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Round vs Elongated Toilet Seats: Which Should You Choose?

July 20 2021

Ever feel like your toilet seat is too small for you? Choosing the right toilet seat to fit your toilet bowl is important not only for looks but for comfort too.  Let’s take a look at round vs. elongated toilet seats and discover what is right for you. 

Home decor has plenty of critics, and you will find people on both sides of the round vs. elongated toilet seat debate. While both types of toilet seats function in very similar ways, your personal needs can help determine the type of seat you buy. So how do you decide? Take a look at this guide to discover which best toilet seat is for you.

Round vs. Elongated Toilet Seats – Is There a Difference?

The right toilet seat begins with selecting the right toilet bowl. The two most common types of toilet bowl shapes found today are either round or elongated.

Round toilet bowls tend to be more common, and their smaller size offers more space for other bathroom fixtures. They also tend to cost less than their elongated counterparts.

Elongated toilet bowls are newer to the scene, offering comfort at the cost of space. Also, many people consider them to be easier to clean and have a stronger flush.

Space Is a Legal Necessity

The biggest challenge, when faced with buying a new toilet bowl and seat is space. Building codes may need at least 21 inches between the toilet and other fixtures to pass. As a result, installing the wrong toilet can become a costly mistake. 

Elongated toilets can extend over 31 inches away from the wall with an 18½ inch bowl, making them the prominent feature in a bathroom that may be trying to draw eyes elsewhere. 

Round toilets, by comparison, only reach out about 28 inches from the wall and have a 16½ inch bowl. As a result, they offer more space for smaller or half-bathrooms where the range of motion may be limited.

Choosing a Comfortable Fit

Not all toilet seats are equal. Much care should be taken when selecting the right toilet seat for you. Both round and elongated toilet seats have pros and cons that come with their designs  Round toilet seats are a safe choice as both children and adults can use them, but their short and round design means taller people will be hanging off the edges. 

Elongated toilet seats offer a few extra inches for your legs to rest on, providing comfort that’s closer to a chair than a stool. This may be a good or bad thing, depending on how long you prefer to stay on the pot.  Those with mobility issues may also want to consider an elongated toilet as their increased surface area makes it easier to sit on. Most medical-assist devices will fit either design.

Traditional vs. Modern Aesthetics

When matching toilet bowls and seats to the rest of your bathroom, most renovators will take a look at a bath gallery to help them hone in their choice of style. Selecting the best toilet seat for you is no different.

Round toilet bowls tend to offer a more traditional styling found in older houses. You will also find less variety in styling when compared to their modern counterparts.

Elongated toilets have only recently started making their way into homes over the past century. However, manufacturers have crafted more designs for elongated toilets that fit upscale and standard bathrooms because of their popularity.

The Cleaning Factor

When considering round vs. elongated toilet seats, the cleaning factor can be a big one. Cleaning toilet bowls requires some grit as you’ll have to get down on your hands and knees to scrub them, and certain bowl types will need more effort on your part. If you want the easier option, elongated bowls offer a much smoother, smaller underside, reducing the time and strength needed to clean them properly. However, round toilets may have less material to clean overall.

The Cost of Doing Business

When it comes down to money, purchasing a round toilet seat and bowl can save you a few extra bucks. They’ve been in production for as long as flush toilets have existed, and there is no supply shortage. In contrast, elongated toilet seats tend to use more material and are built in smaller manufactured quantities, making their costs higher than their older cousins. 

The ease of installation for both toilets tends to be the same. Elongated toilets are a bit harder to install due to their oblong design, but most of the cost comes from the design of the toilet itself.  Be prepared to pay extra for contractor installation; Home Advisor estimates the cost to install or replace a new toilet is around $372 on top of the cost of the toilet. 

Find the Perfect Throne for You

The debate on round vs. elongated toilet seats doesn’t have to be the end-all to your bathroom renovation, and you may want to go for a round bowl in the half-bath and an elongated in the master suite.

Ready to find the perfect seat? Contact us, and one of our design specialists will be happy to help you select the perfect throne!