Toilet seats come in round or elongated sizes and are appropriately paired with the shape of the toilet bowl. Picking out the right toilet seat is simple if you have the right measurements and considerations. However, should you install a round or elongated toilet?
Round toilet seats are generally measured at 16.5 inches, while elongated toilet seats measure at 18.5 inches. While they are different in size, both are functional options for bathrooms.
The different shapes of round and elongated toilet seats do change how they function and what people will prefer. These factors can include space, cleanliness, and costs, among others.
What are the Size Differences?
Across many different brands and stores, the sizes of round and elongated toilets remain close to the same basic dimensions: about 15.5 inches for a round toilet and 18.5 inches for an elongated one. These dimensions are measured from the holes for the placement of the seat hinges to the front edge of the toilet. At a glance, elongated toilets have an egg-like shape, while round toilets are exactly what they sound like; they are more circular than their counterpart.
Table Showing the Different Sizes of Round and Elongated Toilet Seats
|Round Toilet Length||Elongated Toilet Length|
|16.5″ inches||18.5″ inches|
Round Toilet Length
Elongated Toilet Length
The sizing of different toilet seats varies slightly across makes and models, and bidet toilet seats are often longer than the average seat length for the toilet they are made for. The numbers listed above show some of that variation.
When choosing what toilet seat to purchase, always make sure it fits the length and width of the toilet bowl. A seat that is too long or too short not only looks bad and feels uncomfortable but will cause extra splashing in the bathroom.
What is Comfortable?
For adults, an elongated toilet is a more comfortable fit; it allows for a more relaxed, less stiff experience while going to the bathroom.
Toilet size preferences may differ for disabled and elderly adults. For example, a round toilet provides more space in a bathroom for wheelchair users. While neither a round toilet nor an elongated toilet comes more recommended than the other, as various models of toilet seats allow for more comfort on the toilet.
For kids, a round toilet is better, as they will feel more balanced without the extra space at the back of the toilet. This is especially true for kids who are being potty trained. The balance that a round toilet will provide will be better for them. However, if parents prefer to keep elongated toilets in their homes, plenty of potty training toilet seats will adjust the seat size to work better for the potty training experience.
How Much Space is Available?
Deciding what toilet seat size to get is in part determined by how much space is available in a bathroom. The size of a bathroom ranges from something as small as 15 square feet to as large as 120 square feet.
Elongated toilets will fit into larger spaces nicely, while they will feel more cramped in small bathrooms. In a 36-square-foot bathroom, this toilet seat may still feel a little cramped but will start to fit better in spaces larger than this. In too small of a bathroom, this toilet may potentially interfere with a door opening or closing. Putting an elongated toilet in a small bathroom would prioritize preference rather than available space.
Round toilets, on the other hand, fit well in any size bathroom, and specifically work better in smaller ones; a couple of inches extra makes a difference!
One should always be aware of available space when choosing what toilet seat size to use, and make sure that a toilet fits into all aspects of a bathroom before installing it.
How Does it Look?
While comfort and space are important aspects of choosing a toilet, some people also prefer the look of an elongated toilet. Its modern design fits their preferences, so yes, even toilets can have an aesthetic purpose in a home.
Space will also play a factor in how a toilet looks. While the design of an elongated toilet might be preferred by some, it will look out of place if it is cramping up a small bathroom.
How Easy Is It to Keep Clean?
Elongated toilets are generally easier to keep clean; their open bowl gives easy access to toilet brushes that are trying to reach the inside rim of a toilet.
Round toilets are more likely to get dirty due to splash-back and their smaller surface area. The older rim design on these toilets also makes it harder to scrub the upper edges of the toilet bowl compared to elongated ones.
How Much Does It Cost?
Elongated toilet seats, because of their newer design, are more expensive than round toilet seats. While purchasing a toilet seat doesn’t need to be an occasion to break the bank, some seats, even round ones, will be more expensive because of design inclusions or technology that is a part of the seat. This is especially true for bidet toilet seats, which can cost as much as $1500!
There is no difference in water use or cost for either size toilet; however, for a more powerful flush, an elongated toilet can work better with certain flush technologies.
How Does Size Effect Adding a Bidet?
To reiterate, round toilet seats are shorter in length, and therefore have a smaller surface area than elongated toilets. This will make bidet installation and use easier on elongated toilets, although bidet options are readily available for both sizes. Because of the bigger size of bidet seats, take proper measurements of both round and elongated seats beforehand to ensure that the new seat purchased won’t reduce the available space of the toilet bowl.
Knowing the many aspects of toilet sizes and their nuances will help to choose the best option for a home. Clearly, picking the right toilet is not just about a place to use the restroom; it’s also all about comfort, cost, and convenience!