DIY recessed toilet paper holder
DIY

How To Make a Recessed Toilet Paper Holder

Here’s the thing you didn’t know you needed – a recessed toilet paper holder.

I’ll try to refrain from using any potty jokes during this blog post. Okay?

Now, let’s flush out the reasons why a recessed toilet paper holder makes sense in certain situations, and then we’ll get to the bottom of how to make a recessed toilet paper holder.

Number One: A recessed toilet paper holder makes sense for small bathrooms where space is tight or additional storage is needed.

Number Two: You just might like how a recessed toilet paper holder looks. Everyone likes to go in a stylish bathroom.

The idea for our recessed toilet paper holder came when we removed a non-functioning wall heater from a very small bathroom. This wall heater had been situated in between the wall studs.

Our choices were to repair the drywall where the heater used to be located or make use of it. We decided to turn this hole in the wall into a recessed toilet paper holder.


How To Make a Recessed Toilet Paper Holder Step 1: Make a plan.

As much as it pains you and me both, you’re going to have to make a hole in your wall if you want to recess your toilet paper holder.

Don’t go busting a hole in the wall without making a plan first.

We had stone walls behind our drywall, so planning was extra important!

Things to think about include:

Where on the wall do you want your toilet paper holder to go?

How large do you want the recessed area to be? You need space for the holder itself and room to install new rolls of toilet paper. This is particularly important if you’re installing a single post toilet paper holder where the toilet paper roll slides on from the side.

Are you absolutely sure there’s space between the studs to create a recessed toilet paper holder?

Are you absolutely sure you’ve picked a spot in the wall where there are no pipes or wires or anything else problematic to this plan?

How are you going to trim out your recessed toilet paper holder?

Are you adding a shelf or any other bells and whistles to this toilet paper holder?

How To Make a Recessed Toilet Paper Holder Step 2: Get to work. 

Carefully make a hole in your drywall.

Our hole already existed, so that part was easy.

We decided to trim out our recessed toilet paper holder area with wood. We used 1/2-inch pine and birch plywood to cover the recessed area’s back, sides, and front.

The benefit of using wood for this project is that it provides a solid spot to attach a single post toilet paper roll holder.

You could use drywall for this too if that’s the look you are going for. Just make sure you use the best wall anchors possible to attach your toilet paper holder.

The dimensions of our recessed toilet paper holder ended up being approximately 13 inches wide by 13 inches tall by 3.25 inches deep.

We filled the nail holes and then stained the entire area with a dark walnut stain.

Last but certainly not least, install your toilet paper holder inside the recessed area.


How To Make a Recessed Toilet Paper Holder Step 3: Sit back and enjoy your work.

Didn’t our recessed toilet paper holder turn out great?

It wouldn’t seem like giving yourself an extra 3 or 4 inches by recessing the toilet paper would matter, but it really does in a small bathroom.

I hope I did my duty in explaining how to make a recessed toilet paper holder. Small bathrooms are weird and awkward spaces to photograph, but I hope you at least leave here with some ideas on how to make the most of your small bathroom space.

Happy DIYing!


P.S. We have this brass toilet paper holder and this oil-rubbed bronze toilet paper holder.


How do you feel about toilet paper holders? What about potty jokes? I’d love to hear about it. You can always comment on this blog post (I have to approve it first before it appears), email me here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook.


Thanks for being here today! I love sharing ideas and jokes with you. Here are some other blog posts you might enjoy.

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