People tend to overlook toilet seats most of the time. But let us remind you that you sit on it often. Because of this, you have to know it well. Traditionally, toilet seats are made of wood. Though this material is still utilized these days, there are many other materials.
So, what are toilet seats made of?
You can find toilet seats made of plastic, resin, thermoset, thermoplastic, duroplast, medium density fiberboard, and bamboo. These materials including are sometimes upgraded.
There’s a lot more to know about toilet seat materials, so spare some time reading this article.
Table of Contents
Why Are There Toilet Seats?
When the toilet was invented, it didn’t come with a seat. Even the sewage system was not established until 1865 in London. This improvement has dramatically controlled the cases of typhoid and cholera. As you know, toilets are prone to germ and bacteria build-ups. It’s the reason why adding the toilet seat is a must. Specifically, toilet seats are bound to minimize the transferring of germs from one person to another.
Having multiple toilet users in homes, workplaces, and different establishments means various kinds of bacteria. A toilet can contain 300 bacteria in just a square inch so keeping the toilet clean is essential.
A toilet seat can protect you further from hostile microorganisms. It acts as a barrier between you and the toilet’s content.
Also, the toilet seat helps in keeping the bowl clean. The seat will catch everything or some mess which you can just wipe. If you’ve noticed, having a toilet seat makes it more comfortable to use the toilet. You don’t feel the hardness of the bowl, which can cause inconvenience.
Different Materials for Toilet Seats
You have to check all the material types to figure out the ideal toilet seat material for you. Each material is described below with its pros and cons.
Even though this is the classic type, there are different types of wooden toilet seats and they have distinct characteristics for you to weigh in. The best examples are from Kohler, Mayfair, and Angel Shield.
- Molded wood
A molded wooden seat is created by compressing mold with a mixture of thermosetting resin. The process can contour surfaces; then the seats can be painted. The finished product has an impressive weight and is warmer than plastic seats. If the molded wooden seat is well-crafted, it can last for 5 to 7 years.
There’s a special type of molded wood called medium-density fiberwood. Boards are sliced and the pieces are matched to form a toilet seat that has the right contour for comfort. It’s sanded, painted, and assembled.
The process of making a molded wooden seat is also applied to a bamboo toilet seat. The advantage of the final product is the same as well. But bamboo promotes ecological friendliness better.
- Medium density fiberboard
The composition of this material is compressed wood fibers. Even though it’s an organic material, the toilet seat will have strength from the sealant and finishing.
- Not too responsive to the temperature so it stays warm even during winter days
- Has a finishing for added sanitation
- Can last 5 to 7 years
- Has earthy, rustic appeal
- Prone to scratches, breakage, and rotting
When the use of synthetic materials becomes popular, plastic toilet seats are everywhere. Hence, many are torn on the discussion of plastic vs wood toilet seats. Popular plastic toilet seats are from BEMIS, Kohler, and Mayfair. Just like the old-school wooden type, plastic seats have varieties as well.
This material is made by combining resin powder and hardener. It gets stronger and sturdier when it’s heated but it can’t be reheated once it’s formed into an unscratchable item. In addition, a toilet seat made of a thermoset is easy to clean.
A duroplast toilet seat is a variety of thermoset. In making duroplast, fillers and UF resin with pigments are ground into fine powder. It doesn’t give in to scratches but is particularly brittle and less flexible. Because of this feature, careful packaging is necessary.
Instead of thermoset, the usual debate is about duroplast vs thermoplastic toilet seats. Duroplast and thermoplastic both have resin. But the latter is injected into a mold by mixing the resin with powder. Thermoplastic toilet seats prove to be unbreakable but they’re vulnerable to scratches. They’re in several varieties namely polypropylene plastic mold and ABS plastic mold.
A poly resin or polypropylene toilet seat is more flexible and lightweight. Polyresin toilet seats can also come in various designs and colors, so you can find one that suits your toilet and bathroom décor. You can even find one that is see-through with some fish and lobsters swimming in it. Many companies, such as Trimmer, Renovators Supply, and BH Home & Linen, make these seats.
ABS plastic mold toilet seats are also aesthetically pleasing. Sometime, the color fades away in a short time, but it doesn’t happen to products that are resistant to stains and chemicals. Reading the product description can help you get a toilet that can endure harsh chemicals from toilet cleaners.
- Mostly scratch resistant
- Has soft-close feature to prevent banging, loud noise, and breakage
- Can be cold during winter
- Not sustainable
Porcelain is a well-known material used in making toilet seats. Since it’s made of clay, you may compare it to ceramic. However, you should know that a finer type of clay is used to make porcelain and a higher temperature is required in the process.
If you think about comparing plastic vs porcelain toilet seat, there’s no big difference. They both have strong construction and are easy to clean.
Despite having a clay base, the porcelain toilet seat is fortified with non-porous enamel or vitreous china. Hence, this coating won’t allow germ and bacteria build-ups. Everything seems wonderful with this material but it costs more than toilet seats made of wood and plastic
Toilet Seats: Plastic or Wood?
Both wood and plastic toilet seats come in different colors and designs. They even have varieties due to some combinations of substances and materials. Appearance and composition matter but there are things that you specifically want from a toilet seat.
1. Size and weight
Both wood and plastic toilet seats are available in various sizes and shapes to match different styles of toilets. The wooden ones are typically made of hardwood just like oak. Thus, they can be heavier than their plastic counterparts. Some plastic seats may have the same weight as the wooden type but in most cases, plastic is lighter than compressed wood.
Households with kids should choose a very light plastic seat. If you want a wooden seat, find one with a slow-close feature. However, know that it costs more to buy a wooden toilet seat with a slow-close feature.
Wood has nothing on plastic in terms of durability even though the latter is prone to breakage. It’s common knowledge that wood is not too tough to endure the corrosive environment that occurs in a bathroom.
Still, there’s an advantage to the collapse of the wooden seat as you’ll know and notice that its structure begins to deteriorate. But with the plastic, you’ll just be surprised that it cracks or breaks when you sit on it.
Comfort is the ultimate thing that people want from a toilet seat. This depends on the seat’s shape. Luckily, both wooden and plastic toilet seats are available in different shapes. Plastic ones are comfortable for sure. You might notice that there are changes on the wooden seats as you continue using them. Losing its original form is not a bad thing as the wood adjusts to your body’s form.
You’ll also need to clean the seat when cleaning the toilet so maintenance is a concern. Stains on the toilet seat are a common issue. Although it’s easy to clean the plastic surface, it’s a disaster if you leave tough stains unremoved. If you don’t get rid of it, it will encourage mold growth. But this won’t occur on a wooden seat as it has self-healing and self-cleaning properties.
You don’t have to wonder about what are toilet seats made of. Though porcelain toilet seats are popular and appealing, the comparison between wooden and plastic types draws a lot of attention.
It’s about the price as the ones made of porcelain are the most expensive. Since the advantages and disadvantages of these materials and even their varieties are presented in this article, it’s up to you to pick the best one.
I’m Paulk Webb, and I work as a writer for Saveourwaterrebates. I’m happy to put in the time and effort to conduct market research to identify the most pressing issues faced by households concerning their plumbing. Feel free to check out our guides to get the most informed recommendations for how to solve your problems.