Mounting a Toilet Paper Holder to Porcelain Tile

Mount a ceramic, wood or metal toilet paper holder to tile by drilling holes and inserting plastic screw anchors.
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In bathrooms with tiled walls, it's common to find a toilet paper holder made of the same material as the wall tiles inset into the wall. If this is missing, you can still attach a porcelain, metal or wood paper holder to the wall. You'll have to drill two or more holes in the tile, but this isn't as difficult as it sounds. You can then insert plastic screw anchors, which hold surprisingly well in tile. This is a far better strategy than gluing the paper holder -- glue can fail, and it leaves a mess if you ever decide to move the holder.

How to Do It

Mark the screw holes.

Hold the toilet paper holder on the wall where you want it. Make sure it's within easy reach -- it should be slightly higher than toilet and shouldn't force people to reach backward. Ideal placement is 6 to 12 inches from the toilet and 26 inches above the floor. Poke a felt-tip marker through the screw holes on the holder and make a mark on the wall for each one.

Prepare to drill.

Lay a piece of masking tape over each hole and mark the hole location on the tape. The tape will prevent your drill bit from wandering. Choose a masonry drill bit that is the same size as one of the plastic screw anchors you're using. The screw anchors often come with toilet paper holder.

Drill the holes.

Insert the bit in a variable-speed drill and drill a hole on each mark. Operate the drill at a slow speed and immerse the bit frequently in water to keep it cool. It helps to keep a bowl of water by your side for this purpose. Don't forget to drill through the backer board after penetrating the tile.

Set screw anchors.

Insert a screw anchor into each hole. If the hole isn't the right size, you won't be able to push the anchor all the way in with your fingers. Tap it with a hammer until the front edge is flush with the wall.

Attach the toilet paper holder.

Set the paper holder in position and drive a screw into each of the anchors, using a screwdriver or drill with a screw bit. If the holder came with screw caps, tap a cap into each hole after driving in the screw.

Things You Will Need

  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch diamond bit
  • Masking tape
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Plastic anchors
  • Rubber mallet
  • Screwdriver

About the Author

A love of fundamental mysteries led Chris Deziel to obtain a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. A prolific carpenter, home renovator and furniture restorer, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.