This toilet seat and lid attach to the base with a couple of big plastic screws. The plastic of the seat assembly has torn away from one of the attaching screws.

toilet seat and lid with broken-off hinge

It looks very easy to replace, but is it? Can I just go to the hardware store and ask for a standard seat and lid? Do I need to determine which of several standard kinds I have? Or is every toilet different, so that I'd have to replace the whole toilet?

Can I buy a replacement for this broken seat and lid?

Note: I'm in the southeastern United States.

2 Answers 2


Yes, it's trivial. The seat is held on by bolts that go through the toilet and are secured underneath with large nuts. These days the nuts are usually plastic and designed to be tightened/loosened by hand.

The spacing between the nuts is standardized, at least in the US, so the only measurement you need is front-to-back. There are a few different sizes, but basically the break down to "circular" or "oval" and a generic seat of the right type will almost always work fine.

It will usually come with fresh mounting nuts. Insert the bolts through the holes, reach underneath and install the nuts firmly in place (you may want to try wiggling the seat a bit to make sure the nuts have properly centered themselves and seated", and you're done .

  • "Circular", "oval", or even "square": there are really many different shapes. I would take the original part with me o the store to make sure the replacement is a similar style - or, if walking around with a crapper in the street makes you nervous, at least take a picture with your phone. Been there, done that (the photo).
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 21:43
  • I would take a measurement of the distance from the mid-point of the centres of the screw-mounts to the front edge of the seat, - thats the part that varies a little in my part of the world. Unless you don't mind your seat being an inch too short or too long. Its less embarrasing to carry a ruler and tape-measure than a toilet seat to the store ;-) Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 23:40

They're extremely easy to replace, and any big box store will have multiple styles to choose from, from basic to soft-close to easy-detach, all-wood versus versus laminated wood versus plastic.

There are a couple of standard bowl shapes of toilet to choose from as well, and they're easy to distinguish because one is much longer front-to-back than the other, but they're both the same width.

To replace them, simply pop off the cover on the left post in your photo, and unscrew the nylon thumb screws holding them (there'll probably be some sort of wing nut underneath the toilet rim).

If you replace it with a soft-close model, you'll have posts that you need to attach to the toilet, then the seat will have spring-loaded clamps that slot onto the posts. Other types, you'll attach the new seat to the toilet directly.

  • 1
    When you are done say a silent "thank you" to the person that invented those plastic non rusting screws
    – mikes
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 20:26
  • @mikes I actually think quite badly of him/her, since those very same screws are the bit that tends to fail, making me replace a complete and otherwise serviceable lid assembly.
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 21:45
  • 2
    My local hardware store has them available separately. Replacement of the plastic type every two years is much easier than trying to hacksaw off the metal ones after 10 years.
    – mikes
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 22:06

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