How to Tighten a Loose Toilet Seat

Toilet seat loose and sliding sideways? Even though tightening a loose toilet seat is a simple repair, I’m always surprised at the number of people who have loose seats in their homes. A slippery seat with a sideways shift is not only dangerous, it will eventually snap off. With decent replacement toilet seats costing $15 or more, it makes financial sense to repair a loose seat instead of waiting for it to break. To repair a loose toilet seat in your home, all you need is a sturdy, straight tip screwdriver.

Flip up the screw covers. A toilet seat assembly (the seat and the lid) attach to the base with two large bolts. To reach these bolts, flip up the plastic covers found at the back of the lid. If your toilet is newish like mine is, the bolt covers can be pried open with your fingers. Older models may need to be pried open with the tip of the screwdriver.

Align the seat. Once the bolt heads are visible, move the seat so that it lines up with the bowl.

Tighten the bolts. Most loose toilet seats can be repaired by tightening up the bolts. This is done by pressing the tip of the screwdriver into the bolt head and giving it a good turn to the right. Tighten both bolts and test the toilet seat by trying to slide it sideways with your hands. If the seat stays in place, close the bolt covers. If the seat still wobbles back and forth, grab a pair of pliers and move to the next step.

Re-tighten. Bolts that are loose in the opening may rotate when trying to tighten the opposing end. To stop the bolt from moving while it’s being tightened, reach beneath the bolt to access the “nut” (this is the threaded fastener with a hole). Hold the nut firmly with the pliers using one hand, and tighten the bolt with the other until it can’t be tightened anymore. Test the seat to make sure it doesn’t move before snapping the bolt covers closed.

More by this contributor:
How to fix a bathroom towel bar.
How to remove a hair clog from a bathroom sink.
No electricity in the bathroom? Resetting the GFI.

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