As with all great rivalries, it is difficult to choose a winner. However, there can only be one. Yes, the great Wood vs Plastic Toilet Seat rivalry has been going on for decades and today we will find out the pros and cons of each.
You may have your preference; you might be undecided; but hopefully this article will help you get to the bottom of this great conundrum. A Wood Toilet Seat or a Plastic Toilet Seat: Which One is Really Better?
What to Consider When Buying A Toilet Seat
Choosing the best toilet seat can be a tricky decision, especially when you have to consider your options in terms of material.
Generally speaking, plastic seats are cheaper and lighter than their wood counterparts. They also come with more colors and styles to choose from.
However, they may not last as long and they’re typically less comfortable than wood seats. Wood seats on the other hand are generally heavier but provide better comfort for prolonged use; they’re also usually easier on the wallet due to their durability factor.
To help you make a more informed decision, here is a list of factors to consider when choosing a toilet seat, especially when deciding whether you want to purchase plastic or wooden toilet seats.
As Comfort is a top priority for many people, it is worth finding out which material is more comfortable. A good quality wood or plastic seat should both be comfortable to sit on.
One thing that gives wood an edge over plastic is the fact that it remains warm all year. On the other hand, plastic can get very cold during winter months and will make those middle of the night visits to the bathroom a little uncomfortable.
There are heated plastic toilet seats on the market, however they are a luxury item and a lot more expensive.
Hygiene is an important factor to consider when purchasing a toilet seat. Plastic seats are easy to wash and just a wipe down with basic antibacterial soap and water should be sufficient.
On the other hand, wood is a highly absorbent material. It will have a protective finish, however if it gets scratched it will become exposed to moisture and liquids.
Scratched wood may absorb both water and urine. The first one may rot the wood and the latter may lead to a foul smell.
To clean a wooden toilet seat, make sure to use a non-abrasive cloth/sponge. Also, antibacterial soap will help kill germs on both plastic and wooden toilets seats.
Compared to plastic, wood is a little harder to clean and dry.
Both good quality plastic and wood toilet seats should last for several years, however a wooden toilet seat will deteriorate quicker. Either toilet seat may crack or break, however it will be the wooden toilet seat that will degrade.
That being said, you can still get great value out of a wooden toilet seat. A wooden toilet seat will have a protective finish to help it look new for longer, however if the finish does wear away then the toilet seat doesn’t have to be replaced.
A little DIY, sanding down and varnishing could still add some new life into an old wooden toilet seat.
In general, a plastic seat will last longer, especially the ones that are not too light and cheap. A cheap plastic toilet seat will be flimsy and have tendency to break.
When choosing a toilet seat, most people have an idea how they want it to fit into their bathroom design. Fortunately, there are many different colors and styles of toilet seats to choose from.
However, wood may be preferable as it gives the bathroom an aesthetic, classy look that is hard to obtain with plastic seats.
Compared to wooden toilet seats, plastic seats are usually cheaper. Wooden toilet seats are heavier and usually cost more to produce. A classy wooden toilet seat usually looks more expensive when compared to a regular plastic toilet seat.
However, specialty toilet seats, such as a heated toilet seat or bidet, are made of plastic. These specialty plastic toilet seats can be quite expensive.
Wood vs Plastic Toilet Seat: Comparison Table
Comfort Winner: Wood Toilet Seat
Wood Toilet Seats are warmer during winter months.
Hygiene Winner: Plastic Toilet Seat
Plastic toilet seats are easier to clean and maintain.
Wood toilet seats are more absorbent of liquids.
Durability Winner: Plastic Toilet Seat
A wood toilet seat is made of a natural material and will degrade quicker.
In general, a good quality plastic toilet seat should last longer.
Style Winner: Wood Toilet Seat
A good quality wood toilet seat looks more classy and stylish compared to plastic.
Price Winner: Plastic Toilet Seat
In general, a plastic toilet seat will be cheaper than wood.
However, specialty toilet seats like bidets and heated seats are made of plastic and more expensive.
Wood Toilet Seat Pros and Cons
- Heavy & Solid
- Won’t get really cold during winter months
- Can be sandpapered & re-varnished
- Doesn’t look cheap
- More expensive than plastic
- Will fade and degrade sooner
- Wood is absorbent of moisture and liquids (smell)
- More difficult to clean
Plastic Toilet Seat Pros and Cons
- Generally cheaper
- Easy to clean
- Lighter for children
- Greater variety to choose from
- Less likely to scratch and won’t absorb liquids
- Will discolor over time
- May look cheap
- Colder to sit on (winter months)
Are Wooden Toilet Seats Unsanitary?
Generally, wooden toilet seats are more porous compared to plastic toilet seats. Porous materials will absorb more liquid matter compared to non-porous materials, therefore a wood toilet seat will be less sanitary than a plastic toilet seat.
However, good quality wooden toilet seats are well treated to make sure that they are protected from harboring germs and bacteria.
Overall, a well-maintained wooden toilet seat should be just as sanitary as a plastic toilet seat. Make sure you keep it clean and do not slam the seat.
Any cracks in the seat will be a nice home for bacteria, not to mention urine smells.
Why Do Wooden Toilet Seats Crack?
Wood is a natural material , therefore wooden toilet seats are prone to cracking. Wooden toilet seats may crack from improper seat slamming.
Wood will also expand and contract depending on the weather conditions. When it is cold, wood will shrink. When it is hot, wood will swell and crack.
Wooden toilet seats will also crack when exposed to moisture for long periods of time. For example, wooden toilet seats that are left in the shower or remain damp from morning showers may also develop cracks and start to warp over time.
Do Plastic Toilet Seats Stain?
If you have a white plastic toilet seat, then it is likely to stain, over time. Urine stains will easily show up on a white plastic toilet seat, so due care is needed.
Regular use of an antibacterial cleaner will help keep the toilet seat’s original color for longer. Use a non-abrasive cloth or sponge when cleaning the toilet seat, to prevent scratching the plastic.
Why Did My Plastic Toilet Seat Turn Yellow?
The obvious reason a white toilet seat may have yellow stains is urine build up. However, over time a plastic toilet seat may go an off white color, no matter how careful a person is when using the toilet. The reason for this is the plastic used in toilet seats degrades over time.
As the toilet seat is used heavily over time, the plastic seat begins to break down and the colors of the plastic will change. The dye used on white plastic may begin to fade, causing it to look more like transparent or off white vinyl.
In regards to toilet seats, a yellow color does not always mean urine stains as sometimes this color only occurs from the natural aging of the plastic materials, due to UV sunlight damage.
We hope that after reading this article on Wood vs Plastic toilet seats, you have a better grasp on the complexities of choosing a wooden or plastic toilet seat. There are certainly many factors to consider when choosing the perfect toilet seat for your bathroom.
Overall, it all boils down to personal choice. In general, wooden toilet seats are more expensive and require due care when cleaning.
A plastic toilet seat will be cheaper in the long run and will require less maintenance.
Both have their own pros and cons but either way, we hope that you get to find the one that is right for you.