How to Make the Most of Over-the-Toilet Storage

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The area above the toilet is perfect for placing towels, toiletries and other necessary bathroom items within easy reach, and they won't take up storage space elsewhere in the room. Take advantage of over-the-toilet storage to make a lot more space in the rest of the bathroom.

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There are many ways to add storage to the area right above the toilet, whether you want an elegant look or something full of rustic charm. You can go the DIY route and get super creative, or you can buy something that's easy to install and simple to set right in place. Explore all kinds of different ideas for over-the-toilet storage to find out which option is going to work best for you.

Store It With Shelves

Shelves are one of the easiest options for over-the-toilet storage because it's completely in your control. You can choose floating shelves, a single shelf or a whole shelving unit. You decide where it goes, how to space your shelves and how much shelving you want to put above your toilet.

Go super rustic with reclaimed wood shelves, create a modern look with glass shelves or put an industrial flair into your design with metal or mesh shelves. Use floating shelves to create a simple, streamlined look. Floating shelves can be painted to match the walls exactly or can be a contrasting or complementing color.

If you're going to mount your shelves, you have even more options when it comes to choosing brackets. Pipes are used as shelf brackets in some industrial bathroom designs. Shelf brackets can be anything from simple pegs to elaborate metal brackets designed in an ornate style.

Everyone becomes a DIYer with over-the-toilet storage shelves because you will have to mount them on the wall. When you're screwing brackets into the wall with screws, make sure you're screwing into the wall studs. This ensures the shelves can support their own weight as well as anything you store on them. If you attach shelves to drywall alone, they will be able to support very little weight, and even the weight of the shelves themselves may be too heavy.

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Build Recessed Shelves

If you want over-the-toilet storage that won't take up any extra space in your bathroom at all, knock out some drywall to create recessed shelves. Mark out a square or rectangle in the wall between wall studs and cut out the drywall using a drywall saw to build shelves right inside the wall.

This can be a tricky DIY project because there's a chance that plumbing pipes, air ducts or electrical wires may be in the wall behind the toilet. You'll need to find a spot that's free of such hindrances or reroute the pipes and/or wires inside the wall if you're determined to have recessed shelves anyway.

Once the wall is opened up, add new drywall all around the opening to frame the area for your shelves. Simple wooden shelf boards can mounted with brackets to span across the opening. Paint it all and suddenly, you have recessed shelves that sit in the wall. This will give you a new place to put items, and it won't stick out into the room at all. When it's all done, recessed shelves are an elegant and easy over-the-toilet storage solution.

Consider Freestanding Storage Units

Bathroom sinks, vanities and bathtubs come in a huge range of sizes. Toilets, however, are pretty standard. There is some variation in size and a lot of different style options, but for the most part, toilets are all pretty much the same. That's why it's so easy to find freestanding units that are designed to stand right over any toilet.

There's a huge variety of freestanding units that stand on the floor on either side of the toilet and rise over the top of the tank. From here, the possibilities are practically endless. These units typically have shelves, cabinets or some combination of the two. Some may have hooks and cubbies included in the design for additional over-the-toilet storage options.

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Freestanding units are available in all sorts of styles to suit any bathroom design, from ornate wooden styles with molding to a simple metal with wire shelves. They can be made in anything from wicker to steel and designed with simplicity or created with an elaborate, decorative flair.

Some assembly may be required with freestanding units, but for the most part, you can simply place them right in the bathroom over the toilet, and you're done. The top 10 best-selling over-the-toilet storage units at Home Depot are all freestanding designs, so this is a popular choice.

Try an Over-the-Toilet Cabinet

Hang a wall-mounted cabinet over the toilet for an easy storage solution. Medicine cabinets are a common bathroom feature, and you can find them in all sizes and styles. There are plenty of medicine cabinets without mirrors, and these tend to look like any ordinary storage cabinet. Look for a cabinet that matches your bathroom vanity to create a cohesive room design. To install a wall cabinet, locate the wall studs with a stud finder and mount the cabinets with screws driven into the studs. The studs will support the weight of the cabinet and everything you put inside of it.

Unique DIY Bathroom Storage Ideas

Over-the-toilet storage is limited only by your own creativity. There are all kinds of ways to use the space above the toilet to give yourself some storage room.

Get some screws or decorative hooks and attach baskets directly to the wall above the toilet for a thrifty DIY option. You can mount the baskets horizontally with the openings facing out or secure them vertically facing upward depending on the look you want. This is a great way to store rolled towels, toilet paper, magazines and other bathroom items. This is also an affordable storage solution for those working with a tight budget.

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Try hanging a wine rack for a fun and simple over-the-toilet storage DIY option. A wine rack is perfect for storing rolled towels, and it adds a truly unique, interesting look to any bathroom.

Do you want to have shelves above the toilet but don't want to hang shelves? Try an idea from OffbeatBros. Install a heavy-duty screw hook into a wall stud (drill a pilot hole first) to support a rope-hanging shelf. This is an incredibly simple way to mount shelves above the toilet, and the rope-hanging design adds boho charm to the room.

Instead of shelves or cabinets, you can mount two horizontal towel racks over the toilet. Using ribbons, rope or hooks, it's easy to hang small baskets from the racks to add some eclectic DIY storage to your bathroom design.

If you just need a little extra over-the-toilet storage but you don't want to make a huge project out of it, just pop some stick-on hooks right on the wall above the toilet. Hang up towels, sponges and other bathroom accessories for easy-access, very simple bathroom storage that requires no tools or sweat to install.

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KC Morgan has been a professional freelance writer since 2006. Over the last decade, KC has published thousands of articles and blog posts that have been read by millions. A DIYer in her free time, KC has written hundreds of how-tos, guides and tutorials for different DIY and improvement projects around the house, all while turning her words into reality inside her own home. KC shares her DIY passion by creating original articles so others can pursue their own home improvement goals and ideas.