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Cabinets Next to the Toilet Stool

August 23rd, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

What is the standard dimension that a cabinet next to the toilet should be installed? How much room is needed between the cupboard end and the stool in the bathroom? This has been an age old question from many customers through the years.

Generally, if there’s anywhere from eighteen inches (18”) to fifteen inches (15”) from the cupboard side to the center of the tank, this is an acceptable distance. If you try to go lower than that it will really make things cramped, especially if there’s a wall on the other side of the bowl. Ultimately, you want to try and center the fixture between the tub, shower, or wall that is on the other side.

I have seen bathroom cupboard designs where the installation dimensions were less than the acceptable standards, but the area looked really small. Anything less than the fifteen inch rule doesn’t allow enough room to clean next to the cabinets or the walls.

The Problem
You will usually run into this problem, of not having enough room, when purchasing cabinets from Home Depot, Lowes or other large home supply centers. You are very dimensionally limited when purchasing prefabricated cabinets from any supplier. The large vanity cupboards will often just be a couple of inches too large for the area around the toilet bowl and the smaller ones leave too large of a gap. It can be a very frustrating scenario.

Overcoming the Problem
If you must have the correct placement of the cabinet end in relation to where the bowl will be located, you will have to get your cabinets from a custom manufacturer. People often shudder at the thought of having to do this, but you might be surprised at how reasonably priced a local cupboard manufacturing company may be.

Suggestions for Allowing a Smaller Distance than Recommended

If you get prefab cupboards and decrease the increment to be smaller than the recommended size, make sure you consider where the paper hanger will be installed. It might be a good idea for you to consider getting the style toilet paper holder that gets cut into the side of the cupboard. These are called flush mounted or recessed TP holders. If you don’t, you will be losing an additional four to six inches of comfort once the holder is installed that protrudes out.

The Cost of a Recessed Paper Holder
They can range anywhere from ten dollars ($10) to two hundred dollars ($200). Those prices are for just the fixtures. You can plan on paying no less than about seventy five dollars to have a cabinet installer cutout the side of the cupboard and install the hidden toilet paper holder.

Available Designs
There are several styles of the recessed toilet paper holders that get cut into the sides of the cupboard. The most popular metals are chrome, polished brass, brushed silver, satin nickel, oil rubbed bronze and brushed bronze.

Installing a Flush Mounted TP Holder
You could attempt to cut your own hole in the side of the cabinet. You would basically follow the same instructions that are in this article on making an electrical outlet cutout in a cabinet.

The fifteen inch rule of thumb used for determining where a toilet stool should be in relation to the end of a cabinet can be overridden by simply having a seat on the throne and determining how close will be a tolerable distance. Usually cabinets next to the stool are made to be the same distance as the wall is to the center of the tank. This will make the toilet bowl look centered. If there’s not a wall next to the bowl then you have a little more flexibility.

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