Toilet Seat Upgrade Options

A Kohler Cachet LED Nightlight Elongated Quiet Closed Front Toilet Seat in White.

On a recent visit to a friend’s house, I fell in love with their soft-close toilet seats. Since then, I can’t seem to stop slamming toilet seats wherever I go. And it’s got me wondering, haven’t we evolved as a species? Why are we still slamming toilet seats like common beasts when there is such a clever, technologically advanced product on the market? I don’t know. But if you’re looking to add a little luxury to your bathroom, this is a great place to start. Below you’ll find some examples of what sort of features are available, and if you do choose to upgrade your toilet seat, how to go about tackling this quick and easy project.

What’s Out There

A little bit of poking around on manufacturer websites quickly reveals how far toilet seats have advanced in recent years. I was pretty well fascinated just with the soft-close feature, but the handful of other bells and whistles that engineers have been cooking up is pretty impressive. As you might imagine, the cost spectrum for these features is vast. What you ultimately pay will depend upon what amenities you desire and what manufacturer you choose.

For around $35 you can upgrade to a basic soft-close seat. At the next higher price point you’ll find the soft-close feature paired with an integral night light that automatically cycles on and off depending on the time of day. Top-of-the-line models boast features such as heat, a battery-powered carbon air filter/freshener, and a built-in bidet. These features will cost you anywhere from about $100 for a basic heated seat to well over $1,000 for the models that promise what borders on a religious experience.

Making the Upgrade

I’m a fan of the quick-release system that manufacturers seem to be presenting as a new seat mounting standard. This feature allows the user to quickly remove and reattach the seat for ease of cleaning. The system is simple yet effective: specially designed latches built into the seat’s hinge grip the corresponding quick-release bolts included with the new seat.

So whether you opt for a no-frills replacement or a top-of-the-line model, chances are that you’ll find yourself removing some old hardware and installing the gear that comes with your new seat. It’s a relatively painless project if you follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions, but the most important thing to remember is not to over-tighten your new hardware. A cracked toilet bowl will take far longer to replace than just the seat.

Repurposing Your Old Seat

Toilet seats typically aren’t on the “Most Wanted” list of materials that people seek out for upcycling or repurposing projects, but where there is a past-prime house, many times there is a way to give it a second life. Check out what this DIY-er did with an old tire for a little inspiration. Most basic toilet seats are made of wood, so you can cut, drill, glue, and fasten them into whatever sort of configuration your creative heart desires.

The Little Things

Whether you’re looking to add a stylish new amenity to your bathroom or just to replace an embarrassing worn-out seat, consider swapping out your ordinary toilet seat for something a little more fetching. It’s a great way to spruce up your bathroom and a small price to pay for never again waking your family with that 3 a.m. toilet seat slam.