Bathrooms are often looked to for storing a bevy of items. Linens, towels, medicines, extra toilet paper, and more are usually hidden behind the doors of bathroom cabinets. Adding a cabinet over the toilet is an excellent location for additional bathroom storage. So you are wondering, how high should a bathroom cabinet be hung over the toilet? Using research, we thoroughly answer your question here.
A bathroom cabinet should be hung approximately 2-feet or 24-inches above the top of the bathroom toilet. This recommendation is for a standard tanked toilet. Consider the following issues when choosing a height for a cabinet over any toilet type.
- Cabinet Depth
- Cabinet Height
- User Height
- Toilet Height
- Available Space
Keep reading the rest of this post for a rundown on each of the above bullet points. We will provide all you need to know to make an informed decision on where to place your above-toilet cabinet. We also include a quick guide on installing these cabinets and the answers to a few related questions.
How far above a toilet should a cabinet be?
To accurately answer this question depends on the type of toilet. The most common type of toilet has a tank for the water behind the seat. This tank sticks up about a foot and a half above the seat. However, some toilets do not have a tank, and different tanked toilets have different sized tanks. Thus, the above recommendation of 2-feet above the toilet is challenging to apply equally to all bathrooms.
Click here for a well-reviewed tape measure from Amazon. A tape measure is an essential tool when deciding where to install an above-toilet cabinet.
Instead, install your above-toilet cabinet to ensure it is high enough above the seat so no one will bump their head on the cabinet corner but low enough actually to use the cabinet’s storage. Use the advice in the following subsections to determining the height appropriate for you and your above-toilet cabinet. Generally, this equates to an installation height of 50 to 70 inches above the bathroom floor.
The depth of a cabinet refers to the distance from the front to the back of the cabinet. The deeper the cabinet, the more it will stick out from the wall. This means that deeper cabinets should probably be placed higher up the wall than shallower cabinets.
Very deep cabinets might be inappropriate for an above-toilet application. This is because after doing their business, a person might stand up and smack into the bottom of the cabinet. Or perhaps, a person will hit their head bending down to use the flush handle.
For very shallow cabinets, you might be able to place them very close to the top of the toilet without risking them getting in the way. If this is the case, choose a cabinet height that maximizes the utility of the storage space (ease of use).
Taller cabinets might not fit above a toilet. There will not be enough room for the cabinet and all the people using the bathroom for some tall cabinets. When this is the case, you should downsize the cabinet. It is not worth installing a cabinet that decreases the usability of your bathroom space.
For very short cabinets, it is sometimes possible to hang them much higher up a wall. If they do not need much vertical space and can still reach them, there is no reason to hang them a specific distance above the floor. It is possible to hang hooks of the bottom for small towels and other items for some very short cabinets.
User height is the next issue to consider when choosing your above-toilet cabinet placement. Generally, it is safe to assume that people of average height will be using the bathroom. However, if you know that very tall people will be using the bathroom, adjust accordingly. For very tall people, probably bring the cabinet up higher to stay out of their way and make the storage easily accessible.
If you find yourself regularly bumping your head on a toilet cabinet. Consider installing bumpers on the bottom corners of the cabinet to save yourself the headache.
Not all toilets are the same height. Toilet height can vary significantly both by toilet type and within a single toilet type. Read this excellent article to learn more about the different types of available toilets, “How Much Does A Toilet Weigh? [Including With Water].”
So, rather than basing the height of your above-toilet cabinet on the toilet’s height, consider the issues outlined above. If you do this, the cabinet will usually range anywhere from 20-inches to 40-inches above the highest point of the toilet.
When choosing how high to place your cabinet above the toilet, consider the space available in the room. For cramped bathrooms, you might need to put a cabinet higher up the wall to provide enough space for bathroom utility. For roomier bathrooms, you might not be as limited in your choices.
Sometimes, you might be installing a tall enough cabinet to squeeze up against a low ceiling, leaving the bottom edge closer to the toilet than you originally wanted. If you need the storage, it might be worth installing the cabinet anyways.
How do you mount a bathroom cabinet over a toilet?
To mount a bathroom cabinet over a toilet, first, find the center point of the toilet. You will want to make sure that the cabinet lines up with this center. If you do not, the cabinet will look accidentally offset and hastily installed.
Next, find the studs behind your toilet. Usually, there is a stud in the wall every 16-inches. Use a stud finder or tap with your hammer to locate the studs. Mark these with a pencil or other removable marking. If you do not hit studs with your screws, the cabinet runs the risk of falling.
Finally, using screws that are at least 2-inches long. Screw through the cabinet brace piece/pieces into the studs. The bracing piece is a solid piece of wood on the back of the cabinet designed for hanging the cabinet. This is possible with a screwdriver but is much easier if you use a power drill. Put as many screws in the cabinet as possible without compromising the stability of the brace pieces. Also, it is smart to use washers on the wood side of the screws.
How do you secure an over-the-toilet cabinet?
Secure an over-the-toilet cabinet using the strategies outlined in the above section if you feel that the cabinet is insecure. Hire a professional contractor or handyman for peace of mind and an excellent finished product.
How do you hang a bathroom cabinet without studs?
Usually, there will be studs behind your bathroom cabinet. However, sometimes this isn’t the case. You can use drywall anchors or run a piece of backing wood across from adjacent studs for this situation.
While not appropriate for large cabinets, drywall anchors can be used for light items such as medicine cabinets. These anchors are punched through the drywall and then spread out inside the wall. This takes the force of the cabinet and spreads it out over a large area.
Be cautious, these anchors can fail, and if you overload the cabinet, it might fall off the wall with little warning. To avoid this, follow the directions included with the drywall anchors very carefully and attach as many of these anchors as possible.
Sometimes, there are no studs behind where you want to hang the cabinet, but there are studs nearby. In this situation, you can take a piece of wood and attach it to a stud on either side of the cabinet. Then you can attach the cabinet to the piece of wood.
The downside of the technique is that it leaves an unsightly piece of backing wood on either side of your cabinet. Take the time to carefully finish and paint the wood, and it should look better. Or, feature this piece of wood and hang towel hooks from it!
In this post, we have answered the question of how high a cabinet should be above a toilet. We have included advice for all toilet types and bathrooms. We also provide a quick primer on installing a cabinet and answering a few related questions. Good luck!
Once you have installed your above-toilet cabinet, you might want to paint it. Read this great article to learn what type of paint to use, “What Kind Of Paint Should You Use On Bathroom Cabinets?“