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Most people take the simple toilet seat for granted…well that is until you go to sit down on one in the middle of the night and find it wasn’t put down. Even the man of the house tends to curse the fact he didn’t put it down. It tends to be a little wet and cold.
However this product that is often over looked has been engineered and re-engineered for the last century for added comfort and durability. In the next few paragraphs we will describe the different types of toilet seats, the options available and how technology has changed how we are seated on the throne.
Toilet Seat Basics
Toilets are manufactured either round front or elongated. Trust us when we say if you’re over 150 lb you’ll appreciated an elongated toilet because it’s longer in the front. An elongated bowl is more expensive (but not that much) to manufacture and has a bigger foot print. So if you have a tight powder or bathroom elongated toilets may not be an option.
Round Open Front Seat (No Cover) – This is a seat made for a round toilet, it is open in the front (most commercial applications have open front seats for hygienic reasons. Think, your junk touching the front of the seat that has been touched by 50 other people that very same day.) Open front seats are also easier to clean because you can clean the front of the toilet without touching or lifting the seat.
Elongated Open Front Seat (No Cover) – This is a seat made for an elongated toilet. Please see above for the rest of the description.
Round Open Front Seat (With Cover) – A round open front seat with a lid you can close. This is still a commercial seat but it’s used in a smaller office setting. Very rarely used in a core toilet room application.
Elongated Open Front Seat (With Cover) – An elongated open front seat with a lid you can close. Please see above for further description.
Round Closed Front Seat (With Cover) – This is the most common toilet seat on the market, it is just what it says, a round closed front seat with lid. It is most frequently used in residential applications.
**It may strike some as strange that commercial seat are manufactured with out a cover but the reason is much more practical in nature. If you don’t have a lid you have less to keep clean and less surface area for possible contamination.
Toilet Seat Materials – By far the two most common materials used to manufacture toilet seat are wood and plastic.
- Wood Toilet Seats – The first toilet seats were made of wood. Often made of one piece or several pieces of wood glued together and carved to fit the toilet. Modern wooden toilet seats are made of several layers of wood bonded together or pressed wood and then coated with enamel. They work fine but if the enamel chips or nicks which will inevitably happen, water will make its way into the seat and expand the layers of wood or wood fibers and the seat will deteriorate.
- Plastic Toilet Seats – Are made by injection molding. Polystyrene is heated and “injected” into a mold and cooled. Plastic toilet seats are smooth and non porous so they are easy to clean and naturally inhibit microbial growth. They are extremely durable.