The toilet paper is arguably one of the most important aspects of your bathroom. Rather than simply leave your toilet paper roll on top of your toilet, having a toilet paper holder creates a finished and cohesive look. It also upgrades your bathroom from a college dorm to an adult household.

All bathrooms are different. Some are large, some are very small, which means the toilet paper holder is not always going to be installed in the exact same place. Despite this, there is a standard height in which to install your toilet paper holder. This ensures it is at a perfect distance from the toilet, making things easy for anyone who visits.

The recommended height for your toilet paper holder is 26 inches from the floor to the center of the roll. You should also attempt to place this 8-12 inches from the front rim of the toilet. If you have a smaller bathroom then this may be less.

How to Choose a Toilet Paper Holder

There are many different shapes and sizes of toilet paper holders. If you are installing a toilet paper holder in a commercial bathroom, then the toilet paper holder may be very big. This could even be as big as 12 inches by 16 inches. Typically commercial holders are larger because they can accommodate a large roll of paper.

For when you are choosing a toilet paper holder at home, the size is going to be a lot smaller. Pay attention and confirm that you are purchasing rolls anywhere from 4.5 – 5 inches in both length and diameter.

Typically a toilet paper holder that is around 20 x 16 x 6 cm (7.8 x 6.3 x 2.3 inches) is large enough for your home. This is mainly because you will be using your toilet paper holder to hold a small roll paper instead of an industrial large one. 

Despite the toilet paper holder being a specific size, it can also be used as a decoration. For years there have been options that are classy, along with options funny options, such as a butler statue or frog holding your toilet roll. 

Material Options to Choose From

When picking a toilet paper holder you essentially have 4 or 5 options to choose from in terms of material. These all have different pros and cons.

  • Plastic: These are light and cheap. Note that this may not be as durable as other materials.
  • Wood: The advantages of a wood holder are that they are natural and eco-friendly. The trouble is that they are not resistant to moisture.
  • Metal: Any form of metal is going to be very durable. Just be sure that you pick the right type of metal such as copper, steel, or brass.

How to Install a Toilet Paper Holder

Tool You Will Need

  • Power drill
  • Level
  • Painter’s tape
  • Claw hammer

Step 1: Measure

Having the right measurements for your toilet paper holder is important because it will make the project go a lot smoother. 

Since you will be installing your toilet paper holder 8 to 12 inches from your toilet bowl, you will need to measure this. Be aware that if you have children at home or shorter users, you can use 8 to 9 inches. If you have taller users in your home, then you can place it 10 to 12 inches from the toilet.

The best height for a toilet paper holder is 26 inches from the floor. This will make it easy for anyone to take some while on the toilet, and prevent the roll from hitting the ground.

Tip: If you own a recessed toilet paper holder, then you will need to find the right placement according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Step 2: Use a Level

Now you will need to use a level, to allow you to install the brackets properly.

  1. Usually, your toilet paper box will have a template on it. Take this and tape it to the wall using your painter’s tape. This will allow you to adjust it accordingly. 
  2. If you do not have a template, then you can simply draw a line that is the length of the toilet paper holder. Make sure this is level. 
  3. Hold one of your toilet paper holder brackets on the left and make sure it is directly on the level line. Stick a pencil through the drill holes on the bracket to mark them on the wall. 
  4. Repeat with the right side of the holder.   

Step 3: Drill Holes

This step is pretty self-explanatory. 

  1. Begin by drilling holes directly through where you placed your pencil marks.
  2. If you are needing to attach your toilet paper to drywall, then you will also need to tap in wall anchors. This will ensure that the brackets will hold.
  3. Use a level and check your drill holes are properly placed. Adjust them if necessary.

Note: The best option when installing your toilet paper holder is to try and install it by drilling into a stud. This will allow you not to worry about pulling on it since most toilet paper holders see a lot of movement.

Step 4: Screw Brackets

At this point, you will need to screw in the brackets that you originally measured.

  1. Take the left bracket and place it on your wall. You should do this over your drill marks and have the arrows pointing up. 
  2. Screw-in the first bracket clockwise. You should do so until is tight against the wall. 
  3. Repeat with the right bracket.

Step 5: Slide on a Roll

Finally, you can slide a roll of toilet paper onto the toilet paper holder. Typically this will be spring-loaded so you will need to snap it in.

If you are using a pivot-style toilet paper holder, then you will need to slide the roll on to the pivot arm and push it against the wall to secure it. Finally, press down on the mounting bracket.

Alternative Locations to Put Your Toilet Paper

Whether you have an extremely small bathroom, or you simply cannot install a dispenser at the recommended location, there are also alternative solutions. Your option is to place rolls of paper in a basket next to the toilet. You can also go for a floor-mounted standing dispenser or in a cabinet behind the toilet. Although it is not as ideal to have your toilet paper in a location that requires you to reach and bend, sometimes you need to make things work.

Related Questions

How high should I hang my towel rack?

Typically, you will want to hang your towel bar or rack anywhere between 44-56 inches from the floor. Note that the industry standard is 48 inches, but this may depend on your personal preference.

What are the ADA requirements for hanging a toilet paper holder?

The Americans with Disabilities Act has requirements for your toilet paper dispenser. Although this is mainly important for businesses if you have someone with physical disabilities in your home, this might be important for you.

When you are creating a bathroom for disabled users, the dispenser should be at a height that can be reached from the toilet. It should be no lower than 15 inches from the floor, but also no higher than 48 inches.