Installing A Recessed Toilet Paper Holder

Tips and instructions on how to install a recessed toilet paper holder, including a list of supplies, tools and materials you will need.

Most recessed toilet paper holders are of the ceramic type. In this example will assume that is indeed the case. This is not as difficult a task as it might seem. Some tools you might need are as follows: a hammer, keyhole saw, razor knife or box cutter, chisel, caulk gun, tape measure, level, shop vac, and a pencil. Some of the materials you might need would be a tube of latex caulk, ceramic tile grout, masking tape, some construction adhesive, and of course the paper holder itself.

You first need to determine the exact location where you want to install your fixture. Now look at the back of the fixture. Most fixtures are approximately six inches long by five inches wide. If you look on the back of the fixture you will notice that in the center there will be a square that measures approximately five inches by four inches, it will also be raised about one half inch. You will need an exact measurement of this raised area as it will be the actual size of the hole we are going to cut into the wall. For this example we are going to assume that the raised area is indeed five inches by four inches and raised one half inch.

Now we will prepare to cut the hole, but first we must mark the wall. Take a level and hold it on the wall at the height you would want the bottom of the fixture to be. Make sure the level reads level. Now place the fixture on the top of the level. Take a pencil and place a trace around the sides and top of the fixture. Put down the fixture and draw a line across the top of the level. You should have a nice level square drawn on the wall. Now grab a tape measure. Since the raised portion on the back of the fixture will determine the size of the hole we are going to cut, we have to adjust the size of the square we marked on the wall. In this example we have determined that the fixture size is six by five inches, and the raised portion on the back is five by four inches. The square we marked on the wall is going to be the actual fixture size "six by five" and not the smaller size of the raised portion on the back, we have to adjust the size of the marked square on the wall before we cut it. Take the tape and measure from the bottom mark of the square towards the center one half of an inch. Do this for the sides and top also. Now take the level again and place it on the mark you made from the bottom and make another level line taking note not to allow your pencil mark to go outside of the original square we drew on the wall. Do this for the sides and the top.

Now we are ready to cut the hole. Take a keyhole saw and carefully cut out the inside "smaller" square we marked on the wall. If you hit a stud while cutting you may have to use a razor knife or box cutter to finish the job. Now take the fixture and check to make sure it fits in the hole. If it does not make any adjustments necessary until it does. We are now ready to glue it into place. You may use either construction adhesive or unsanded tile grout to bond the fixture into place. I prefer the grout as it is easier to clean up if you inadvertently get some on the wall or the fixture but I will explain both methods. If using the construction adhesive you have to be careful and to use it sparingly. Place a small bead around the back edge and in between the raised portion of the fixture. Now place it into the hole and press firmly. Take some masking tape and use it to hold the fixture on the wall until the adhesive dries. If any glue squeezed out the sides it will need to be cleaned off before the adhesive dries. After the adhesive dries remove the tape and place a small bead of latex caulk around the entire fixture, insert the roller and tissue to finish the job. If any adhesive got on the wall during installation you will probably have to touch up the paint as it is almost impossible to get off.

Now I will explain the grout method. Take a bucket and mix a small amount of grout with water. You will want the consistency to be that of peanut butter and the amount to be about the size of a softball when mixed. Take the grout and place a softball size pile on the back of the fixture. Press the fixture firmly into the hole. While holding the fixture into place with one hand, wipe any excess grout off the other hand. If you take your finger and smooth the joints around the fixture, you will not have to caulk it in with latex caulk. The fixture should stay in place by itself, however if it does not use some masking tape to help hold it into place. Take a damp sponge and wipe the walls and any excess grout that may have gotten on the fixture. In most cases when the fixture is installed with grout, you do not have to caulk in the joints around the fixture. If you are not satisfied with the joints take a caulk gun and some latex caulk and caulk around the fixtures joints. Once dry, you may install the roller and tissue.

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