Tag Archives: toilets

Thrones of Bones, and Other Problems with the Modern Toilet Seat

As I get older, certain changes become more noticeable. Take toilet lids, for example. Overnight, it seems that good, solid lids have been replaced by these flimsy plastic imposters. Sitting on them courts slapstick disaster. Where did all of the good, solid toilet lids go? I imagine some young, up-and-coming business school graduate at Kohler or American Standard looking at the cost of manufacturing the plastic lid versus the solid lid, and selling their boss on the idea that the company could save millions by switching from one to the other.

Note that I specified young. A middle-aged innovator would never have made this suggestion. They would know, as I know, how useful the traditional solid toilet lid is. Every days, after emerging from the shower, the toilet seat is the perfect place to sit while I pull on my socks, something I can no longer do as easily standing up. It is ideal for sitting while tying one’s shoes. From a solid, sturdy toilet lid, I can sit and keep an eye on the Littlest Miss as she plays in the bathtub. It is much easier on my knees than kneeling on the floor. The toilet lid has served as an excellent step-stool when changing a lightbulb or cleaning out the fan.

Our old house had nice, solid toilet lids in each of the bathrooms. The new house has these flimsy things that creak inauspiciously under my weight when I perch them. I find myself sitting only on the edges, slightly off-balanced when pulling on my socks or tying my shoes.

I’ve noticed this trend in hotels across the country, a particular disappointment, because a toilet lid is a convenient place to sit and read while everyone else in the hotel room is sound asleep.

It seems that toilet manufacturers have replaced good solid toilet lids with what they call “slow close” lids. The “Slow Close” is a clever engineering gimmick to prevent reminding us of the satisfying THUD a solid toilet lid provides.

The names given to toilet lids are a mouthful. I was just looking at some to see if they give any sense of heft or solidity. Here are a few examples:

  • BEMIS Slow Close Round Closed Front Toilet Seat in White
  • American Standard Cadet Slow Close EverClean Round Slow Close Toilet Seat in White.
  • Brondell LumaWarm Heated Nightlight Elongated Closed Front Toilet Seat in White

Toilet seat names are longer than peers in England.

How about this one:

  • BEMIS Affinity Round Closed Front Toilet Seat in Bone.

Bone? Is there a demographic of people who desire throne made of bone? Or at least appear to be made of bone? Please let me never be a guest in their house. If my choice is between plastic and bone, I’ll take plastic. But what I’d really like is the nice, solid lid that used to cover all toilet bowls.

I try to embrace change, really I do, mostly. Kind-of. But I draw a line at plastic toilet seat lids, and so should you.