All The Steps On How To Tighten A Soft Close Toilet Seat

When you first installed a soft close toilet seat, you were so happy while thinking you won’t have to do much from now on! It would close by itself, and you would just enjoy this modern technology. But then it became wobbly, and you figured out it’s time to take action! Follow our instructions to find out how to tighten a soft close toilet seat effectively and in no time!

hand closing toilet seat

Did you just install a new toilet seat that doesn’t feel tight, or do you have an old loose toilet seat or toilet lid? From the pressure of people sitting on it to its constant opening and closing, your toilet probably gets more traffic than all other seats in the house. That’s why it is understandable that the seat may wiggle and loosen after some time. This is quite a big annoyance and a potentially unsafe situation; if the lid separates from one of its bolts while using it, it could cause an injury. Don’t worry; fixing it is an easy DIY job, and we are here to help you out with this home improvement project!

What you should know about quiet close toilet seats

Before you start with your DIY project, there are some things you should first know about these toilet seats. Keep on reading to find out all you need to know!

How do self-closing toilet seats work?

These toilet seats are designed to automatically lower your lid and seat quietly in just a matter of seconds. They are a practical and quiet alternative to traditional toilet seats, closing slowly in a controlled manner without requiring assistance.

Types of soft close toilet seats

As with traditional toilet seats, soft closing ones also come in various types. These are: 

  1. Top-fixing toilet seats
  2. Bottom-fixing seats
  3. Quick-release soft close toilet seats
  4. Standard soft closing toilet seats

Wanna know a bit more about each type to identify your own or maybe purchase a new one in the future? Here’s what you should know:

  1. With a top-fixing mechanism, you can install the toilet seat from the top. In other seats, you need to bend over and tighten the wingnut from underneath your toilet bowl. The top fixing style is most popular with skirted toilets and those with no means of accessing the bowl’s underside.
  2. The bottom-fixing seat is a little more tiresome to install than the top fixing one. You will need to hold a wingnut underneath the toilet bowl with one hand and screw in the bolt with the other one.
  3. A quick-release mechanism will make it easier to remove and reinstall your seat. This is especially handy while cleaning your toilet. All you need to do is press a button, and the seat is out. Most bottom and top fixing seats have these mechanism hinges.
  4. Standard soft close toilet seats are probably the least convenient ones. They are not only bottom fixing but also don’t have quick-release functionality. Of course, they are still way better than a slamming toilet seat.

Coloured toilet bowls in a store

Why does your toilet seat keep coming loose?

Toilet seats often wobble and leave their correct position. But why is this happening? Most of the time, the holes in the toilet bowl rim are larger than the bolts’ diameter, allowing movement that eventually makes their nuts loose. This can also happen after constant opening and closing. That’s why tightening the nuts works well on most occasions. There are several possible hacks to fix this problem for all toilet seats, so don’t worry. Keep reading to find out how to tighten your soft close toilet seat effectively and in no time!

Step-by-step guide: How to tighten a soft close toilet seat

The general procedure to tighten your toilet seat is to examine the toilet closely to find any holes for underside access. Then realign the seat with the toilet pan, tighten the bolts, check the tension and close the seat cover. Below are the detailed steps to follow to tighten your seat effectively.

Plan A: Tighten the bolts

Tightening the bolts is the first way to follow. Here is all you need to know!

What you’ll need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Ratchet wrench
  • Toilet seat hinge washers (optional)
  • Adjustable wrench (optional)

Step 1

Locate the 2 bolts that attach your seat to the commode. If you see small plastic cases covering the bolts, you can use your fingers to pop them open. If there aren’t any, gently pry them loose and expose the bolts using the screwdriver.

Step 2

Tighten the toilet seat bolts that are now exposed, screwing clockwise till they resist. You don’t want to break the bolts, so make sure to stop when each one stops turning. Alternatively, you may consider adding a toilet seat hinge washer to each bolt. These are designed for the specific purpose of keeping your toilet seat in place. If you decide to do so, move on to the next step.

Step 3

To install your seat hinge, unscrew the bolts entirely using counterclockwise motion. Then slip the washers into the place where the bolt will meet the commode. Reinsert the bolts and screw them back.

Step 4

If any bolts fail to tighten, hold the nut at the bolt’s base in place with a pair of pliers in one hand while turning the bolt clockwise with a screwdriver in the other hand. Be careful not to go too far and damage or strip the bolt. Once it stops spinning, you’re ready!

Plumber's tools on toilet seat lid

Plan B: Replace the bolts

Follow these steps to replace the bolts easily!

What you’ll need

  • Miniature hacksaw
  • Toilet seat replacement kit
  • Replacement nuts and bolts

Step 1

If your bolts don’t budge, you can cut them off with a miniature hacksaw. To do so, place the saw blade beneath the bolt’s head and saw until you’ve gone all the way through the metal.

Step 2

Use caution when removing the bolt since it can be hot to touch after sawing it. Repeat the same process on the other bolt and then clear away any debris on both sides. Spin each nut counterclockwise to remove it and then pull the bolts out to discard them.

Step 3

If you also want to replace hinges, it’s best to buy a toilet seat replacement kit for less than £7 online or at your local hardware store. This includes bolts, nuts, and soft-close hinges with screws. Otherwise, you’ll only need replacement bolts and nuts with rubber washers.

Having your old or new hinges securely in place, hold each nut at the base and screw the bolts in one at a time. Dropping the bolt into the nut’s centre, use your screwdriver to secure each bolt in a clockwise motion. You’re done. All that’s left to do is test your seat to ensure it doesn’t move side to side, and you should be now sitting pretty!

Man's hands removing toilet seat

Plan C: Readjust the hinges

To adjust the hinges to reposition the seat, you need to follow the instructions below: 

What you’ll need

All you need is a screwdriver and your strong hands!

Step 1

Remove the hinge caps to expose the hinge screws

Step 2

Loosen the screws just enough so you can adjust the hinges to reposition your seat. 

Step 3

Reinstall the seat and lid temporarily by pressing them back down onto the hinge pins.

Step 4

Close your seat and lid, and then align them with the bowl’s front and sides.

Plan D: Adjust or replace the dampers

There are 2 dampers in soft-close toilet seats; the one on the left controls the seat, and the one on the right controls the lid. These control the self-close action, and sometimes you need to adjust or replace them if the lid suddenly starts slamming closed. 

Extra tip: Always check the warranty of your toilet to see the conditions that may void your contract. The toilet seat’s tightening may sometimes require you to alter the toilet appearance. While its function will remain unchanged, this may cancel the warranty, so it’s best to be on guard.

close-up of a man’s hands repairing the toilet seat

How can you keep your toilet seat from moving?

Are you afraid that your toilet will start moving again soon after you fix it? The best tip is to keep the bolts secure by packing the holes with special washers. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Lower your seat and locate the 2 screw covers at the back of the toilet seat.
  2. Put a flathead screwdriver in the screw slot and hold it steady. While you do that, unscrew the nut from underneath the bowl.
  3. Remove the bolt and nut and take the seat off the bowl. Clean your ceramic with soap and water to remove any buildup, and then replace the seat.
  4. Put the screw back in the holes. Then remove the backing from a pair of adhesive washers and slide one along each bolt’s end until it makes contact with the bowl.
  5. Use your hand to tighten the plastic nut as far as it will go. If it is a metal hinge, use adjustable pliers to tighten it. The nut will push your washer into the hole and secure the bolt, stopping your seat from slipping.

4 amazing reasons to use a slow close toilet seat

So, what makes a slow close seat better than standard toilet seats? Keep on reading to find out the great benefits of these seats, worth taking care of!

1. No more slamming!

Both kids and adults often are not paying attention and let go of the seat without the consequences of loud noise! Having a slow close seat will benefit those sleeping, like in the middle of the night! 

hand of a man closing the lid of a toilet

2. Safer with children around

Little ones have tiny hands and fingers that are lovely, right? Keep them protected with a seat that can’t slam closed! Not to mention it is also safer for pets who like to drink from the bowl!

3. More sanitary

There is a little less touching and handling of the seat with slow close seats to get it closed. That means fewer hands grabbing the lid. What’s more, models with removable seat hinges allow you to clean more easily around the toilet seat hinge area. And we all know how difficult that is!

4. Better quality 

Most of these products are made a little better than the average toilet seat. Meaning they are more durable. Not only easy to use, cool and modern, but also there for you for a longer time!

White toilet bowl in the bathroom
Isn’t it frustrating to use your toilet while the loose seat keeps moving all over the place? We know it’s even more frustrating when you’re used to the ease of a soft close seat! Don’t worry; you don’t have to withstand that annoying fact anymore. All you need to do is get the right tools and follow the above steps. They are very easy to apply, and your seat will feel like when you first brought it home!

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