Where To Put a Toilet Paper Holder in a Small Bathroom

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If you live in a small apartment and you’re anything like me, you’ll want to maximize space as much as possible. 

I distinctly remember living in an NYC shoebox-sized studio apartment. That bathroom was extremely tiny.

It’s all well and good until you remember you have to put the toilet paper somewhere. Preferably somewhere on hand and easy to, you know, use.  

Depending on the size of your bathroom, there are a lot of options available. 

My personal recommendation (depending on the layout of your bathroom) is to get a toilet paper holder that mounts to the toilet itself. 

This should save you as much space as possible while still making the toilet paper easy to access and use. I kinda wish I’d known about it when I lived in that shoebox. 

Let’s go over some different options that might work for you, depending on the layout of your bathroom. 

Mounted Options

On the wall beside the toilet 

white flush toilet in modern bathroom interior

This works well if you have a toilet parallel to a wall, with a bit of space between the wall and toilet. 

According to Home Depot, you should install it 26 inches (66 cm) off the floor and 8-12 inches (20 – 30 cm) away from the toilet. 

However, make sure you sit on the toilet first and suss out what height works best. The last thing you want is having to reach too far up or down when you need to wipe. 

On the sink cabinet 

This option works well if your sink cabinet is beside your toilet. All you need to do is attach the holder to the side of the cabinet.

Use the same rough height instructions as above. Of course, you may need a bit more flexibility with this option depending on the location, height and depth of your cabinet. 

On the wall opposite the toilet 

Is your bathroom so cramped that your knees nearly touch the opposite wall when you sit on your toilet? I’ve been there, and I know the pain

But there’s an easy solution. Just install your toilet paper holder on the opposite wall. 

You’ll have to lean forward a bit, but it’s a small price to pay for having easy access to TP in such a small bathroom. 

Behind the toilet 

Toilet paper holder on a wall behind a toilet

If none of the above options suit your space and you are really attached to using a wall-mounted holder, then you can attach it to the wall behind your toilet. 

However, this will be super inconvenient to use. 

Personally, I would recommend using an over-the-tank toilet paper holder instead (see more below). 

Or if that doesn’t fit, just go with a simple basket on the back of your toilet.  

Toilet paper shelf holder  

VAEHOLD Self Adhesive Toilet Paper Holder with Phone Shelf SUS 304 Stainless Steel Wall Mounted Toilet Paper Roll Holder - Rustproof and Bathroom Washroom Tissue Roll Holder with Shelf - Black

The cool thing about this design is that you get a bit of extra storage space built in, which is a godsend in a small bathroom. Use this space for diffuser or bathroom spray. 


Use one built in with a full-on treasure box. Sure, you can put something boring like wet wipes in it. But imagine what else you could put in it. Maybe some of your favorite magazines to read while doing your morning deed….

Day Moon Designs Toilet Paper Holder with Shelf - Flushable Wipes Dispenser & Storage Fits Any Bathroom, Keep Your Wet Wipes Hidden - Stainless Steel Wall Mount Bathroom Organizer - Matte Black, Large

Regardless of what you put in it, this is a great opportunity to get some extra, much-needed, storage space into your tiny bathroom. 

Self-adhesive options

If you are in doubt and want a removable holder, try this self-adhesive, removable toilet paper roll. This is also great if you are staying somewhere short-term. 

Just try it in one of the locations mentioned above (or all of them if that works better for you). 


SunnyPoint Bathroom Toilet Tissue Paper Roll Storage Holder Stand with Reserve, The Reserve Area Has Enough Space to Store Mega Rolls; Chrome Finish

Freestanding toilet paper holders can be moved around and can store multiple rolls all at once, making them a great space-saving solution. 

You can put a standing roll holder beside your toilet, in front of your toilet. Or you could even store it outside your bathroom and bring it in with you. 

However, there are downsides to this. You’ll need some free floor space in the first place (unless you can store it at the back of the toilet). They aren’t always at the most convenient height or reach when it comes to actually wiping. 

Having said that, if you have some floor space to spare, a standing holder will free up space that you would’ve otherwise used to store your extra rolls.  

If you’re not fussed about holding extra rolls and want a more elegant design, check out this option (it pairs nicely with a back of toilet basket to store your extra rolls).

Over the tank toilet paper roll holder 

TQVAI Over The Tank Toilet Paper Roll Holder for Bathroom Tissue, Chrome Finish

If you’re in dire straits when it comes to space, this is probably my favorite space-saving option, simply because it only requires a few inches beside your toilet. 

I think it looks great as well, and because it holds two rolls, you don’t have to worry about running out before you’ve finished wiping (cue awkward shuffle to storage closet or loud yelling to other household member, which I’ve done multiple times).

Over the toilet shelves

What I like about this option is that it gives you both a place to store your toilet paper and extra storage space all in one go. 

Just make sure to measure the space above your toilet so you know for sure it will actually fit before you buy.

Back of the toilet basket 

[Larger Compartments] Toilet Tank Topper Paper Basket - Multiuse Split Hand Woven Plastic Wicker Basket with Divider for Organizing, Rustic Farmhouse Bathroom Decor, Countertop Organizer Storage, Gray

This option is great for storing extra rolls but annoying if you constantly have to reach around behind you when you need to wipe. 

This option is probably best as a storage option for spare rolls if you’re using a wall-mounted holder.

As you can see, there are many places to put your toilet paper holder in a small bathroom and even more design options. The option that will work best for you will depend on your specific bathroom and toilet setup. 

However, I have to say if a wall-mounted option doesn’t make sense for you, then I’m a big fan of an over-the-tank holder. That option will save the most space out of the options I listed above. 

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