How to Tell if Toilet Seat is Round or Elongated

Is it yet time to replace your toilet? If it is, then you probably want to consider the type of toilet seat you should be getting. A toilet seat has a direct impact on user experience because of a difference in shape.

There are two types of toilet seats; round and elongated. Each has its own pros and cons, as you will realize in a short while. For those who have never had to shop for toilets before, let’s take a look at how to tell if a toilet is round or elongated.

How to Know if Your Toilet Is Round or Elongated?

Generally, a round toilet looks almost like a perfect circle, while elongated models are almost oval.

The best way to determine if a toilet is elongated or round is by measuring the distance from where the lid is attached to the bowl front.

Mostly, an elongated toilet measures 18.5 inches from the lid hinges to the front rim, while a round bowl measures 16.5 inches. This difference can make or break the deal. For instance, those with small toilets will find round toilet seats to be space-saving compared to an elongated design.

Is It Possible to Install an Elongated Toilet Seat on a Round Bowl Toilet?

Because an elongated seat is larger than a round toilet bowl, the seat will fully form a cover over the bowl and this will not affect performance. However, you have to expect the seat to overhang.

Can You Install a Round Toilet Seat on an Elongated Toilet?

An elongated toilet is approximately 2 inches long, and that means a round seat will not completely cover the bowl. While this has little to no effect on performance, aesthetics on the other hand, will be affected. Imagine looking at a toilet where the seat barely fits the bowl…it’s totally off.

Which Is Better Between a Round and Elongated Toilet?

Now, this will largely be an issue of preference and convenience. However, there are certainly pros and cons to each model. Let’s start off with an elongated toilet seat because this is the most common in many homes.

An elongated toilet is considered the gold standard when it comes to comfort. This is because an elongated design makes it easy for both kids and adults to sit on it. Also, their bigger size means the trapway too is enlarged, and that makes for better flushing and easy cleaning.

Courtesy of their comfort and better flushing performance, elongated toilets cost a bit more. Additionally, their larger size makes them a bad choice for those with smaller bathrooms as well.

And now let’s talk about round toilets.

Round toilet bowls are 2 inches smaller and therefore perfect for those who are tight on bathroom space. Their smaller design is also ideal for kids as they can fit on it easily compared to a bigger, elongated design.

Because their size is considerably smaller, the price too is affordable. However, there are shortcomings too. To begin with, a round toilet’s small space can be challenging for people with disabilities. The bigger the space, the lesser the chances of mess flying all over the place and this means round toilets can get messy easily.

When it comes to flushing power, a round toilet has a reduced size bowl and consequently a smaller trapway, which translates to a lower flushing force. However, flushing power mostly relies on flushing technology. This means it is possible to get a round toilet that flushes just as amazing as some elongated toilets or even better.

Both elongated and round toilets can be installed the same way with minor adjustments depending on whether a toilet is tankless or not. But since elongated models are a little bigger and heavier, they may be a little cumbersome to push around.

Toilet seat material

Both elongated and round toilet seats come in several color choices. Some custom designs exist too albeit expensive and hard to find. Plastic is a common material for toilets, and some are coated over wood for better performance. This material is cheap and easy to clean.

Lovers of antique can find toilet seats made of woods like bamboo. Wood toilets are considered to be more hygienic and less cold but could easily get damaged by moisture and abrasive toilet detergents.

Cost-wise, wood toilet seats are fairly expensive and only ideal for homes with adults who will treat them with the utmost care they deserve. Read our guide on the difference between wood and plastic toilet seats to learn more.

There are toilet seats that come in special materials and designs. These are usually tailored for women recovering from childbirth or individuals out of surgery. For instance, you can get a seat that is cushioned to offer better comfort. Because of their temporary nature, special toilet seats rarely last long and need frequent repairs and replacements.

Speaking of special toilet seats, there are also high-end bidet toilet seats that offer supreme luxury and comfort. These seats feature a heated seat, self-cleaning nozzles, deodorizer, heated air dryer, adjustable temperatures, and a remote for controlling its functions.

Bidet seats come in both elongated and round designs. On average, they cost somewhere between $250 and upwards of $700. The prices are determined by the brand, quality, and a number of features.

So Which Is Better Between an Elongated and Round Toilet?

This is a matter of preference and will largely depend on your bathroom space, budget, the age and condition of those within the home, and comfort needs. You can read our guide on elongated vs. round toilets for some more info before making your choice.

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