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Is My Toilet Seat Round or Elongated? – Pros & Cons

Is My Toilet Seat Round or Elongated
Written by Joe Richter
Last Update: August 10, 2023

Toilet is one of the most personal things we use in our everyday life. We’ve become so accustomed to our toilets that many of us take them for granted. Some may even think that all toilet seats are the same.

That’s not the case though. There are variations you need to know about.

Whether you want to replace an old, worn-out toilet seat or switch to something more comfortable, you need to know a little more about what types of toilet seats there are and what they are good for.

The main two variations of toilet seats available are the round and the elongated ones.

Round Toilet Seats

Round Toilet Seats

It is the most common type of toilet seat across the globe. Round toilet seats were common in most US households in the past but now elongated seats are becoming more popular.

However, round toilets and seats are still used for narrow bathrooms, powder rooms, and recreation vehicles. They are usually cheaper, smaller, and a little harder to clean.


Round bowls are usually 16.5 inches in length. The length is measured from the middle of the seat bolt holes/ hinge holes to the tip of the bowl.

Round bowls are evenly circular and space-efficient.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Cons:
  • Space-efficient
  • Comfortable for children
  • Relatively cheaper (around 20%)
  • Versatile outlook
  • Easy to get on and off (for adults and people with mobility issues)
  • Less comfortable for adults or people with mobility issues.
  • Harder to clean the bowl
  • Older Design
  • Fewer Variations
  • Takes up more toilet space

Elongated Toilet Seats

Elongated toilet seats are relatively new. They are easier to clean and more comfortable for adult users. There is a wider variety available to choose from but costs a little more.

Elongated Toilet Seats

Elongated bowls are a bit oval-shaped. If your toilet is spacious enough, these toilets will be the perfect choice for your comfort.


Elongated bowls are slightly bigger (about 2 inches) than round bowls, starting at around 18.5 inches. The oval-shaped bowl offers better comfort for most adult users (especially men).

Pros and Cons

Pros: Cons:
  • More comfortable seats for adults
  • Easier to clean
  • A wide range of designs available
  • Modern and popular design
  • Easier for men to use while standing
  • Not so comfortable for kids
  • Doesn’t fit in small bathrooms
  • Little costly

How to Tell if Your Toilet Seat Is Round or Elongated

You can find out the shape of your toilet seat by simply measuring the distance from holes where the seat is bolted into the toilet to the tip of its edge.

First, remove the seat. Now, take a measurement tape and measure the distance from the middle of the bolt holes to the opposite edge/tip of the bowl. Additionally, check out the bowl’s shape.

Measure Toilet Seats

If the bowl length is between 16.5-17.8 inches and looks circular, that’s a round toilet bowl. You’ll need round toilet seats with that.

On the other hand, If the length is between 18.5-19.5 inches and the shape looks a little elongated/oval, you have an elongated bowl.

Can I fit a Round Seat over an Elongated Toilet?

Technically, yes. You can install round seats over an elongated toilet bowl.

However, we don’t recommend doing so. A round seat won’t fully cover the bowl rim of the elongated toilet and the rim will be exposed.

This will not harm the function ality of the toilet but will hamper the aesthetic value and make your experience really uncomfortable.

Can I Install an Elongated Seat on a Round Toilet?

Just like installing a round seat on an elongated bowl, We also don’t recommend putting an elongated toilet seat over a round toilet bowl.

The front rim of the seat will hang a few inches over the front of the bowl, which will not only be aesthetically unpleasant but also uncomfortable to use.

How to Choose between Round and Elongated Seats?


Comfort is the biggest point for choosing a round or elongated toilet. Elongated seats are more comfortable. Its long shape provides a bigger surface area.

However, not all people find elongated toilets comfortable. Young kids prefer round toilets to elongated toilets.


Most small towns and municipalities in the US have to follow specific building codes that instruct people to keep at least 21 inches of clear space in the front of a toilet.

For smaller bathrooms, your best bet is a round toilet seat. Elongated seats are preferable for spacious areas.


Round toilet seats are cheaper than their elongated counterparts. The price difference is usually 10 to 15%.

For instance, you may find a classic round toilet seat for about $25 whereas an elongated seat from the same brand will cost about $30-$45.


Elongated toilets offer a more modern aesthetics to your bathroom whereas round toilets tend to look a bit retro-grade and traditional.

Elongated toilets are becoming more and more popular because of their modern outlook.

Legal Requirements

If you are installing a toilet in a public space, there are laws that regulate how you should do it. Most buildings require a 21-inch free space between the toilet bowl and the front wall.

An ADA-compliant toilet should be 2-inches higher than the standard height of a toilet and at least 48 inches from the front wall. Elongated toilet seats can fit perfectly in such spaces.


Elongated seats from some brands have fewer crevices underside of the bowl. As a result, a cleaning brush can easily reach these places, making the cleaning process easier than round seats.

Additionally, the longer shape of the elongated seat makes it easy to see the inside of the bowl and clean it easily.

Power of Flush

From double-cyclone to pressure-assisted, there are many types of flush. Most of the flushing system works in the same way in both types of seats. However, If your flush circulates the water inside the bowl, you can expect slightly better water pressure from elongated seats.


1. What is the standard toilet size?

Ans: The standard size of the toilet around the world is 27-30 inches high, around 20 inches wide, and 28-30 inches deep. It should also have a rough-in between 10-14 inches.

2. How do I remove my toilet seat?

Ans: You can try to remove your toilet seat with household tools like a screwdriver or a wrench. We recommend you be alert as tools can easily damage the porcelain of the toilet. If the bolts are rusty, use a rust penetrant or call a professional.

3. What are the best products to use for cleaning my toilet seat?

Ans: Not only does your toilet seat need to be clean, but also hygienic. We recommend dish soaps, anti-bacterial wipes/hand soaps for best results. Try to avoid harsh products like bleach, vinegar, chlorine, acids, scouring powders, detergents, or disinfectants.

4. What are the different shapes of toilet seats?

Ans: There are several different shapes of toilet seats available such as round, elongated, comfort, raised, bidet, and open front.

About the author

Joe Richter

Academically brilliant, technically flawless and professionally successful, Joe Richter is Toiletsguide’s head of the market research team. He studied Business Studies from the University of Houston and started his professional career as a Market Data Compliance Analyst in the stock market. He’s been following the updates on the bathroomware industries for a long time now and his elaborate studies have profoundly enriched his knowledge on the newer trends of toilets, showers, and related fittings. Apart from that, Joe goes around the street with his Leica Q2 taking pictures of people and buildings. He does most of the photography of the site.

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