of the design process for your bathroom. By considering the factors listed above, you'll end up choosing an attractive, highly functional toilet seat that's going to be exactly right for your household.

Get in touch with our showroom consultants to discuss the right toilet seat for your bathroom renovation.