3 Reasons Your Toilet Seat Won’t Stay Up And 3 Easy Fixes

toilet seat won't stay up

If you’ve ever been in a bathroom where the toilet seat won’t stay up, then you know how annoying it can be. If this is a problem in your own bathroom then you’re probably wondering: how do I get my toilet seat to stay up?

The most common reason toilet seats won’t stay up is because the seat was installed too far back towards the tank. Unscrew the seat, pull it as far forward as you can, and retighten. This should give your seat the extra angle it needs to stay upright.

Now, although this problem is the most common, it’s not the only reason why your toilet seat could be falling. Keep reading to find out which problem you have and how to fix it.

3 Reasons Your Toilet Seat Won’t Stay Up

toilet seat won't stay up

1. Seat Too Far Back

As I mentioned above, this is probably the most common reason why toilet seats won’t stay up.

When a new toilet seat is installed, the angle of the toilet seat to the bowl needs to be beyond 90-degrees, so the seat can rest against the toilet tank. If the angle between the upright toilet seat and the toilet bowl is 90-degrees or less, then the seat will perpetually fall back down.

Fortunately, this problem is pretty easy to fix.

Loosen the Lid

Two screws attach your lid and seat to your toilet. Loosen these screws just enough so you can move the seat. You may need to use a wrench to get them started.

If you’re having trouble loosening up the screws, you may need to use a screwdriver on the top of the bolt to keep it from spinning.

Some toilets hide the tops of the screws under a small plastic cover so check your toilet to see if you have this. If you do, just gently pop the cover up to get access to the screw. Then it just snaps back closed when you’re finished.

Pull the Seat Forward

Once the screws are loosened, pull the seat as far to the front of the toilet as you can. This should give you that extra angle you need to keep the seat from falling.

Resecure the Lid

Then, just tighten those two screws back up and see if your toilet seat stays.

If your toilet seat stays up after that quick fix, then woohoo! Good job! If not, don’t worry, you could have a different problem. Lucky for you, we have more solutions!

2. Toilet Not Level

Another reason why your seat won’t stay up is that your toilet itself isn’t level.

This is pretty easy to check, grab a level, put it on your lid when it’s closed, and see what it says. If you don’t have a level, check your smartphone, some phones come with a level/measuring app.

If your toilet slants forward, what you need are some toilet wedges or toilet shims. These little plastic guys look like miniature door stops. They’re used to slide under the base of your toilet to make it level.

They’re pretty inexpensive and easy to install. Just space them around the base of your toilet and push them in as far as you can with your fingers.

Since you’re having problems with your toilet seat, you’ll want to position your shims around the front of your toilet. This will hopefully give you the extra angle you need to keep that toilet seat up.

Word of caution, don’t push the shims in too hard too fast. There’s a wax ring under your toilet that keeps the nasty water from leaking out. If you push too hard or lift too far, you could move or damage this ring and then you’d have a bigger problem on your hands.

Once you’ve got your shims installed, check your toilet with the level again. Hopefully, it’s spot on.

If your toilet lid still doesn’t stay up after this then you may need to combine a couple of these solutions in order to get it right.

3. Toilet Lid Too Thick

The last reason that your toilet lid may fall is that your lid and seat combination is too thick, wood toilet seats tend to be thicker than plastic. This makes the seat sit just short of 90 degrees, making it fall.

Something else that could make this happen is if you have a toilet seat or lid cover. You know, the ones that look like shag carpet.

If you remove the cover and it no longer falls, then you have your solution.

If you don’t have a cover then you may need to get a new toilet seat or maybe just a new lid that’s thinner.

But, before you decide to get a brand new seat or lid, try one of our other solutions first.

How Do I Fix a Wobbly Toilet Seat

Now, while a toilet seat staying up may be annoying for the guys, for the ladies, nothing is more annoying than sitting on a wobbly toilet seat.

There are two main reasons why a toilet seat may wobble.

1. Loose Screws

Loose toilet seat screws can be caused by many things, including daily wear and tear, residue build-up under the screws, etc.

To fix loose screws, the first thing you’ll want to do is remove the screws. You may have to flip up a small plastic cover on the top side of your toilet seat to get access to the screws.

Use a screwdriver on the top of the screw to loosen it. If it spins without loosening then you’ll need a wrench or a pair of pliers. Use these to hold the nut on the underside of your toilet so you can loosen the screws.

Once your toilet seat is removed, clean the area where the screws were to remove any residue that may have built up there. Make sure you check the underside as well.

Doing this cleaning may be enough to solve the problem. At this point, you just need to re-install your toilet seat and check to see if you fixed the problem.

After this quick fix, if your toilet seat becomes loose again, look into getting some rubber toilet seat washers. These little guys will help give your seat the extra stick it needs to stay in place.

To install them, remove the toilet seat the same way you did before. Then, simply place the washers between the top of the screw and your toilet. Secure your seat and you should be good to go.

2. Wrong Size Seat

Another reason you might wobble on your porcelain throne is that you have the wrong-sized toilet seat.

Every toilet seat has spacers on the bottom side to keep your toilet seat from resting directly against the toilet.

If your seat isn’t the right size, these spacers could slip into or outside of the rim of your toilet giving you a wild ride.

The main reason this happens is that someone bought the wrong type of toilet seat thinking that toilet seats are universal. Toilets have two shapes, round and elongated.

Just like you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole, a round toilet seat doesn’t work on an elongated toilet.

This problem really only has one solution, you need to get the right-sized toilet seat. Take a picture of your toilet, and/or take your toilet seat with you when you go to the hardware store.

Once you get a new seat, simply refasten it to your toilet and enjoy a wobble-free experience.

Can I make my toilet seat soft close?

You can make a toilet seat close softly by installing a soft close toilet seat. Soft close toilet seats are designed to prevent slams, by slowly lowering the seat down to the bowl. Alternatively, you could use rubber bumpers or lid covers to slightly soften the impact of a toilet closing.

How do you adjust a toilet seat?

You can adjust a toilet seat by loosening the two screws that hold it to the toilet bowl. Once the screws are loose, reposition your toilet seat to the correct location. Then refasten the screws while holding the seat firmly in position.


Leslie has lived in tons of different places that were all in different states of repair. She has experience remodeling and replacing just about everything in a home including the roof. When she's not working on a project, Leslie blogs about home improvement tips to pass on her knowledge to others.

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