There are few things more frustrating than a faulty toilet seat. However, a toilet seat that can’t quite stay up is a pervasive issue we have encountered repeatedly. Our experts are not only familiar with the common causes of this nuisance, but how to fix them for good.
Plenty of things can cause a toilet seat to fall down. Poor upkeep, wear and tear, or even falsely installing the bowl can cause this issue. Some bowls also have mismatched parts that almost always lead to problems down the line. A toilet should not cause discomfort. In this guide, we’ll walk you through some common issues that cause a toilet seat to fall and how to fix them. No DIY experience is required!Our goal: Make sure your toilet seat never falls in time of need…ever again.
5 Reasons Why Your Toilet Seat Won’t Stay Up
#1 Reason – Seat is Wobbly
Sitting on a toilet seat that constantly moves can be annoying. Whether the bowl itself is loose or the seat, this can be an unpleasant experience. A wobbly toilet is most likely an installation issue and can easily be fixed using the correct tools.
One of the easiest solutions to fixing a wobbly toilet seat is tightening the screws. Luckily, this can often be done with basic household tools that you have on hand. No plumber required! Another solution can be to purchase a properly sized seat if the bowl and lid are not aligned.
Fix 1: Tighten the Screws
Fix 2: Purchase Properly Sized Toilet Seat
If you’re wobbling around on the throne, this step-by-step guide provides a quick DIY course of action that anyone can follow. Locate the bolts on the back of your toilet seat, remove their plastic lids, and tighten the bolts. While doing this, hold onto the bolt on the bottom of the seat.
Reason#2 – Seat is Too Far Back
The most common reason your seat fails you is because the lid is installed too far back.
This is especially likely if it was not initially installed by a plumber. Although DIY home improvements can go extremely well, if you don’t have much experience in plumbing, perfectly installing a toilet can be difficult.
Our experts here believe that the angle between the back of the seat and the seat itself must lay beyond 90 degrees. If it doesn’t, it is more than likely that the seat will tilt forward when in an upward position.Pro tip: To determine if the seat is too far back, use a carpenter’s square to measure the angle degree. If the angle is acute, or smaller than 90 degrees, this is your problem! Luckily, it is also one of the most straightforward fixes.
Fix 3: Push Seat Further Back
This video goes over how to readjust a toilet seat. To do this, simply align the bolt into the attachment slot, pull the seat all the way forward, and tighten the thumb screw below the toilet while holding it in the correct position. How easy is that?
Reason #3 – Toilet is Not Level with Ground
If your toilet is not level, there’s a high chance that the seat won’t stay up. To be entirely sure, find a level and put it on the closed lid of your toilet.Pro tip: If you don’t own a level, you can also download a level application on your smartphone.
If the level is the issue, you can use toilet wedges to fix the problem. Slide them below the front of the toilet. The wedges will give you a wider angle and help to even out your toilet. These can be purchased at any home supply store or on the internet for a small price.
When inserting the level, ensure you do not push the wedges too hard or too fast. If you do, this could cause damage to the wax ring. This can potentially lead to leaking or other issues. Once you install the wedges, use the level and check again to make sure everything has evened out. This should resolve your issue.
Wobbly toilets can be an issue beyond the seat. Sometimes, the ground surface is uneven and can cause the bowl to wobble. This can especially be the case in places like basements and garages.
To fix this, use toilet wedges on the problem side. You can even stack them if there’s a big issue. Simply wedge them under the seat so that they are nice and tight.
Reason #4 – Toilet Lid is Too Thick
If the combination of your lid and seat is too thick, this may cause the seat to fall back. Covers on your seat or lid make this problem even worse.
First, try to remove the cover and see if that solves the problem. We know, seat covers are attractive, but they also add a layer of space to your toilet, which can cause the lid to easily fall down.
If removing the cover fixes the issue, you should consider using the toilet without the cover or purchasing a thinner cover. If this does not solve the problem, or if you don’t have a cover, you might need to get a slimmer seat, or lid, completely.
Before investing in a new seat, try pushing the lid back as much as possible. A seat that’s too thick will change the angle, which is why it falls down.
Reason #5: Using a Padded Toilet Seat
Padded toilet seats can be excellent additions to any toilet. They provide an extra layer of comfort while using the bathroom. However, they also provide an extra layer in between the seat and back of the bowl. This additional space can cause your seat to easily fall down.
If you want your seat to stay upright, doing away with the padded seat may be your best option. If the pad is separate from the seat, simply remove the padding and see whether or not this works. If your seat has padding included, you may want to purchase a new seat entirely.
Solutions – How to Fix, Parts to Purchase and DIY Videos
Solutions #1 – Tighten Seat Screws
If your toilet wobbles, check to see if the screws are loose. Over time, your seat screws can loosen from daily wear and tear or residue build-up.
To do this, remove the screws with a screwdriver. If the screws spin, you can use a wrench and pliers to hold them in place. When you remove the seat, check if the screw locations have any residue. If they do, clean them. Then, install the seat again and check if the problem persists.
If the seat is still wobbly, we recommend that you buy rubber toilet seat washers and place them between the screws and the toilet. With these installed, the screws themselves will be more secure.
Parts to Replace & Things to Buy
- Rubber Toilet Seat Washers
- Toilet Seat Screws
DIY Video: How to Tighten Toilet Lid Screws
Step 1: Remove plastic bolt covers from the lid using a flat plate screwdriver
Step 2: Locate where the plastic bolt comes through the bottom of the toilet bowl
Step 3: Hold the wing nut on the bottom of the bowl with one hand while you tighten the bolt with a screwdriver on both hinges
Step 4: re-attach the plastic bolt covers
This youtube video goes over the basics of tightening a toilet bowl lid. It is an excellent and quick method to not only help your seat stay upright, but to end a wobbly seat once and for all. Best of all: it is completely free with the correct tools! We love this method.
Solution #2 – Buy Proper Seat that Fits Bowl or Use SpacersNote: Every toilet seat has spacers on the bottom side that keep the seat from resting directly on the toilet bowl. However, if your toilet seat isn’t the right size, the spacers might slip and cause the seat to move.
It is essential to know that toilets can be either round or elongated. If you bought a long seat for a round toilet or vice versa, the spacers won’t line up correctly, and the seat will definitely move. To fix this issue, you’ll want to buy a completely new seat that fits your toilet bowl model.
Parts to Replace & Things to Buy
- Toilet Seat Spacers (Bumpers)
- Round Toilet Seat
- Elongated Toilet Seat
DIY Video: Installing Toilet Seat Bumpers
Step 1: Clean the underside of your toilet seat to remove residue before attaching adhesive using Windex and a paper towel
Step 2: Mount adhesive toilet seat stoppers in the middle of your seat with the flat side facing toward the rim of the bowl
If you don’t want to purchase a new toilet seat, we believe that seat spacers are an excellent option to get more shelf life out of your toilet. They are a DIY size adjustment and help prevent the sea from wobbling. Bonus: You can usually purchase them for around $10.
Solution #3 – Push Seat Further Back
The first step in fixing this problem is to loosen the lid. Do this by loosening the screws that connect the lid and the seat to the bowl. They are probably not too tight, but you might still need to use a wrench. Using your hands may not be enough force.
Pro tip: Ensure not to over-tighten the screws later, or the material could break. Some units have screws under plastic covers, which automatically snap in and out of place if you need to remove them.
Once you loosen the screws, push the seat towards the front of the bowl as far as possible. Use the carpenter’s square to ensure it is now at least a 90-degree angle. Then, tighten the screws.
Parts to Replace & Things to Buy
- Carpenter’s Square
DIY Video: Pushing Your Seat Farther Back
Step 1: Unscrew the bolts below the toilet bowl
Step 2: Remove the seat and lid from the bowl
Step 3: Attach fixings to the seat so that you can adjust it to be further back
Step 4: Align to the back of the bowl and reassemble
Not only does this video provide a great option for pushing your seat farther back, it also shows you how to install a new toilet seat. Sometimes, you may have no other option but to buy a new seat. That’s okay! Seats are typically inexpensive and can provide a much better toilet experience.
Tricks and Gadgets
Automatic Toilet Seat With Push Button
The future is now, and it involves toilet seats that do all the heavy lifting for you. If you’ve had it with faulty toilet seats that won’t close, look into purchasing an automatic toilet seat. They come with a mechanical control panel that allows you to open and close the seat with the click of a button.
Automatic seat lifters often come with all of the bells and whistles, like bidet attachments and even light fixtures inside the bowl. If you have some money to invest in a top of the line porcelain throne, we highly recommend going electric.
Toilet Seat Handle or Lifter
A toilet seat handle can be a great way to add a pleasant touch to your toilet while helping it stay upright. If touching the seat grosses you out, a handle is a middleman in this process. Many are adhesive, easy to install, and even come with attachments to connect the seat to the bowl when in use.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Am I Supposed to Adjust A Toilet Seat?
To adjust the toilet seat, loosen the two screws and adjust the seat to the desired place. Then, tighten the screws to secure the seat in the preferred location. This process is straightforward and shouldn’t require a plumber or any specific DIY experience.
Will a Soft Close Seat Help My Problem?
While you can’t update your current seat to have SoftClose, you can buy a new SoftClose seat model. These seats feature a specific design that prevents unintentional slamming, increasing the seat’s lifespan. You’ll be able to replace your current seat with a SoftClose model to benefit from the easy closing technology.
Interested in installing a SoftClose seat? Check out this how-to guide.
There are several common reasons why people experience loose toilet seats in their homes. By checking out each of these potential issues, we hope you’ll be able to resolve any loose seat issues in your own home.
Thank you again for reading another one of our many how-to toilet guides.