How to fix a loose toilet seat

Aaron Stickley is a licensed plumber with 15 years of experience in commercial, new residential plumbing, and residential service and repair. He started his own residential service and repair plumbing business. Aaron's articles about plumbing on The Spruce span four years.

How to fix a loose toilet seat

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The Spruce / Kevin Norris

  • Total Time: 15 – 20 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $15 to $30

A loose toilet seat is a common problem caused by the constant opening, closing, and sitting that eventually loosens the bolts securing the seat to the body of the toilet. As DIY home repair projects go, it is about as easy as it comes—all that’s required, usually, is a screwdriver. On rare occasion, you might need pliers, a ratchet wrench with a deep socket, an adjustable wrench, or a specialty tool that comes with a toilet seat tightening kit (see below).

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers (optional)
  • Ratchet wrench with a deep socket (optional)
  • Adjustable wrench (optional)


  • Toilet seat tightening kit (optional)


How to fix a loose toilet seat

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

How to Tighten a Loose Toilet Seat With a Screwdriver

A few minutes with some basic tools can keep your toilet seat from wobbling. However, if the seat itself is in poor condition, this is a good time to purchase and install a new seat.

Find the Bolts

Some toilet seat bolts are exposed, but most just have a plastic flap that snaps closed to cover them. Use a screwdriver to pry these plastic covers open to expose the bolts that secure the seat to the top of the toilet bowl.

How to fix a loose toilet seat

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Tighten the Bolts

If the bolts have slotted heads, then tighten them by turning clockwise with a screwdriver until they are tight. Tighten the bolts evenly on each side, so that the toilet seat sits level.

If the bolt just spins without tightening, then use pliers to grip the nut threaded onto the mounting bolt from below the toilet as you tighten the bolt from above with a screwdriver. Most toilets seats use steel screws, but on cheaper seats with plastic bolts, be careful not to break the bolts or strip the threads.


Do not over tighten and crack the toilet.

How to fix a loose toilet seat

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Tighten From Below

If necessary, you can tighten the mounting nut from underneath. From under the bowl, turn the toilet seat nuts clockwise until they are tight. A ratchet wrench with a deep socket is usually the easiest way to tighten these bolts, but an adjustable wrench can also be used.

How to fix a loose toilet seat

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Replace the Bolts (Optional)

If the toilet seat bolts break or refuse to tighten, you can purchase replacement bolts at a hardware or home improvement store. Bolts that are frozen may have to be cut off with a hacksaw blade. Use only the blade (not the hacksaw), because it is very thin and it will fit under the head of the bolt; it can usually cut the bolt without scraping the porcelain on the bowl. There are also short-handle or mini-hacksaws that are a good choice for working in tight spaces.

How to fix a loose toilet seat

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

How to Use a Toilet Seat Tightening Kit

Available at home improvement centers and online retailers are several versions of a toilet seat tightening kit. The kits include rubbers washers that fit under the bolts to remove extra space that causes the seat to wiggle. A small specialty wrench that will fit most mounting nuts is also included.

Add Washers

Remove the nuts from the mounting bolts and slip the rubber washers onto the bolts from underneath the toilet bowl. Loosely thread the nuts back onto the bolts.

How to fix a loose toilet seat

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Tighten the Nuts and Bolts

Carefully align the seat, then tighten the nuts fully by hand. Use the specialty tool to tighten the bolts another 1/4 turn to make sure it is snug.

How to fix a loose toilet seatDoes this happen in your house? Someone comes out of the bathroom, complaining that the toilet seat is loose. AGAIN. You just tightened it last Saturday and a few days later, it’s wobbling.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Toilet seats may loosen for a variety of reasons: the repetitive motion of raising and lowering the seat and cover, plus the fact that it’s one of the most-used places in the house. Having a loose toilet seat isn’t merely annoying; it’s also a safety concern.

So let’s put a stop to it!

You’ll need the following tools. Please make sure to use them carefully, as metal can easily scratch porcelain.

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench (adjustable and/or standard)
  • Pliers

First, open the hinge caps and locate the bolts. If your seat is out of alignment, now is the time to center it on the bowl. Holding the seat in place, look under the bowl. If the bolts are attached by wing nuts, use your screwdriver to hold the bolt in place while manually tightening the wing nuts. Don’t overtighten – this could strip or break the bolt. Check to make sure the seat is tightened, then close the hinge caps.

You can also open the hinge caps and, after positioning the seat correctly on the bowl, tighten the bolts with a screwdriver, using a clockwise motion. If the bolts spin or don’t tighten, you’ll need to grip the wing nut with the pliers while tightening the top of the bolt with the screwdriver.

Have a toilet seat with metal bolts and nuts?

First you’ll need to get the toilet seat back into its proper position. Next, hold the nut in place with the wrench and then tighten the bolt with a screwdriver.

For either of these scenarios, if the seat still wiggles after you’ve tightened it, you may need to insert washers on the nut between the bolt and the underside of the toilet.

If you’re a natural-born DIYer and this is working out finer than frog’s hair, great! But if it’s starting to feel like a burr under your saddle, we’ve got the perfect solution: a toilet seat with our STA-TITE® Seat Fastening System™ that Never Loosens™.

STA-TITE® is easy to install – the lower portion of the nut is designed to snap off during installation, indicating that perfect tightness has been achieved. And when it’s time for cleaning, the hinge system lets you quickly and easily remove the seat.

Why not have a seat that never loosens, cleans up like a charm, and never needs tightening again? To send your old toilet seat out to pasture, click here.

For more information, check out The Reading Room. Filled with articles to inform and inspire!

Show your wobbly toilet seat who’s boss with our guide on how to tighten or replace a toilet seat.

Updated 24 September 2021

By Cleanipedia Team

How to fix a loose toilet seat

Key steps

How to fix a loose toilet seat

To tighten a toilet seat, locate the screws and tighten them by turning them clockwise.

Hold the nut in place to tighten.

To replace a toilet seat, remove the old one, line up the new one and screw into place.

Don’t forget to check the positioning before tightening the screws.

A wobbly toilet seat makes visits to the WC significantly less comfortable. If a toilet seat is moving around it might be that it has come loose from its fixtures, or it might be that a part of it is broken and needs replacing. Whatever the problem is, this guide has your back(side): we’ll show you how to tighten toilet seats that are loose, and how to replace a toilet seat if it’s broken beyond repair.

If you replace your toilet seat, keep the bolts and nuts that you remove. You can keep them as spares in case you need to replace the ones on your new seat.

How to fix a loose toilet seat: Steps to tighten a wobbly toilet seat


Before you start looking at how to replace a toilet seat, pause: it may just be a case of tightening your toilet seat instead! Here’s how:

Locate the two screws which hold the toilet seat in place:

These are usually at the back of the toilet seat.

They run through the porcelain at the back of the toilet bowl.

They are held in place by two nuts at the base.

If your screws are covered, use a fingernail or flat head screwdriver to open the cover.

Centre the toilet seat to the position you wish for it to remain once the screws have been tightened. It may be worth having a seat to test it out and check it’s in the right spot.

Use your dominant hand to tighten the screws until the seat is tight. Once you think it’s tight enough, give it one final quarter rotation to ensure it is secure. Keep these tips in mind:

Weigh down the seat in place to stop it wobbling as you work.

Using an old rag, hold the nut in place to stop it moving while you tighten the screw. For a firmer grip, use a pair of pliers.

Ensure that you use the correct screwdriver head. Most screws for toilet seats will require a crosshead, just check which size you need so you don’t blunt the screw head.

Take particular care if you have a cheaper seat design with plastic screws.

Not sure which way to tighten it? Remember: “righty tighty, lefty loosey”. This means you should turn the screwdriver clockwise to tighten it.

How to change a toilet seat: A step-by-step method

Which brand of dishwasher tablets do you usually purchase?

Now you know how to fix a toilet seat that has become loose, it’s time to show you how to replace a toilet seat that is beyond repair.

Choose your new toilet seat.

There are plenty on the market, from varnished wood to fun plastic designs. Choose your favourite!

Don’t forget to check which type of seat you need to fit your toilet. There are two standard types: round and elongated.

For the perfect fit, find a seat which matches the toilet manufacturer. While other brands may work; they are unlikely to fit as well.

Install the new toilet seat.

Start by locating and removing the screws from the old toilet seat. You will need to unscrew them and remove the screw and nut.

While you’re at it, why not give your toilet a good clean? You’ll have more access to the space under the toilet seat while it’s off.

Place your new toilet seat in position. Make sure it is properly aligned. Don’t be afraid to test out the positioning before tightening it into place.

Put new screws through the holes in the back of the toilet seat, and the porcelain at the back of the toilet bowl.

Tighten the new screws and nuts in place.

Now you know not only how to fix a wobbly toilet seat, but replace one which has broken beyond repair you can visit the loo in peace and comfort.

Follow this guide to control a case of the wobbles.

By Amy Lynch and Bob Vila | Updated Sep 22, 2020 5:56 PM

How to fix a loose toilet seat

From the pressure of people sitting to the constant opening and closing of the lid and/or seat, your toilets probably get more traffic than any other seat in the house. So it’s understandable that the seat could loosen and wiggle a bit from side to side. The bolts that attach the seat to the commode, located just behind where you sit, are causing the problem. This is no mere annoyance but a potentially unsafe situation, should the lid separate from one of its bolts while someone’s using it, causing injury. Fortunately, the fix is bound to be an easy DIY job—whether you simply need to adjust the bolts or replace them entirely. Read on for two ways to go about how to tighten a toilet seat.

Plan A: Tighten the Bolts


Locate the two bolts that attach the seat to the commode. If there are small plastic cases covering the bolts, use your fingers to pop them open the same way you might access a shampoo cap; many modern toilet seat bolt covers are manufactured with this feature. If not, use a flat head screwdriver to gently pry them loose and expose the bolts.


Use the screwdriver to tighten the toilet seat bolts, which are now exposed, screwing clockwise until they resist. Be sure to stop when each bolt stops turning; you don’t want to strip or break them altogether. Alternatively, consider adding a toilet seat hinge washer (less than $1 apiece) to each bolt. These washers were designed for the specific purpose of keeping a toilet seat in place. If you choose to do so, proceed to the next step.


To install the seat hinge, unscrew the bolts entirely using a counterclockwise motion with your screwdriver. Slip the washers into place where the bolt will meet the commode before reinserting the bolts and screwing them back.


If bolts fail to tighten, try holding the nut at the base of the bolt in place with a pair of pliers in one hand while turning the bolt clockwise with the screwdriver in the other hand. Once again, take care not to go too far and damage the bolt or strip it; once it stops turning, you’re done.

How to fix a loose toilet seat

Plan B: Replace the Bolts

TOOLS AND MATERIALS Available on Amazon
– Miniature hacksaw
– Toilet seat replacement kit
– Replacement nuts and bolts with rubber washers (optional)


If the bolts are frozen in place and just won’t budge, cut them off with a miniature hacksaw. Place the saw blade just beneath the bolt’s head and saw slowly until you’ve gone all the way through the metal.


After sawing through the bolt, the severed piece may be hot to the touch, so use caution when removing it. Repeat the process on the other bolt, then clear away any debris on both sides. Remove each nut by spinning it counterclockwise, then pull the bolts out and discard them.


If you need to replace hinges as well as the bolts, it’s best to buy a toilet seat replacement kit for less than $10 at your local hardware store. This includes nuts, bolts, and hinges with screws. Otherwise, you only need replacement nuts and bolts with rubber washers.

Then, with old or new hinges securely in place, screw the bolts in one at a time by holding each nut at the base, dropping the bolt into the center of the nut, and using your screwdriver to secure each bolt in a clockwise motion. This should do the trick to tighten the toilet seat. Test the seat to make sure it doesn’t move side to side, and you should be sitting pretty!

Some home improvement problems seem easy until you tackle them, and then they turn out to be more problematic than you thought. A sliding toilet seat is one such problem. You should be able to stop it from sliding by tightening the nuts holding it to the bowl, but they loosen again after a short time and the problem reoccurs. The reason is that the holes for the bolts are purposely oversized so that the bolts won’t crack the porcelain. You can keep the bolts secure by packing the holes with special washers.

Lower the seat and locate the two screw covers at the back of the seat. Pry them up with a flat-head screwdriver to expose the screw heads.

Put the flat-head screwdriver in the screw slot and hold it steady while you unscrew the nut from underneath the bowl. If the nut is plastic, you should be able to do this by hand. If it’s metal, or it’s simply too tight to turn, use adjustable pliers to turn it.

Remove the nut and bolt and take the seat off the bowl. Clean the ceramic with soap and water to remove any buildup, then replace the seat.

Insert the screw back in the holes. Remove the backing from a pair of adhesive washers and slide one along the end of each bolt until it makes contact with the bowl. Manufacturers make these washers specifically for this purpose. You should be able to find them at a hardware store.

Tighten the nut by hand as far as it will go. If it’s metal, continue tightening it with adjustable pliers. The nut will push the washer into the hole, securing the bolt and stopping the seat from slipping.

Things You Will Need

2 adhesive washers

In some cases, you may have success by replacing the existing rubber washers with new rubber ones.

If the bolts are metal, and they’re corroded, you may have trouble loosening them. If so, spray them with lubricant to loosen the threads. Once you get them off, replace them with new ones.


Don’t overtighten the bolts, especially if they’re metal. You may crack the porcelain.

If the toilet seat is loose, it can be really obnoxious for the user. It will continue to loosen and become more annoying over time, so nip it in the bud and take care of it when you see the first signs. If you let it go too long, it can cause damage to the bolt covers. If you don’t know how to tighten a toilet seat, no worries. It’s easy to do, and we can teach you. Following these simple steps will get your toilet feeling like new.

Fix a Loose Toilet Seat in 4 Steps

How to fix a loose toilet seat

If you have a screwdriver, you’re in luck because that’s all you’re going to need to get this project done.

  1. Find where the seat is bolted down and move the bolt covers out of the way by prying it off with the screwdriver.
  2. Feel around on the underside where the bolt is to find where it comes out of the bottom. Find the wing nut and hold it in place.
  3. Now, use the screwdriver to turn the bolt clockwise in order to tighten it. If you are not holding the wing nut with your other hand, it will just spin and spin without tightening.
  4. Once securely in place, put the bolt cover back on to obscure the bolts.

Save On a Slow Close Toilet Seat

We highly recommend that you go with a quiet-close toilet seat. If you have sleeping babies in your house, this is a must. You don’t have to bend over to softly place the lid down. You can flick your wrist, and the seat will quietly return to its place. Name brands are pricey, but we have great prices and an unbeatable deal on ProStock options:

At PlumbersStock, industry professionals can contact us for special deals when they buy bulk. And homeowners with big projects buying bulk can hit us up, too.

Mulching around plants helps keep out weeds, hold water in the soil and improve the appearance of planting beds. But the kind of mulch chosen can sometimes be very important. A damaging fungus, called artillery fungus or shotgun fungus, can develop in some wood mulches, especially chopped-up limbs, trunks and stumps of diseased hardwood trees such as maples and oaks. This type of mulch is sometimes obtained free or at low cost from tree-removal companies.

If used near houses, cars, garages or similar surfaces, the fungus can spray the surface with black, tar-like spots that are very difficult or impossible to remove. While the sprayed spores normally travel only a few feet, breezes can blow them farther and at times they even reach second stories of houses. Artillery fungus appears to be most prevalent in the Northeast, and has been extensively researched by scientists, especially at Pennsylvania State University.

A great deal of information about the fungus can be found on the Internet by searching with the words artillery fungus. A list of questions and answers by Penn State researchers is especially valuable – look for the tag in the search lists. Pine-bark nuggets, made from softwood, are considered safest of wood mulches. Non-organic mulches, like black plastic and marble chips, are best. Wood chips from hardwood trees are best used around plants at some distance from objects that might be damaged.

Q. My toilet seat has plastic bolts that keep coming loose, making the seat wobble and very uncomfortable to sit on. I keep tightening the nuts, but they work loose quickly. Can you help?

A. Toilet seats often wobble because the holes in the toilet-bowl rim are larger than the diameter of the bolts, allowing movement that eventually makes the nuts loose. Tightening the nuts seldom works very well. There are several possible solutions.

One is to buy a kit containing rubber or plastic bushings that fit over the top of the bolt, filling the space around the bolt and preventing the motion. These kits are sold at some home centers and on the Internet for less than $5 (search the Internet for bushings for wobbly toilet seat).

Another approach is to install self-adhesive rubber washers between the lid and top of the toilet bowl. For more information on washers, visit (about $3 for a set of washers).

If you have an old bicycle inner tube or piece of sheet rubber, make your own washers by cutting a hole in a the middle of a small piece and slip it over each bolt before re-installing the lid. Another do-it-yourself approach: Wrap a little plumber’s Teflon tape around the threads of each bolt before tightening the nuts, improving the grip of the nuts. A last resort is to put a little glue on the threads before tightening the nuts; use glue designed to hold plastics. If glue is used, however, it might be necessary to use a hacksaw or power tool to cut through the bolts if you want to replace the lid.

Q. I want to install two frameless mirrors above a bathroom vanity. However, I am concerned about them falling down because the brackets are supposed to be located on the sides. Do you have any thoughts on this?

A. It is usually best to follow manufacturer’s directions when installing any product. Using alternate methods of installation could invalidate any warranty that might be offered. If you follow instructions and have a problem, the manufacturer should help you solve it. However, manufacturers are not always right. The evidence for this includes the frequent recalls of unsafe products and crackdowns by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

If you have doubts about the method of installation, the best bet is to contact the customer service department of the manufacturer and discuss it. I don’t know the weight of these mirrors, but some frameless mirror installations call for putting brackets under the bottom edge, which in my opinion is the best way to support the weight.

Brackets are also often placed over the top edge, to prevent tilting forward. Some frameless mirrors are glued in place, which gives a good bond but makes the mirrors difficult and even dangerous to remove.

If you contact the manufacturer and still have safety concerns, it might be wise to return these mirrors to the dealer and look for more satisfactory replacements.

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review’s Northwest Passages community forums series — which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper — by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

How to fix a loose toilet seat

Toilet seats are the most used pieces of furniture in your home. You may not notice it, but they surely do. As such, after years or even decades of use, most toilet seats tend to get a bit wobbly. But thanks to a few tools and DIY tricks, almost all of them can get back on their feet.

What Is the Cause of Wobbly Toilet Seat?

Usually, toilet seats are pinned in place using securing bolts. But after some wear and tear, those bolts tend to either break down or simply get loose. The result is a wobbly, moving toilet seat.

Another common cause of a toilet seat moving is damage to the hinges. Depending on the type of material used (most commonly it’s metal), hinges can get rusty. Household detergents can also accelerate the process, as most contain bleach, which is a no-no for metal.

Last but not least, slamming the toilet seat can break it pretty easily. Not only can it damage the plastic cover, but slams can also tear off the bumpers underneath the seat. While sometimes nature is the culprit, it’s better to avoid leaving a toilet seat at the mercy of gravity.

Time for a Closer Look

Before you start doing any type of repairs, it’s important to know what you are dealing with. First of all, take a look at the seat for any obvious damage. Look for broken plastic or lift the seat and check if the bumper pads are all good.

Next up, you should check what kind of toilet seat you have. Most seats use metal screws that require removing the seat first before you can have a look at them. You can also have plastic bolts that have a nut that prevents the bolt from moving.

Lastly, you should look underneath the toilet bowl, to check the bolts. Move them around a bit, see if they seem loose. Look out for broken or compressed washers, as they may be at fault too. And don’t forget to check the hinges for any rust or cracks.

Fixing a Wobbly Toilet Seat

Depending on the type of damage it has sustained, there are a couple of ways to fix a wobbly toilet seat. First, however, you should have at least a screwdriver and some WD40 around to help in removing any broken or loose screws. You can also bring a wrench as you may need to tighten some bolts.

In case you are lacking proper tools, you can always get a screwdriver set. The CREMAX Professional Magnetic screwdriver set, for example, is one of the best choices for any household needs. With a full range of tips, the CREMAX set provides any type of screwdriver you could need when repairing the toilet seat.

1. Tightening the Screws

If you are among the lucky ones, fixing your toilet seat is as easy as tightening some screws. Simply remove the lid protecting the bolts and tighten them up. However, you might need to remove the toilet cover itself to access them. Sometimes you may also need to grip the nuts that hold the screws down for a more secure tightening.

Screw Tightening Kits

Even though using a screwdriver is the go-to option, tightening kits are getting more and more popular. For example, the simple to use Ginsley All-in-One Kit includes everything you might need at an affordable price. It even comes with a pair of new screws in case the old ones are broken beyond repair. If you want a hassle-free screw tightening, you can always go for the Ginsley All-in-One Kit.

2. Bolt Repair

Sometimes, no matter how hard or how much pressure you put into screwing, the bolts just rotate senselessly. That may be a sign of a worn-out screw. The solution is to buy another set of bolts but if that’s not possible you can always try a DIY trick. All you need is a bit of tape, preferably plumbing tape.

Simply wrap the tape around the bolt, but don’t go all the way. You don’t need to wrap all the way down the bolt, just the part that gets hooked into the nuts. You can follow this tutorial, as it goes in-depth into fixing a broken bolt.

Toilet Seat Bolt Recommendations

Although a broken bolt can be fixed, there are times when it’s too broken to be repaired. When choosing replacement screws, the best option out there are the FOCCTS 4 Pack Toilet Screws . Durable and sturdy, the FOCCTS screws can fit most toilet seats thanks to the expanding rubber cover of them.

3. Changing the Hinge

While fiddling with the screws can usually solve most problems, other times the hinges are at fault. If the hinges are cracked or broken, there is no other way than to change them. Remove the old ones by unscrewing the bolts from both the toilet seat and the toilet itself. Most toilet seat models allow for hinge changing, but other models might need to be replaced entirely.

Toilet Seat Hinge Recommendation

The hinge type you need depends on the material used in the toilet seat. If you are using a common plastic seat, Qualihome provides some of the most durable hinges available on the market. Easy to install and easy to clean, choosing Qualihome hinges means choosing quality.

4. Toilet Seat Bumpers

The next common problem toilet seats may face is broken or damaged bumpers. If you checked the toilet seat earlier you might have already noticed if everything is alright below. If not, now is a good time to see if any bumper seems like it’s about to fall or already fell.

Fixing bumpers is quite easy as you just unscrew the old ones and replace them. You can also opt for T shaped bumpers that will give your toilet seat more stability. Another option is to use toilet seat stops, which are similar to bumpers but much easier to install.

Toilet Seat Stoppers

If you want to go the easier route and don’t want to handle screws anymore, you can choose the SteadySeat Stoppers . Thanks to their durable sticky pads, this product requires no tools and no screws. You don’t have to replace the old bumpers either as the SteadySeat Stoppers can be placed between them.

5. Toilet Seat Replacement

Seats that are broken, cracked, or simply too old are much better replaced than fixed. Before choosing a replacement, you need to think about what kind of seat you prefer — wood or plastic. Luckily, you don’t need to make this choice alone as you can follow our Plastic vs. Wood guide.

Toilet Seat Recommendation

No matter what kind of seat you prefer, the Kohler K-4636-0 Toilet Seat is one of the best choices. The grip-tight bumpers are specially designed to avoid any future wobbliness. Take advantage of its quick-attach feature for a simple install fit for almost any toilet type. As far as reviews are concerned, it’s clear that the K in K-4636-0 stands for King of the bathroom.

Let’s Have a Seat

Overall, dealing with a wobbly toilet seat is not as hard as it seems. Even though most people have never changed or fixed a toilet seat before, it’s never too late to learn. Thanks to a plethora of online tutorials and tips, anyone can become their own fixer.

However, without proper care, sooner or later the problems will return. Cleaning and not slamming a toilet seat will go a long way into lowering the chance of future wobbliness. Treat your toilet seat like a throne and you will always feel like true royalty when using it.

There are all sorts of common problems that can arise in a bathroom over the years, and a wobbly or loose toilet seat is one classic example. Seats can often come loose over time and this can be a frustrating issue to have to deal with, but it’s actually very simple to fix a loose toilet seat, and all you need is a simple screwdriver to get started. Let’s take a look at the process in a simple, step-by-step format.

Step 1

The first step is to locate the hinges of your toilet seat and see how and where exactly it connects with the rest of the toilet. Typically, toilet seats connect to the bowl by a pair of screws at the back of the seat. These screws can sometimes be in quite awkward and hard to reach locations, but with the right tools, you can usually find a way to access them. Most toilets will use steel or brass screws, but some will only feature plastic screws. The screws may be hidden beneath covers, but you can make use of a screwdriver to push them open.

Step 2

The next step is to align the seat in the right place. You don’t want to start tightening the screws and then find the seat is out of alignment, so make sure it’s nice and central. In many cases, loose toilet seats tend to wobble a little to the left or right, so be sure to take the time needed to get your seat in the right position. Ask another person to help out if needed in order to judge whether or not the seat is perfectly central before continuing.

Step 3

Next, it’s time to actually tighten those screws to get the seat more secure and fixed in place. Insert the screwdriver and turn in a clockwise direction to tighten the screws, making sure to keep the seat in that same central position and not accidentally knocking it back out of place as you work. It’s a good idea to take a look at the screws closely before you start trying to tighten them and finding the right size and style of screwdriver for the job. You may also find a nut on the underside of the seat which you can hold onto while you tighten the bolt to keep everything in the right position.

When To Buy A New Toilet Seat

If this process does not work for you, the seat may be damaged beyond repair. Your best option is to invest in a new toilet seat. You can find good quality toilet seats for affordable prices at local hardware or home stores, and you can follow the same basic steps as above or request the services of a plumber or handyman to get the new seat fitted.

How to fix a loose toilet seat

Of all the “seats” in your home, the ones in your bathroom are likely to have the most visitors.

Toilet seats get a lot of action – from the pressure of being sat on to the constant raising and lowering of their lids and seats. All this repetitive motion can result in a loose and jiggly seat, which is not only aggravating but potentially unsafe.

In most cases, a wobbly toilet seat doesn’t indicate a defect but rather loose screws or improperly installed mounting bases used to attach the seat to the bowl. “Most of the time when we hear about loose toilets, the root cause is improper installation,” said Mark Hillman, president of Bath Royale, online-exclusive producers of luxury bathroom accessories.

“Installing one of our soft close, quick release toilet seats isn’t difficult, but it’s different from other toilet brands,” he said. “As with most consumer products, closely following instructions is critical for long-term durability.”

How much toilet seat wiggle is normal?

A slight wiggle is normal when lifting the lid or seat and pushing left or right. This is due to the design of the quick-release mechanism, which makes removing the seat fast and easy for thorough cleaning.

To test your toilet seat wiggle, close the lid and gently push the seat left or right. The seat may move slightly, no more than 1/4 inch at the front of the bowl, and then return to its original position when side pressure is removed.

If your seat moves more than this, it may be defective and need to be replaced. If the jiggle is within normal range but still bothers you, Hillman recommends wrapping a small amount of plumbers’ Teflon tape around each mounting post, then re-attaching the seat.

Toilet seat tightening using split wing nuts

Bath Royale Premium and Superior toilet seats use split wing nuts, which work with industry standard mounting holes (round and 5/8 inch in diameter). They’re made to slide along the length of the screw for quick, easy fitting into the mounting hole. Our wing nut design uses the wedge principle so it only tightens on the screw once it’s firmly in the mounting hole.

If not appropriately threaded, the wing nut may strip or not hold tight, causing your toilet seat to move out of position. To thread properly, the tips of the wing nut must be centered and pressed up into the underside of the mounting hole.

It’s best to turn the screw, not the wing nut. Hold the wing nut at the bottom (push upwards) and turn the screw from the top using a Phillips head screwdriver. If needed, hold the nut with pliers. Be careful not to over-tighten, which can damage or strip the wing nut.

Toilet tightening tips and insights

  • If your seat slides or moves out of position, then your mounting bases aren’t securely fastened to your toilet. Most of the time, this is caused by missing parts or an installation issue.
  • If your seat has been loose for some time, moisture, urine or cleaner residue under the mounting bases are likely causing the seat to slip. In this case, tightening the screws won’t fix the issue. You’ll need to remove the seat and mounting bases, rinse and dry all parts (especially the clear rubber gaskets on the underside of the mounting bases) and reinstall.
  • After reinstalling, avoid directly spraying or saturating the mounting bases to prevent a slippage re-occurrence. For cleaning, spray the cloth first, then wipe around the mounting bases.
  • As final prep before attaching mounting bases, use a small amount of glass cleaner to make the surface of your toilet (around the mounting holes) squeaky clean.

Bath Royale is a small, family-owned business, which means we’re with you every step of the way – from purchase and installation to customer service and product support. Our easy-to-understand toilet installation instructions, troubleshooting videos and FAQs make DIY bathroom projects a cinch.