Toilet seats do not have an expiration date so it is difficult to know precisely how often you should replace yours. However, some factors can help you know when it is time to replace your toilet seat.
How Long Do Toilet Seats Last?
Generally, toilet seats should last for about five years. So, it is fair to say that you should replace your toilet seats every 5-7 years. Exactly how long the toilet seat you have will last will depend on the material it is made from, the quality of the installation, as well as how often it is used.
A five to seven-year lifespan is a good place to start. However, the specific frequency will depend on some or all of the factors we will look at below.
Generally, toilet seats are made from either plastic and wood, and they can be padded or not. Plastic is the most common toilet seat material and there are different types of plastics used to make toilet seats. Polypropylene is a very common and durable plastic material although it yellows over time. Duroplast is the second type of plastic used in toilet seats. It is very durable and because it does not break down easily, it is not great for the environment.
Wooden toilet seats are not as hard wearing as plastic toilet seats because they are prone to cracking, rotting, and getting worn. For wooden toilet seats that will last for a long time, you should get those that are made from compressed wood. These toilet seats are less prone to cracking and can last even longer if they are coated with varnish.
Padded or cushioned toilet seats do not last as long as wood or plastic seats. This is because the outer plastic is prone to cracking and that can cause a lot of problems when you sit on them while cracked.
Hinges and Accessories
Hinges are fundamental toilet seat hardware. If you purchase cheap toilet seats with flimsy hinges, they will be the first point of failure and will force you to replace your toilet seat sooner.
Accessories such as toddler seats reduce the overall life of your toilet seat. This is because they are moving pieces and as with hinges, they will cause several points of failure to develop.
Amount of Use
The larger the family you have, the shorter the time your toilet seat will last. This is because a larger family or number of people living in the same house increases the frequency of use of the toilet. This can increase the number of times the seat is opened and closed, with the former affecting the hinges and the latter affecting the seat due to banging when closing.
This mostly applies to wooden seats. Wooden seats, especially those that have not been coated with varnish, are susceptible to high moisture levels. So, if you live in a humid area or have your toilet located close to the shower or bathtub, you are likely to replace your wooden toilet seats more often.
Renovations increase the chances of accidents happening. If a tool like a heavy hammer falls on your toilet seat, it might crack, and you might have to get a new one. That said, you can always remove the seat and cover the toilet using another material to protect both your toilet seat and plumbing.
When Should You Replace Your Toilet Seat?
Apart from the seat reaching the end of its lifespan, which is influenced by the factors above, there are factors that can influence when you should replace the toilet seat. The most obvious one is damage. If the seat is broken or cracked, it is time to invest in a new one. Additionally, if the toilet seat is made from polypropylene, it might have yellowed over time and may no longer look as sanitary as it should.
Third, if the hinges or other accessories are broken, you require a new seat. You will also need a new one if the toilet has become uncomfortable either because it is worn or is moving around.
Fourth, you should consider replacing a toilet seat when you purchase a preowned house. You might not know how long the seat has been there or how frequently it has been used. Replacing it as soon as you can will give you one less thing to think about.
Lastly, you can replace the toilet seat when the design has become outdated or you no longer like the design. This is usually in cases where you need to sell the home but do not want the toilet seat or its design to become a point of contention.
Your toilet seat will likely last around 5-7 years, so that is how often you should replace it. However, there are factors that can shorten or lengthen its lifespan so frequent inspections are required to ensure you replace the toilet seat at the right time.