It’s not broken, but your wobbly or loose toilet seat keeps moving from side to side. We get calls on this from time to time – some people call saying that there is something wrong with the bolts, or that their seat is the wrong size and they need it replaced entirely.
This is a very common household problem that is in a small way intentional. To prevent the porcelain of a toilet from cracking, the bolts that secure the toilet seat in place will often be made smaller than the holes that they are meant to secure into. This can cause a toilet seat to seem loose, or wiggle when in use.
Tightening these bolts can stop the wiggling for a while, but in time it may loosen and begin again. Fortunately, this issue can be quickly and easily solved using adhesive or tapered rubber washers. These are flexible but firm washers that can be easily purchased through Amazon or at any hardware store, and once installed can provide that extra grip needed to keep your seat in place. The flexible rubber material of these washers provides a snug fit, but is not so unforgiving as to risk cracks.
- Adhesive or tapered rubber washers.
- A flat-head screwdriver.
- Pliers (optional)
- 10-15 Minutes
- Expose the screw heads. These are located on the back of the loose toilet seat, typically covered with caps. Sometimes these can be removed by hand, but if no pry off the screw covers using a flat-head screwdriver.
- Unscrew the nuts from the underside of the bowl. Hold the screw steady with your flat-head screwdriver while you do this. If it is too tight to turn, use a set of pliers to loosen it. Generally We have found that plastic ones unscrew fine by hand.
- Remove the seat from the bowl. After the nuts are removed, the seat should lift away easily. This will expose some hard-to-reach places of your toilet seat, so take a moment to clean off any buildup. Make sure that the area has been allowed to dry completely before proceeding however, as leftover moisture will lead to mildew and mould.
- Insert the screw back into the holes.
- Add the adhesive washers. Remove the backing from the adhesive washers and thread it through each bolt until it makes contact with the bowl. If you are using a tapered rubber washer, make sure that the smaller end goes in first to create a snug seal.
- Re-tighten the nuts. This can be done by hand, or with pliers if need be. The nut will push the washer into the hole, keeping it secure and prevent any future slipping.
When you are securing your lid back onto the seat, be sure not to over-tighten the bolts, especially if they are metal. Even though the washers are made of rubber and are flexible, excessive tightening may cause the porcelain to crack.