April 2010


My New Toilet Seat!

Actually, I’m joking: I don’t actually have a new toilet seat yet.

There are, as we shall see, complications.

I love taking baths.

As you might recall from the photos of my apartment series (which I should restart before I forget), I have a pretty awesome bathroom—a huge bathtub, a nice window, and off to the corner of the photo is my toilet.

My toilet is, in a word, special.

It’s octagonal.

The fact is I need a new octagonal toilet seat because my current one is slowly falling apart. When I moved in, two of the four pedestals that keeps the bottom part elevated above the porcelain were missing—fortunately they were on the same side otherwise I would have had a rocking toilet seat. Unfortunately the remaining two are slowly crumbling apart, leaving chunks behind once or twice a week.

I’ve decided that this needs replacement—unfortunately this is not something I can do alone because the building supply stores are not located in the middle of Weimar—so I hitched a ride last week with a friend and we stopped at Obi, which is “Home Depot”-esque, but German, and while my friend looked at fountains, I looked at toilet seats.

I s(h)it here.

Despite having an octagonal toilet on display, there were no octagonal seats for sale and once I tracked down an employee, I showed her the picture of my toilet on my iPhone and she replied, “Es ist schwierig”, which loosely translated means “it’s difficult.” She then continued with more difficult German, but I got the idea that she needed to know the brand name and the measurements.

I was back at square octagon one.

This week, on Monday, another friend, Anke, offered to take me to a building supply store, and I suggested we try another one because I knew Obi didn’t have them in stock—I made the radical assumption that building supply stores in Germany would be filled with competent experts who could assist.

Workers here are stupid.

How wrong I was—because I can tell you, without hesitation, that the idiots at the Toom BauMarkt in Weimar are unprofessional, unhelpful, and unknowledgable.

At Toom Anke helped me and the conversation was totally in German, about 80% of which I didn’t understand—but I understood that the two employees who were “helping” us had never seen such a toilet seat before. One painfully paged through the pages of three different catalogues looking for such a toilet seat and never found one, the other, apparently his boss, went off to the Internets to see what he could find.

10 minutes later, while we were elsewhere in the store, the idiot who had paged through three catalogues found us and had a very funny thing to tell us: his boss had found a toilet seat like the one that I needed on eBay! It cost over 300€!

What a funny thing! Hahahahaha! Poor asshole who needs a new seat to shit upon will have to fork over lots of money! We can’t find cheaper one because we stupid clueless store clerks at cheap-ass construction supply store. We must laugh in customer’s face over absurd toilet seat price. Side splittingly funny joke!

Fuck you, asshole.

Now, in truth, I probably should have turned to the Internet myself and come armed with better information—telling them which part I needed from what source, but I hadn’t gotten that far, instead I’d come with a photo of the toilet and measurements on a piece of paper, along with the brand name of the toilet.

I’m pretty sure that I need a Duravit Serie 1930 toilet seat and I found it on the Duravit website, unfortunately they don’t sell it themselves. I will have to go back to a construction supply store to find out how much it costs and to special order it, if it’s not unreasonably priced.

If it is unreasonably priced—it really is 335€ as on eBay.de—I’ll probably go to the landlord and ask them to buy it, for while the toilet looks remarkably pretty and nice in my apartment, I wouldn’t have chosen one with such an unusual opening.

20 comments to My New Toilet Seat!

  • Prashanth

    Check this link for the dealers. Apparently they have many around Jena.


    best of luck!

  • Prashanth

    and of course, in Weimar too!

  • I remember when I visited last year that I thought this was a rather interesting shape for a toilet and thinking, “You would never see this in the USA…”

    Apparently you don’t see them in Germany either, except in your apartment.

    • Funny enough, a week before I moved in, I saw octagonal toilets at Tom’s Hotel, which is a gay hotel located in Berlin. I remember thinking how strange it was that I’d never seen one before I looked at the new apartment and that there was one right there in my hotel room in Berlin!

  • Reko

    No comment.

  • mateo

    Well, I find it all rather amusing, but I’m not the one who has to find a replacement! I’ve never seen one in that shape, and at the ebay asking price, it’s obviously a throne fit for royalty.

  • Anja

    The Obi employee didn’t do anything to help. The Toom guys went through the catalogs and the internet. And who do you call stupid???

    Anyways, your housing contract will tell you how much you have to cover yourself. This is usually limited to 80€. Your landlord will have to pay the remaining amount.

    • For me it was the demeanor–the woman at Obi looked at the photo, acknowledged having seen octagonal toilets before and said that she needed more information before she could really help me.

      I went to toom with the information the woman at Obi said she needed, and the two men at toom even before they started thumbing through the catalogs and surfing the internets started laughing. I wouldn’t actually call flipping through a catalog helpful: catalogs have indexes and structure, the guy looking at the catalog didn’t seem to be aware of this.

      Then, when the guy came to tell us about the toilet seat that they found on eBay, he was snorting in laughter — as if it was the funniest thing he had ever seen in his life. I’m glad he found it funny–I sure don’t.

      A lot of professionalism is how you respond to customers–laughing at their problems–actually, laughing at my problem and thinking it’s the funniest thing on the planet when it costs 300€+ is not professional. To me it’s a sure sign of incompetence.

      Telling me that it’s difficult and that you need more information is professional. I’d go back to Obi in a heartbeat. Toom has lost me for life.

  • What effect has an octagonal toilet seat on one’s buttocks? Are yours still plump and round, or have they become square, angular and butch?

  • Michele J

    Don’t waste another minute on this – this is something I would simply turn over to the landlord immediately. There’s a problem with the infrastructure of the apartment, and he should have it fixed. Anja mentions EUR 80 – in our contract it’s 50, they cover the rest. I’d let him do the legwork, especially with something like an expensive toilet seat, that way he can’t be unsatisfied in the end or complain that you bought some used thing off ebay. You’ll still have to deal with someone in German, but at least it’s the Hausmeister (presumably) instead of jerks at toom.

    Now that I think about it, the same thing applies to your doorbell 😉 In fact I think there they probably have to cover the whole thing. It’s like if your heating breaks – the landlord pays 100% of that.

  • Prashanth

    I just googled for “why are toilet seats/commodes Oval?” …one click and I find a “funny/not-so-funny” answer on Yahoo answers:

    “i saw some circle shaped ones!! but if they were triangles or squares and you have a big butt you might get poked by the corners”

    I guess that should answer @Headbang8’s philosophical question 😛

  • jen

    Dude, the landlord will replace that toilet before paying that amount for a new seat.

  • Why are you buying an entire seat when all you need are the little plastic things on the bottom?

    • There are a couple of cracks on the underside of the bottom part–and, actually, I didn’t know I could buy the things separately. Unless they’re self adhesive, there’s no real place to attach them though.

    • Actually this was my question as well. I would buy something like a self-adhesive door stop and call it good.

      • Snooks, a permanent doorstop kinda solution won’t work.

        How can I put it? This may be info that is invisble to a lady of your most admirable persuasion, but gentlemen do occasionally like to put the toilet seat up.

  • […] A new toilet seat is installed. I was going to buy one myself, but I ran into a problem: the standard opening seems to be 28cm, but I have a slightly more elliptical shaped toilet with an opening of 32cm. A minor problem ultimately; it isn’t octagonal. […]