Where Should A Toilet Paper Holder Be Located? | Heights, Distances & Advice

It’s probably not something you’ve ever given much thought about but forgetting about your toilet paper holder in your new bathroom can be a common oversight. And poor place placement or forgetting about it completely can create a very bad user experience.

In this post, I’ll go over good toilet paper holder locations and what the guidelines say as well as look at some alternative options.

Let’s dive in!

Where should I place my toilet roll holder?

The rule of thumb is that the toilet roll holder should be located within easy reach of somebody seated on the toilet. In most homes, it should be between 20 and 30cm from the side of the toilet bowl.

That said, there is no regulation on whether it should be attached to the wall, the side of the vanity, or even on a counter. You will want to choose a spot that is easy to reach from the throne and also has no impediment to changing out the roll.

Some bathroom designers like to place it on the back wall to the side of the toilet. This looks nice, but if you are not that flexible, reaching around for the TP can be frustrating. It is better for everyone if the toilet roll holder is right at your elbow, not behind your back. This helps your little ones get in the habit of proper bathroom hygiene and discourages the use of just leaving the roll on the vanity.

In very small cloakrooms, you may want to position the toilet roll holder on the wall facing the toilet, since it’s not that far away. In large spa suites, the use of a freestanding toilet roll holder allows your guest to put the TP where they can reach. It also allows for storing it away if you are indulging in a nice bubble bath.

How high should a toilet roll holder be?

Toilet roll holders are typically installed about 650mm from the floor. However, the council inspector will not issue a citation for an improperly mounted toilet roll holder.

If your bathroom is designed for the kids, you might want to drop it down to 550 to 600mm. If this is your private ensuite, and you are on the taller side of life, feel free to raise it to 700mm for easier reach

However, if you’re in North America. Both the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) have recommendations for the placement of your wall-mounted toilet paper holder.

NKBA Recommendation:
They recommend you install the toilet paper holder 26 inches (660mm) above the floor and eight to 12 inches (200-300mm) away from the toilet, measuring from the front of the toilet. This gives you both the space to reach out for it and the proximity, so you aren’t trying to reach too far.

ADA Requirements:
The ADA requires you to install your tissue dispenser on the nearest side wall, a minimum of 19 inches (480mm) above the floor and a maximum of 36 inches (910mm) from the rear wall.

Toilet paper holder location measurement guidelines

Should a toilet paper holder be on the left or right?

This is entirely up to you. Some people want it on the right side, so a right-handed person doesn’t have to stretch to grab some toilet paper. However, others say that reaching across to the left side is more intuitive. Either way, both a righty and a lefty should be able to rip off a sheet without doing any strenuous exercise.

Some designers say you should stand at the door looking into the bathroom and mount the TP roll holder where it is least obvious. So you may attach it to the vanity on the left of the toilet if the vanity stands between the toilet and the door.

If you are doing this for the family bathroom, you may want to run a family poll to reduce the number of comments regarding its final position.

Installation Tips for a Toilet Paper Holder

Adding a toilet paper holder to your bathroom requires more than double-sided tape. Because everyone is going to pull on it multiple times a day, it must be securely bolted to the wall.

  • If you are drilling into the plasterboard, make sure to locate the stud support and install the bolts into the stud.
  • When mounting the holder onto tiles, use a drill bit designed for ceramic.
  • Cover the location with tape before you drill to prevent cracking.
  • If you miss the stud, hammer in a wall plug before adding the screw.
  • Always use the included hardware in the kit. Never opt for smaller screws or bolts.

How much does a toilet paper holder cost?

This is an inexpensive upgrade for your loo. You can find a cheap wall-mounted holder at the hardware store for just £5. But if you want it to match your taps, the towel racks, and even the cabinet hardware, you can spend up to £50.

How Else Can You Store Toilet Paper In A Bathroom?

So, the toilet paper holder just can’t find a good spot on the wall next to the toilet. Where else can it go?

Freestanding Holder

While these tend to be a little pricier than the wall-mount version, they also come with added versatility. The holder is mounted on a pole that stands about 650 mm tall. You can position it within easy reach of the toilet and even move it to better suit individual demands.

Many come with a storage system for extra rolls. It may have a second pole for vertical stacking, a cylindrical bucket on the front, or even a basket. You can find freestanding holders in every kind of finish to match your bathroom decor.

Expect to spend around £30 and up for this choice.

freestanding toilet roll holder
Freestanding toilet paper holder

Dedicated Shelf

You might be a person that wants to hold the roll while removing a few sheets. Instead of the wall-mounted holder, just add a small shelf next to the toilet. You can leave extra rolls or moistened wipes within easy reach of the porcelain throne. Mount it at a height that is comfortable for your use.

The DIY store will have pre-finished shelving available that can match your vanity or woodwork.  A shelf requires similar tools and supplies to install and can range in cost from £15 to £30.

Over-the-tank Organiser

We are a nation of tiny bathrooms. Thank goodness for the person who created the over-the-tank organiser. These can be wall-mounted or are sold as DIY freestanding units that you put together yourself.

The legs fit over the cistern and the top features shelves and cupboards. It’s a great upgrade for your city flat and gives you loads of room to store extra toilet paper rolls, towels, shampoo, and other sundries within easy reach of the toilet, shower, and vanity. Cost? £40 to £150.

Discreet Storage Basket

Your small cloakroom has no linen closet or vanity under the basin. The one roll of toilet paper on the wall will likely run out on your guests. Tuck a small covered basket under the basin and keep a few extra rolls inside.

No installation is required and you can find designer options for between £10 and £20. There might also be room in it for an extra bar of soap and a towel.

Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Some helpful advice and tips when it comes to positioning your toilet paper holder.

Whilst there are some helpful guidelines when it comes to heights and distances, ultimately it’s up to you, the user, to find the best location that works for you. And, with lots of alternative options on the market, that may not need to be a fixed holder mounted on the wall.


Michael R

Michael is a KBB designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom installations for over eight years now, and before that, he was an electrician and part of a KBB fitting team. He created The Bathroom Blueprint in early 2020.