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How to Tighten a Loose Toilet Paper Holder

Chris Deziel

If your toilet paper holder is loose, tighten the set screw or mounting plate. In some cases, you may have to re-glue an armature to the back plate.

Toilet paper holders have one or two armatures connected directly to the wall or to a back plate that is screwed to the wall. When one of the armatures loosens, the tension rod holding the paper roll can fall, or the armature itself can come off the wall. Tightening it is uncomplicated and probably the most common bathroom task you'll ever have to perform.

Look for the Set Screw

If your toilet paper holder consists of one or two armatures connected directly to the wall, tightening the set screw holding the loose armature to the mounting bracket should stabilize the holder. The set screw is typically on the underside of the armature. You usually need a 1/8-inch hex wrench to tighten it, although some have single-slot screws that require a flat-head screwdriver.


To prevent the set screws from coming loose again, remove each one, put a drop of thread-locking paste on it, and replace it. When you screw it tight, it will stay that way.

Tighten the Mounting Bracket

Tightening the set screw won't help if the mounting bracket itself is loose. If so, loosen the set screw enough to allow you to remove the armature and inspect the bracket. One of the screws holding it to the wall may be loose; if it is, tighten it with a screwdriver. You may find that one of the conical plastic screw anchors has worked its way out of the drywall, though. If so, remove the anchor and replace it with a threaded plastic anchor. If the hole is too large for that type of anchor to hold, move the paper holder an inch or 2 to the right or left; patch the holes with drywall joint compound and touch up with the wall paint.


For added stability, place at least one of the brackets in front of a wall stud, if possible.

Tighten Armatures Mounted to a Back Plate

If you have wooden paper holder with armatures extending from a back plate, and one or both of the armatures are loose, you need to unscrew the paper holder from the wall to tighten them.

  1. Turn the paper holder over and remove the screws holding the armatures to the plate.

  2. Put a few drops of glue on the ends of the armatures and replace them, driving the screws as tight as possible.

  3. Reset the paper holder on the wall. Avoid using it for four to eight hours to give the glue time to set.