How to Remove a Toilet Paper Holder [Any Type]

Most toilet paper holders are held in place with screws that are hidden from view at first glance. If your toilet paper holder extends from the wall, look on the underside of the mounts. Typically, there will be screw holes visible. You can loosen these screws with a small Allen wrench or screwdriver. Recessed toilet paper holders typically have screws behind the roll of toilet paper that attach to a wall stud. Ceramic toilet paper holders are commonly glued to the wall and must be removed by cutting through the adhesive with an oscillating tool.

How to remove a toilet paper holder

How Do You Remove a Toilet Paper Holder with Hidden Screws?

You can access most hidden screws on toilet paper holders from the underside of the toilet paper mount. However, some are hidden in other areas. First, remove the roll of toilet paper to allow a better look. Then, get down to floor level and inspect the underside of the mount. Is there a visible hole in the underside of the mount? The screw is located there.

  • Remove the toilet paper roll and holder rod.
  • Inspect the holder mounts carefully, including the underside of the mounts.
  • Look for a hole or visible screw head.
  • Once you find the screw hole or head, use an Allen wrench or screwdriver to loosen the screw.
  • Tilt the mount forward to remove it from the wall bracket.
  • Unscrew the wall bracket from the wall.
  • If there are no screw holes, your holder may be glued to the wall.

Once you’ve located the hidden screws, the job gets easier. Experiment with this Allen wrench set or a small screwdriver to find what fits the screw head. Turn the screw counterclockwise to loosen it. Then, the mount should come free of the wall mount. Most wall mounts are affixed to the wall with visible screws. Remove these screws. Then, the work is done.

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3 Removal Methods for Different Types of Toilet Paper Holders

There is no one-size-fits-all removal strategy for all toilet paper holders. However, there are three main types of toilet paper holders. The three common types of holders and their removal methods are:

  • Wall-Mounted Holder: Loosen hidden screws on underside of wall mounts.
  • Recessed Holder: Remove toilet paper roll to reveal screws that attach the holder to a wall stud.
  • Ceramic Holder: Use an oscillating multi-tool to cut through adhesive that glues the holder to the wall.

You can remove each of these types of toilet paper holder easily with just a few tools. Here’s how:

Wall Mounted Toilet Paper Holder

If your toilet paper holder consists of one or two arms that extend from the wall, holding the toilet paper roll, it’s likely held in place with hidden screws. Most metal toilet paper holders are of this variety. To remove one of these holders:

  • Remove the toilet paper roll and holder rod.
  • Inspect the sides and bottom of the mount(s) for a visible screw hole.
  • Use an allen key or wrench to loosen the screw within the hole. Turn the screw counterclockwise to loosen.
  • Tilt the mount forward and back to free it from the wall bracket.
  • Remove the screws that hold the wall bracket in place.

Once the wall mount is removed, you are often left with a flat metal wall bracket. The screws that hold the wall bracket are typically visible and easy to remove with a screwdriver or electric drill.

Recessed Toilet Paper Holder

Some toilet paper holders are recessed into the wall. This is accomplished by cutting a hole in the drywall and using screws to attach the toilet paper holder to a wall stud. To remove a toilet paper holder of this style:

  • Remove the toilet paper roll and toilet paper rod.
  • Inspect the back of the holder. This is the area that is usually hidden from sight by the toilet paper roll.
  • If screw heads are visible in the face of the recessed holder, remove them with a screwdriver or electric drill.
  • After removing screws, the holder should come free.
  • If there are no visible screws, the holder is probably glued in place. Follow the steps for removing a ceramic toilet paper holder to complete removal.

Recessed holders are often among the easiest types to remove as long as they are screwed in place. If no screws were used to install the holder, things get a little trickier. Don’t worry though! Follow the next process to remove one of these holders without damaging your wall.

Ceramic Toilet Paper Holder

Most ceramic toilet paper holders are secured with adhesive, not screws. This may make the job seem difficult at first, but we promise removal isn’t complicated. Just follow these steps:

  • Remove the toilet paper roll and rod before inspecting the holder for screws.
  • If there are no screw holes, the holder is likely glued to the wall.
  • Stick painter’s tape to the wall around the base of the toilet paper holder, to protect the wall from damage.
  • Use this oscillating multi-tool to cut through the adhesive between the toilet paper holder and the wall.
  • Most times, the adhesive is only around the outer edge of the holder, meaning you only have to cut around the perimeter of the holder.
  • If the toilet paper holder doesn’t come free after cutting, use a hammer and this pry bar to gently pry the toilet paper holder from the wall.
  • Once the holder is free of the wall, remove the painter’s tape from the wall.
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Work slowly and carefully while cutting the adhesive that bonds the toilet paper holder to the wall. Cutting with a multi-tool makes the job easy and prevents wall damage. Using a hammer, chisel, or pry bar risks damaging your wall. So, stick to the multi-tool unless other tools are absolutely necessary.

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How Do You Tighten a Loose Toilet Paper Holder?

If your toilet paper holder is loose, this is typically due to a loose grub screw, wall bracket, or failing adhesive. To fix any of these problems and tighten your toilet paper holder securely to the wall:

  • Loose Grub Screw: Inspect the underside of the toilet paper holder mounts for screw holes. Insert an allen key or screwdriver into the hole and tighten the screw by turning it clockwise.
  • Loose Wall Bracket: Remove the wall-mounted toilet paper holder as described above. Tighten the screw that secures the bracket to the wall.
  • Failing Adhesive: Remove the ceramic toilet paper holder as described above. Apply new adhesive to re-install your ceramic toilet paper holder securely to the wall.

These methods work for most common types of toilet paper holders. If your toilet paper holder is secured with screws driven into drywall, you may need to consider repairing a stripped screw hole to ensure your toilet paper holder remains securely mounted to the wall.

How Do You Get a Toilet Paper Holder Off the Wall?

The best ways to remove a toilet paper holder for replacement, repair, or permanent removal are:

  • Loosen hidden screws on the underside of the toilet paper holder mount to allow it to come free of the wall.
  • Remove the toilet paper roll and rod to access screws at the back of a recessed toilet paper holder. Remove these screws.
  • In the case of a toilet paper holder with no screws, use an oscillating tool to cut through the adhesive that bonds the holder to the wall.

These methods cover all the common types of toilet paper holders. Remember to always search for hidden screw holes before attempting to cut a toilet paper holder free. The screw holes may be hiding on the underside or in another hard-to-see area.

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