Custom Recessed Toilet Paper Holder

Help Support House Repair Talk:

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,535
Reaction score
844
I know I've always got tons of projects going on in planning, but this is one that I'm hoping I can do in the not-so-distant future (after I get my bathroom fixed up more).

The guest bathroom will have very limited space and I don't want a tp holder that sticks out too far for people to bump in to. I also don't want water splashing on the tp from the sink. I want to have a recessed tp holder. I do have an old one in the wall, but it's too small for the mega rolls & is in terrible shape. I saw some nice wooden ones but they were over $100. So, I came up with a plan & calculated the cost at much much lower.

Since I couldn't find picture frame wood for framing the front where it fits on the side of the vanity, I got a metal frame close enough to the size I wanted for $1 (hooray for Dollar Tree).
I measured it carefully and measured the mega rolls. They are about 4" wide x 5-1/4" deep. Since I want it to have a little wiggle room & I have trouble seeing the smaller numbers on my measuring tape, I decided to go with 5-1/2" for the depth instead of 5-5/8" (I need some sort of magnifying glass or reading glasses for anything that isn't size 20 font these days). I don't need the sides & back to be as thick as top and bottom (don't really need top to be all that thick but it will make it easier to nail/screw things together if it's thicker.

So, my plan is to take a single 1x6x4' board (which is cheaper than the 1x6x2'). It is just the right width for the 5-1/2" depth for top and bottom. I will use one 1/4"x2'x2' cheap plywood panel for top & sides. I know the 1x is actually 3/4" which works out fine because that is the thickness of the picture frame.

I will make the inside of the box fit to the interior dimensions of the picture frame (exterior is 11-3/8"H x 9-3/8"W less 3/4" for interior measurement of 10-5/8"H x 8-5/8"W). I know this makes it have a lot of extra space inside, but there is a reason. I want it to have a shelf for wet wipes & other stuff.

Since the spring-loaded tp rods vary in length (but usually come out to about 6-1/4" or so) I will need to build it up a little. I picked some cheap plinth blocks with routed edges on bottom and sides. 4-1/2"H x 2-3/4"W x 7/8" deep.
That still leaves a little bit of a gap so my options are to make a custom rod (which would be a total pain) or to built it up a little. So, I think I could do a home-made wooden washer with a hole cutting attachment (I think I have some scraps lying around somewhere that I could use) and drill a bigger hole in the center (maybe even do it like some of the toy wheels where there is a wider depression and then a hole all the way through). If I do that approach, I could use a washer and secure the washer with a hidden screw. If it wasn't almost dark and I wasn't so exhausted, I'd go down to the workshop & look for scraps. I can sand the edges up and make them look pretty. The reason for getting storebought plinths is that they are thicker than any of my scraps & they are already routed & primed so they look nice. I will also use scraps to reinforce the interior walls of the vanity around the hole since it is likely made of particle board. I will use L brackets to on top & bottom to hold the box in place on the inside of the vanity.

So my supply list:

I may use some double-sided sticky tape inside of joints to keep things together while screwing (in between glued spots) and masking tape on the outside to hold things together. I may need to get some more clamps to secure things as well. For the construction, the sides will be glued & screwed to the top and bottom. Back will be glued to sides and glued & screwed to top & bottom.

Any suggestions for specific screws ?

My sketches in Sketchup (not including the spring rod- which I need to get exact measurements of).
1621209060077.png1621209175470.png
 
Last edited:

havasu

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 20, 2010
Messages
4,293
Reaction score
244
Why not eliminate the plinth? It'll save you $4, and narrow the box so it is not so wide. Also, if designed right, you could add a second roll of TP on top of the roller.
 

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,535
Reaction score
844
@havasu, I'm making it this wide partially to have room for stuff on the bottom/shelf for storage of things but also because I'm sizing it to the picture frame cover. I could save the $ and see if I have scrap wood in about the right size. It won't look as pretty, but it would do the job. I wish I knew how to make a custom rod easily. I saw it on Youtube and it involved tools I don't have and using metal pipes. I may actually have a router bit that would do nicer edging but I need to practice with using the router attachment. Also need to see if my drill press can still function. Last I recall, tenant had broken it while we were away & it was leaking oil all over everything whenever Dad tried to use it.

When it's not raining I'll have to go check the scrap wood bin in the workshop to see what I have to work with.

Thanks for the suggestion! I think I will modify this to use scraps and try to make the edges look nicer either with sanding or a router. I'll practice on smaller scraps. With the size I'm making this thing, It should probably be able to fit a 2nd tp roll as well, but I'd like to leave it open for wet wipes, tweezers, or whatever else my brother will want to put there. I need to start measuring the shelves I got to see where they will fit in the scheme of things.

Note to self: Find the coil spring tp rod I bought for like $1 the other day (I've looked all over & can't remember where I put it).
 

Hal201

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
2
Location
USA
With the $4 you save, you can get even more creative with the design by adding an acrylic panel on the cover. Or would that be too tacky?
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
490
Reaction score
304
I keep thinking I will design a small simple table for my router that doesn't require a special insert. My idea is to make a hole in a small panel just to fit my router base then cover the panel with white board or hardboard. Place the router in the panel to determine where to drill the hole for the bit. Then drill the hole, fashion a means to clamp the router in position and add legs or a frame that can be clamped to a bench, workmate or table.

The router in a small table can be used to make moldings, picture frames plinth blocks or whatever from wood scraps.
 

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,535
Reaction score
844
Hal, the frame is already the right color.
Eddie, that sounds very cool!

I was looking up design ideas for recessed tp holders with storage and came across this: Coachlight-1 recessed bathroom storage cabinet combination Unit - WG Wood Products
I never thought I would see something so small made out of pine sell for over $720! WTH?
1621375312599.png

It looks very cool-- would be too big to set in the vanity, but it's giving me ideas for my bathroom's storage. Not necessarily recessed, but I like the hidden trash bag, the tissue holder, etc. I'm certain it could be built for a fraction of what they want for it.
It would be great in my friend's bathroom, but his walls are all shiplap and don't have proper studs to be able to put something like that in.

I'm still searching for the little spring-loaded tp roller I bought. Can't seem to find it. I want to take measurements to make it fit. Other tp holders in the house are the extended things for mega rolls. I'm making this big enough that it won't need an extender.

I'm partially considering getting a big enough dowel rod, painting it, and creating a slot to slide it in to for the holder, but I'm sure it would rub the paint off the sides/edges & look ugly.
 

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,535
Reaction score
844
I will probably just use the regular spring-loaded one and build up the sides with scrap wood or find a broken/older or very cheap spring-loaded tp roller & attach it to extend the roller.
 

Spicoli43

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
318
Reaction score
217
Location
Montana
Hal, the frame is already the right color.
Eddie, that sounds very cool!

I was looking up design ideas for recessed tp holders with storage and came across this: Coachlight-1 recessed bathroom storage cabinet combination Unit - WG Wood Products
I never thought I would see something so small made out of pine sell for over $720! WTH?
View attachment 25777

It looks very cool-- would be too big to set in the vanity, but it's giving me ideas for my bathroom's storage. Not necessarily recessed, but I like the hidden trash bag, the tissue holder, etc. I'm certain it could be built for a fraction of what they want for it.
It would be great in my friend's bathroom, but his walls are all shiplap and don't have proper studs to be able to put something like that in.

I'm still searching for the little spring-loaded tp roller I bought. Can't seem to find it. I want to take measurements to make it fit. Other tp holders in the house are the extended things for mega rolls. I'm making this big enough that it won't need an extender.

I'm partially considering getting a big enough dowel rod, painting it, and creating a slot to slide it in to for the holder, but I'm sure it would rub the paint off the sides/edges & look ugly.
Your project sounds great, and this picture is great as well, but they are smoking some serious crack with that price. I don't think anybody is actually paying that considering they need enough knowledge to knock out the drywall by the studs and frame it in, so if they know that, they probably have the saws and know that even today, that's about $50 max worth of wood.
 

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,535
Reaction score
844
Spicoli, the site had something about professional installation offered too, but I don't think that is included in the price. But I completely agree with your assessment on how much they are charging. Sadly, there are some people who will pay that price and then pay someone even more to install it. As my dad used to say "People are stupid". They want at least $120 for the sort of box I'm planning to make. I'm not the most skilled or coordinated person but I did get an A in woodworking class in high school. I know, not much of a flex considering that was over 20 years ago. LOL. But I can measure and use power tools. I have a nail gun and air compressor again. Also have a staple gun now. I think I'd prefer screws and wood glue though. I think I will make a mockup out of cardboard (and make it to the right thickness if possible to get the shape & size to see how it looks).

I need some sort of magnifier to read the measuring tape. I can't even see which line is being touched because my vision has gotten so bad now.
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
490
Reaction score
304
When I built my house we bought matching toilet paper holders, towel bars, shower curtain rod, switch and outlet covers. Then as you can see toilet paper was downsized and my holders look crappy. I can move the posts but replacement rollers won't fit the posts. My idea is to find a sleeve that fits the roller so I can cut a section out or maybe cut a section out and turn a dowel on the lathe to hold the sections together. Meanwhile more important things get in the way.

0519212229.jpg
 

Spicoli43

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
318
Reaction score
217
Location
Montana
Spicoli, the site had something about professional installation offered too, but I don't think that is included in the price. But I completely agree with your assessment on how much they are charging. Sadly, there are some people who will pay that price and then pay someone even more to install it. As my dad used to say "People are stupid". They want at least $120 for the sort of box I'm planning to make. I'm not the most skilled or coordinated person but I did get an A in woodworking class in high school. I know, not much of a flex considering that was over 20 years ago. LOL. But I can measure and use power tools. I have a nail gun and air compressor again. Also have a staple gun now. I think I'd prefer screws and wood glue though. I think I will make a mockup out of cardboard (and make it to the right thickness if possible to get the shape & size to see how it looks).

I need some sort of magnifier to read the measuring tape. I can't even see which line is being touched because my vision has gotten so bad now.
Yeah, morons will always exist. I have an idiot friend that bought a $5000 dining room table that looks an awful lot like my $200 one. I just don't even bring that stuff up anymore, I can't cure them.

You could probably make that all with Brad nails since it's not holding anything heavy.

My vision has been messing with me in the last few years, but it's getting better since I ditched all the LED's and switched back to 150w Incandescents throughout the house. I need to get some Blu Light indoor glasses to block the glare from the computer monitor though.
 

Spicoli43

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
318
Reaction score
217
Location
Montana
When I built my house we bought matching toilet paper holders, towel bars, shower curtain rod, switch and outlet covers. Then as you can see toilet paper was downsized and my holders look crappy. I can move the posts but replacement rollers won't fit the posts. My idea is to find a sleeve that fits the roller so I can cut a section out or maybe cut a section out and turn a dowel on the lathe to hold the sections together. Meanwhile more important things get in the way.

View attachment 25787
Yeah, that would be about 29,999 on my priority list...
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
490
Reaction score
304
I second the use of brads. Brads, glue and 17 ga nails are still holding in drawers and such that I built 40 years ago.
 

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,535
Reaction score
844
Thanks, I believe one of my nail guns I got in the set is a brad nailer. I will have to practice on some scraps before I use it on the actual holder. I've never used a pneumatic nail gun before.

I think they might sell longer tp rods, but using dowels, drilling out the center, putting in a spring, and inserting another dowel could work. Not sure how to make it so it won't come apart though. Maybe some sort of metal piece inside to stop it from pulling out all the way?
 
Top