A toilet paper holder is rarely thought about until it is time to replace it. This little fixture is found installed on or in drywall, on the side of vanities and on tiled walls. Most toilet paper holders are held in place with adhesives, screws or anchors. Toilet paper holders attached with an adhesive take a little more time to remove, but with the right tools it isn't that difficult to take off an old toilet paper holder.
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Wall Mount With Brackets
A simple wall mount — whether it be on drywall, a tiled wall or the side of a vanity — can easily be removed with a small screwdriver, an Allen wrench or a cordless drill with a Philips bit, depending on the fastener type. Look underneath the side posts of your toilet paper holder. You should find a small screw in each one.
Loosen the screws with the appropriate screwdriver or Allen wrench. When the screws are loose enough the posts will come off. The screws that fasten the brackets to support the posts can be removed with your cordless drill.
Wall Mount With Glue
A glued-on wall-mounted toilet paper holder is usually ceramic. This type of holder will not have brackets to keep it in place. Instead, an adhesive pad or adhesive is used to secure its base to the wall.
Remove the toilet paper holder by heating the adhesive behind the back of each post and the wall with a hair dryer or heat gun. Heat guns get hot quickly, so use caution to ensure you do not get burned or cause damage to the surrounding tiles. Once the ceramic and adhesive are heated, use a hammer to tap the handle of a putty knife until the blade slides behind the posts easily.
Wall Mount With Mastic
Ceramic toilet paper holders held in place with mastic are almost always installed on a tiled wall. The nubs at the base of the holder posts are embedded between the surrounding tiles and then grouted around.
To remove the posts, cut the grout loose with a grout removal tool. Removing the grout gives you access to the nub. Use your hammer and chisel to pry behind each post to remove them. Wear protective gloves and safety glasses when removing these posts, as they can shatter.
Recessed Toilet Paper Holders
Simple recessed toilet paper holders are screwed to studs, and are removed by loosening the two visible screws. If there are no visible screws, it is possible that your toilet paper holder could be glued to the wall, or held in place by a mounting bracket. A glued-on recessed holder is removed by cutting the caulking around it with a utility knife and prying it out.
If the holder is not mounted with screws or glued to the wall, it is held in place with a flexible mounting bracket. Grasp the holder with both hands. Push the holder up and pull out to release the top of the holder from the bracket. Slide the holder downwards to completely remove it from the mounting bracket.
Based in Oklahoma City, Debbie Tolle has been working in the home-improvement industry since 2001 and writing since 1998. Tolle holds a Master of Science in psychology from Eastern Illinois University and is also a Cisco-certified network associate (CCNA) and a Microsoft-certified systems engineer (MCSE).