...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Progress in the kid / guest bathroom is slow-going.

kid bath progress

Steve started tiling the back wall. It’s proved to be a challenge. The wall is wonky and there’s a window and Steve’s a perfectionist soooo…it’s taking a while but we’ll get there. The other walls shouldn’t be as tricky.

Since it looks like we’re going to be sharing one bathroom for a little longer, I decided to do something I’ve been meaning to for a while.

slow closing potty lid 1

I replaced the flimsy plastic toilet seat and lid in the master bathroom. It changed my life.

The toilet came with the house. We decided to keep it. (We actually wanted to keep the toilet in the kid / guest bath, too, but it was accidentally broken during a renovation mishap. Oops.) I’ll never forget the looks of passersby as I was cleaning the toilet in the front yard…with a garden hose…while eight months pregnant. THE HORROR.

Anyway.

I went to Home Depot and had way too much fun playing with all the toilet seats. It’s almost embarrassing how many special features there are. You know, considering some places in the world don’t even have proper sewage systems. But it didn’t stop me from wanting all. the. features. Built-in potty seat? Yes. Removable and easy-to-clean? Yessssss. Whisper-soft and slow-closing? GIVE IT TO ME.

I ended up with this tricked out seat + lid. Installation was super easy. Gross but super easy. Once I had removed the disgusting bolts holding the old seat in place I couldn’t get the new clean one installed fast enough. It took me all of 10 minutes. And that was with a toddler “helping” me. The new seat and lid are made of molded wood so it’s sturdier than the cheap plastic we had before. Our toilet is round and the new seat is about ½” too long but it doesn’t seem to affect its function.

slow-closing potty lid 2

There’s a built-in potty seat which Mabrey has already claimed. I really like this feature since we don’t have room for a separate training potty. The potty seat is removable so when we’re past the potty-training phase we can take it off. A magnet holds the smaller potty seat to the lid when non-toddler derrière use the toilet. The potty seat is plastic – not wood.

Another awesome feature is the soft-closing mechanism which keeps the lid and seat from slamming shut. Everett graciously demonstrates this toilet *magic* here. I love this feature. When the boys use the bathroom during the night or early in the morning while Steve and I are sleeping, I’m not jolted awake by the sound of the toilet seat slamming anymore. It’s the equivalent of hanging blackout shades in an infant’s room. Anything for five more minutes of sleep! Between our soft-closing kitchen cabinets & drawers, bathroom vanity and now toilet, I’m going to be slamming all the things at every house I visit.

potty lid unlock

In case I need to remove the seat + lid for cleaning purposes (from the looks of our old toilet seat bolts apparently I need to), the entire piece can be unlocked from the bolts and lifted off.

slow closing potty lid 3

In summary, maybe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but you can teach an old toilet new tricks.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

53 Comments

18.June.2014

Never ever ever in my life would I think I would be able to say that I have toilet seat envy. You win. :)

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18.June.2014

i have had this exact toilet seat since we moved into our home two years ago.
i have three boys 4, 7, & 39……i have bragged about owning this
BEST.TOILET.SEAT.EVER. enjoy

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18.June.2014

hey dana! tried to convince my husband to do a panelled backsplash like in your workspace but he’s sticking to his guns on tile….more specifically, elongated white subway tile just like you’ve also got ;) this wall is looking great- can you give me info on grout line spacing and what grout you’ll use? thanks!

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replied on June 18th, 2014

We’re doing 1/16″ grout lines on the walls with white grout. I really want the walls to be a textural element as opposed to a patterned one (which a contrasting grout would give) so the floor tile can be the star of the show.

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18.June.2014

My god. Please compliment your husband on his tiling job! It is per.fect.ion.

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replied on June 18th, 2014

Yes, I know! He complains about being a slow tiler but the results are always worth the wait.

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18.June.2014

Built-in potty seat?? I never thought I could get so excited over a toilet seat!

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18.June.2014

Our baby girl is only five months old, but I want to run out and get this seat now so we’re prepared for potty training in a couple of years. It’s so much nicer than a potty chair or one of those plastic cushion inserts.

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18.June.2014

My husband just went out and bought a new toilet seat for our boy’s bathroom a couple weeks ago and came back with a plain old toilet seat. I didn’t know there were so many options and now I am a little annoyed that he didn’t get one with any extra features, specifically the soft closing feature . We needed a new seat because the plastic hinges on the old one broke and the lid came off. It took my husband more than an hour to get the old seat off because the connecters were all plastic and were damaged. He ended up taking a kitchen blow torch and melting the buggers down to get them off. (He is not a DIY wizard and swore that he had tried everything else he could think of.) The easy removal is awesome too! With boys in the house that whole area is just a nightmare to clean.
OK. I didn’t know that I had so much to say on the topic of toilet seats.

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18.June.2014

YES! This is one of the first things we did when we moved into our house, and we bought the same one for both of our toilets. We are currently potty training and the little built-in potty seat is awesome! Awesome. And yes, I do unintentionally slam toilet lids in other peoples’ homes because I’m used to the soft-close one now. =)

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18.June.2014

Nice! We went to Home Depot and I don’t recall that they had any wood seats with the soft-close feature, only the lightweight plastic ones. Good to know they are out there, next time I have to buy one!

On another note, I always wonder where you put your toilet paper??

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replied on June 18th, 2014

We keep toilet paper rolls in the basket on top of the toilet. It was meant to be a temporary stash but we’ve been doing it for two years now so I’m not sure if we’ll ever hang the toilet paper properly.

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18.June.2014

Amazing!! This is exactly what I need!! I figured a new toilet seat would be a couple hundred bucks… but at this price I think I may go get one this afternoon! We are a family of four sharing one toilet, and the plastic flimsy seat wiggles all around and drives me insane. Thanks for sharing!

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18.June.2014

Um… this is so cool! I have the replacing of our potty seats on my to-do list, and I’m definitely getting these!! Most especially for the anti-slamming technology :D

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Love the toilet- takes double duty to a whole new level.. and such a space saver!! Kudos to your husband on the fabulous tile work too!

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18.June.2014

Where is the vanity from? I am looking for something just like it and I keep getting little peeks in various photos making me very curious!

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replied on June 18th, 2014

It’s the Ikea GODMORGON vanity in gray – one sink, two drawers, floating vanity.

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18.June.2014

I thought soft close cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom were life-changing, but then we got soft close toilets seats and my life was made! Our bathroon is so much more peaceful now. We have the GODMORGON too :)

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18.June.2014

We have a soft closing toilet lid in one bathroom and a regular lid in the other. I can’t tell you how many times I have slammed the lid in the one without and of course, it’s always in the middle of the night.

Love your bathroom!

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18.June.2014

I just had a feeling that potty lid was where this post was headed! It’s been on my “to get” list for a year. Now that our little guy is showing so much interest in the toilet I think this is the push to go pick up our own.

Our bathroom is also too small to fit a separate potty – and I figure why not make a normal toilet part of the routine?

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18.June.2014

I still have 2 toilet seats to replace in my house. Can’t wait!

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Three months in we replaced our toilet seats. It was life changing. We were kicking ourselves for weeks for not doing it sooner.

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Why aren’t there awards for the type of people who invent these things?

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replied on June 19th, 2014

I know, right?!

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18.June.2014

Tile looks fantastic! Love the mix with the black floor.

Our seats are still plastic. Something about my boys EATS wood. (Ew.) But the change over to all soft close lids seriously reduced my whole-life stress level like 2%. Yes, they drop the lids at others’ homes like rocks now, but it’s worth it. I can only dream of non-slammable drawers! Someday…

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18.June.2014

Wohoo! Your toddler seat idea rocks! I was figuring out how can it be possible with our little angel and your blog just solved it all! Thanks :)

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19.June.2014

I got the soft closing toilet seats as well after seeing them in a friends home. No more crashing lids!

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19.June.2014

I have the soft closing lids in my place too. Now open seats have become a big pet peeve of mine and whenever I am at any other house (especially my sisters) I will forgot at least the first time and make the seat slam loudly… Still: very much worth it ;)

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19.June.2014

Oh my goodness! I love you! Just last night my husband was whining on about needing a new toilet seat and I was going to get a normal wooden seat, but this looks amazing. Especially as our little girl will certainly need the potty feature soon. Thank you thank you thank you!

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19.June.2014

I just did (as in started over a year ago but still have to finish the detail work) my shower with white subway tile and dark grout. I also have a window in the shower, which was very frustrating and challenging. Other than the finish work I *plan* to do this summer, I think it looks pretty great! Good luck!

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19.June.2014

Hi Dana, I love your blog and your fantastic style. We have that same toilet seat for about a year now and we all love it! My daughter is very good about remembering her own little seat. The only thing we have had a problem with is the paint chipping off the wood parts, but that is likely because we also have an 18 mo. little boy who LOVES to bang on everything with hard objects. Possibly the wood could be painted again/touched up. Anyway, we love it, paint chips and all!

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This is such an easy fix that so many people don’t think about! When we moved into our house, we had 3 toilets from 1970 or earlier. They all worked fine, but were kind of gross, so we switched out the seats/lids and now they all look brand new. Amazing!! :)

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19.June.2014

You quite possible have just MADE MY DAY! We have 3 girls and one bathroom that is adjacent to our master bedroom. In such a small house, a soft-closing toilet seat lid has been a dream of mine since we moved in 10 years ago. We have replaced the seat once already and this weekend, we will be getting THIS seat, I’ve already scoped out the Home Depot website and apparently our store has it in stock (my husband doesn’t know that yet, hee hee) and we will be pitching the little portable potty training potty. Let me tell you, it will be life-changing, as in, no more cleaning it out every morning (we put it in the older girls room each night in case my 6 year old needs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night). Plus, my impossible-to-train middle daughter will like that there is a built in potty seat on this one and perhaps it will be just the little push she needs to ditch the Pull-Ups! A girl can dream :)

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19.June.2014

What a neat feature full toilet seat ! I also love your shower curtain !! Where did you buy it?

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replied on June 19th, 2014

It’s from Amazon. My only requirements were that it be white, full length (floor to ceiling) and washable.

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19.June.2014

I forwarded my husband the link this post STAT! It is EXACTLY what we had planned for our main bath. Can you provide sources for both tiles? LOVE your work. I grew up with a engineer dad, I understand and love the perfectionists in the world! Brilliant job Dana + Steve!!!!

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replied on June 19th, 2014

The floor tile is noir hex:

http://www.tileshop.com/product/noir+hex+2+x+2+in.do?from=Search&cx=0

The wall tile is imperial bianco gloss 2″x12″ subway tile:

http://www.tileshop.com/product/imperial+bianco+gloss+2+x+12+in.do

Both are from The Tile Shop. We have the subway tile in our kitchen and wanted to repeat an element in the bathroom to make it feel cohesive with the rest of the house so it’s going on the walls around the shower / tub and will be installed as a chair rail throughout the rest of the bathroom. Hope that helps!

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replied on June 19th, 2014

That does help! Thanks, Dana- It all looks great. I cannot believe those tiles are only 2″ high! They have great depth and presence, but I love how they are less even than the ones you see around.

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19.June.2014

We’re redoing our kids bathroom. Wanted to see if you knew the brand/make of your tub.

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19.June.2014

Love the potty in the seat and soft close feature! Besides all that, I am still wondering how the wicker trash basket and white shower curtain are holding up right there beside the toilet…..your boys, old and young, must have a perfect aim every time…..or I hope they do…..having raised boys I would NEVER have those items so close the toilet!

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replied on June 19th, 2014

The wicker trash can is wipeable and the shower curtain is washable. I do a fair amount of wiping and washing! Also, the wicker can is purely decorative. I keep a smaller metal can lined with a plastic bag within the wicker can. (I pulled the metal can + bag for the photos.) Just a little trick I’ve learned to make functional trash cans look pretty ;)

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20.June.2014

I installed this seat a few months ago and couldn’t be happier. We have two girls, age 4 & 2, so I think we will have this one for a while!

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20.June.2014

Just a word of warning about that potty seat: I had one and loved it so much I would’ve written a blog post about it if I had a blog. Within a year, it had yellowed soooo bad and chipped in spots. Then the magnet fell out of the little potty seat and it wouldn’t stay up. I kept it another six months because I was pissed (lol) I spent $45 on a toilet seat!!! Then I finally replaced it the night before a big party at our house. My was so disappointed. I had been using Clorox Clean-up to clean the seat so DO NoT use any bleach spray (which is seems like the best place to use bleach spray) and save your receipt!

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replied on June 20th, 2014

Good to know! I don’t use bleach so hopefully it will last a while longer.

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20.June.2014

We have 3 boys and the lift off toilet seats are a LIFE SAVER! I love that I can pop them off and rinse the ick off of the hinges! Makes cleaning the toilet so much easier.

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20.June.2014

That is the coolest toilet seat I have ever seen. We are just starting to potty train our little boy and this would be perfect.

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20.June.2014

I hope you have better luck with that seat than we did. We’ve had it for probably 2 years and I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but that little toddler seat snapped off. I realize it is actually removable, but after a couple times of snapping off and on by the kids the part that keeps it in place actually broke off so it’s no longer working properly. I was a big fan of it up until the breaking, now I’m searching for a similar replacement because the youngest is about to potty train.

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21.June.2014

When we bought our house, I was super excited because the main bathroom had a soft-closed toilet seat–no more Husband slamming the seat down! I even showed it to family like it was a museum exhibit. I say “had” because at some point the soft-close part broke, and now the toilet works just like a regular toilet. Fingers-crossed that the seat breaks soon, so I have an excuse to change what is still a perfectly usable toilet seat, even if it is noisy.

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24.June.2014

I never thought twice about a toilet seat until ours broke and I had to replace it. I got the soft close too (no toddlers) and I love it! I only got one for our main bathroom, so if I ever use our upstairs bath, I accidentally slam that sucker! Whoops!

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24.June.2014

That is the best thing since sliced bread! Will definitely be getting at least one before potty training really begins!

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12.August.2014

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05.September.2014

How do you keep the window in that bathroom mildew and mold free?
Any special tricks? Does water get trapped in the window sill if you ever open the window up?

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replied on September 5th, 2014

We tiled the window so that the sill tilts away from the window and in towards the shower. It helps that the window is a little closer to the back of the shower and further from the shower stream. We also installed a new bathroom vent (there was no ventilation before) and run it during and after showers. The window does get wet but we haven’t had any problems with mildew so far.

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