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Originally published Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 6:03 AM

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Tips on buying a new toilet seat

Ed the Plumber: Pick the right seat for your bath throne

Scripps Howard News Service

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Q: I know this sounds like a basic question, but I want to make sure I get things right. My wife informed me that my job was to get a new toilet seat. Can you give me some tips? What type of material should the seat be made of?

— Fred, Virginia

A: When it comes to making the right choice in toilet seats, you really need to consider three issues:

Toilet style and color. Toilet seats basically come in two shapes: elongated (egg-shaped) or round (circular). Check your toilet to confirm the correct seat needed. For color, you can take your toilet-tank lid with you to the home store to make sure the new seat's color matches.

Make and material. Buy a well-known brand name, and spend the extra money for a quality seat material. Polypropylene, basically a hard plastic material, is a very good choice. Think of it as going to a big sporting event, and stay away from the cheap seats.

Features and maintenance. Many new toilet-seats lower slowly. These seats include technology that prevents the seat from slamming into the bowl. Also, look for a seat that unlocks at the hinge and can be removed easily from the bowl. This is a great cleaning feature, and can help put a lid on any toilet-seat odor issues.

Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

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