Toilet Seat Terminology
Here, we list the most common terms used to describe a toilet seat.
Elongated vs Round
- these are two most common and universal seat sizes/shapes, with elongated being more prevalent today and round often found in older construction. The main difference besides the shape is the length of the seat, which is measured from the center of the mounting holes to the front end of the bowl. For ROUND this number is 16.5" and for ELONGATED it’s 18.5". When selecting a seat, make sure to measure twice and buy once.
Plastic vs Wooden
- plastic seats are commonly made from polypropylene, with some varieties (such as soft or foam seats) made from PVC (vynil), whereas wood seats are most commonly made from small wood chips pressed (molded) into a form and usually coated with paint and/or enamel for better scratch resistance.
Residential applications utilize both, while commercial applications use plastic almost exclusively.
Plastic seats are durable, moisture and crack-resistant, lighter and are available with larger variety of options, whereas wood has better resistance to scratches and is more environmentally friendly, but also is more prone to cracks when slammed or subjected to heavy weight.
Open-Front vs Closed-Front
- closed front seats are what is commonly found in typical residential applications, with the familiar circular (O) shape. Open-front seats are shaped like a horseshoe, with a front section of the seat removed - for easier wiping. These latter are more common in commercial settings, but can also be found in homes, as they accommodate the bathroom trip process for the women and the elderly.
With Cover or Without Cover
- for hygienic and safety reasons, cover (or lid) is often excluded in toilet seat models used for commercial applications, including public restrooms.
- often used in conjunction with commercial seats and usually refers to the thickness of the seat, which directly translates to the durability and maximum supported weight. Oftentimes it also refers to the hinges & fastening mechanism, indicating that these are designed to resist heavy use and corrosion.
- stop the seat at vertical (open) position and prevent it from hitting the wall, flush valve or tank.
- keep the seat in any open position, so that it does not slam against the toilet bowl.
Bemis Seat Features Explained
- this is a great seat fastening system which ensures that the seat never loosens and prevent over- or under-tightening the mounting bolts. When required torque is reached, the extended tips of the bolts break away by themselves, further simplifying the installation.
- this is the Bemis way of saying soft-close, slow-close or quiet-close. It is a great feature which prevents the seat from slamming the bowl when closed, also preventing unwanted injuries. As demand for this feature increases, soft-closing seats are becoming a standard in today’s residential market.
- these are rubber bumpers under the seat which prevent it from moving when on the toilet bowl. They are a better alternative to standard plastic bumpers.
Easy Clean & Change
- proprietary unlocking hinges allow to easily remove the seat for cleaning or replacement. This feature is very handy, allowing to thoroughly clean both the seat and the toilet bowl in hard-to-reach areas, and, if needed, to replace the seat without the hassle of installing new hinges.
Precision Seat Fit
- indicates that the seat can be adjusted back and forth (1/2" - 1", depending on the model) to ensure a perfect fit with the bowl.
- antimicrobial agent used in select Bemis models, which, when used in combination with other cleaning products, prevents formation and growth of microbes on the surface of the seat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can commercial seats be used for residential applications or vice versa?
A: Commercial seats can be used for residential purposes. However, residential seats are not covered by warranty when used in commercial settings.
Q: What is the warranty for Bemis toilet seats?
A: The warranty is one year, considering the seat is used for its intended application.
Q: Where are Bemis toilet seats manufactured?
A: Nearly all the Bemis models we carry (with the exception of the heated seats) are made in the USA.
Q: How to ensure a perfect seat fit with my current toilet?
A: Look up the exact dimensions in the Literature section of the product listing. Bemis toilet seats fit all major toilet brands, including Kohler, TOTO, American Standard, Gerber, Crane, Mansfield, Briggs, etc. - indicating that the toilet bowl shape is mostly standard, with some minor variations. Some models we carry come with "Precision Seat Fit" feature, which allows to move the seat front to back to ensure a better fit.
Note: some toilets may have uncommon shapes (such as Eljer Emblem, American Standard Roma/Luxor/Carlyle, etc.) and therefore will require special shape seats.
Q: Which products should be used for seat cleaning?
A: Manufacturer advises mild soap solution and water. Products such as detergent, bleach, essential oils and other chemicals, as well as scouring pads and similar, may damage the seat and cause discoloration, permanently voiding the warranty.
Q: How exact are seat colors displayed?
A: The color displayed will vary depending on display (screen/monitor) settings and in most instances, will not be the exact color of the seat. To ensure a proper color match, find out the manufacturer and color name (or number) of your toilet and use it as a reference when selecting the seat color. Our listings for colored toilet seats will have a cross-reference with other toilet brands and colors. Standard White (Bemis -000) is the most common color and accounts for 95% of all the seats sold.
Q: What is the difference between standard, heavy-duty and extra heavy-duty seats?
A: The terms heavy-duty and extra heavy-duty refer mostly to commercial or commercial-grade seats and usually indicate the added thickness of the seat and/or extra-sturdy hinges and fastening mechanism.