Bathroom Behind The Toilet Shelf

Other than the kitchen, what’s the one place where storage is most coveted? The bathroom! In my experience, not matter the size, while you might have cute bath towels that don’t hurt the eyes when displayed, some might find it rather awkward to walk into a bathroom with toilet paper, or worse, feminine products, staring them in the face. But what are you to do when you have very limited storage space in which to hide all the “eyesore” toiletries? Well, I’m sure, if you continue to read, you will find at least one of these 17 bathroom storage ideas that will be the perfect solution to you problem. And while you’re here, check out our toilet cleaning tips, too. You might just find yourself looking for an excuse to hang out in your bathroom.

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Over the Toilet Storage Ideas for an Organized Bathroom

These DIY shelves are super simple to make. Cut some boards, stain them, and put them on simple white brackets. Lovely!

A stylish basket and simple shelf make this bathroom just a little bit cozier.

This above the toilet cabinet is a gorgeous option! It adds a warm, rustic tough and plenty of storage room.

You’d never believe that this is in a mobile home! The toilet storage unit is narrow and complements the space well.

Shelves and deep baskets are pretty and practical. You can easily hide things like toilet paper and personal care products, but they’re still within easy reach. Great idea for a small bathroom.

Create Storage Space

Or turn baskets on their sides before hanging them.

Bathroom Behind The Toilet Shelf Unit

If you can swing it, recessed shelving behind the toilet is a great idea. The toilet plumbing will have to be moved to the side if you plan to do this one, though.

Bathroom behind the toilet shelf unit

Add a towel rack and baskets to make your bathroom look cozier.

Shelving doesn’t have to be used for storage only. Look how wonderfully this shelf adds to the aesthetics of the room!

Buy some crates or make your own to recreate this neat shelving idea.

Make some DIY floating shelves to go above the toilet for tissue and toiletries.

Simple bins with labels keep toiletries, makeup and hair products in their place.

This wire cube is perfect for almost any bathroom space. It provides lots of open storage while still looking neat and tidy.

A simple ladder shelf looks amazing over the toilet! Use it to hang a towel or two and to add baskets for other things.

The Fintorp system from IKEA makes a great storage solution for just about anywhere in your home. Here’s how to set it up for above-the-toilet storage.

Turn a large frame into cubby storage. What a great idea for the kids’ bathroom!

An industrial basket makes lovely storage above the toilet. Use multiples if one won’t hold all your toiletries.

A photo posted by Joanna Stevens Gaines (@joannagaines) on

Whether your bathroom is average size with limited storage space, or it’s extremely small room with no space at all, there is always some hope with a little time and inspiration. Did you find your storage solution here?

I have a house with no linen closet, but it does have a room for the toilet. I removed the towel bar that was over the toilet because I couldn’t see what good towels would do there since it was so far from the sinks and shower and badly wanted shelves or a cabinet for linen storage. Here’s the before picture.

Yawn…. is that not the most boring room you’ve ever seen.

Bathroom behind the toilet shelf

The problem, that doesn’t show in the before picture, is the exhaust fan that’s not that far from the back wall that I felt eliminated the possibility of a closed cabinet — so that left DIY floating shelves over the toilet.

I had already painted the bathroom and removed the useless towel bar shown in the picture.


The next stumbling block came when I wanted 3 42” wide by 16” deep shelves and hated to buy an entire sheet of plywood and have to store the remainder.

When I am in the lumber area of Home Depot I always cruise by to check the discounted lumber bin. It almost always horribly warped stuff that I couldn’t see any use for at all. Last week I checked and it had a sheet of birch plywood that had been split unevenly lengthwise. I asked the guys what was wrong with it and they said someone made an error and didn’t make the cut half way so they were discounting the pieces. $15. OMG. For a sheet of beautiful birch plywood.

I raced home and got the measurements of what I needed and raced back. They cut the three shelves and 2 2” strips that I could fasten to the wall and not have to buy 1” x 2”.

$15! I was excited. Drafting chair.

Okay – so I splurged and bought vinyl 2 ¾” trim for the front edge that was $6.96. for each 8’ piece. All I would have to do is cut it, nail it, and fill the nail heads and I’d be done. Woohoo.


From this point forward I will always, ALWAYS measure, plan, and write down measurements BEFORE purchasing materials.In my haste to get the plywood before someone else bought it I made two errors. I had them cut the shelves 1 inch too wide and I had them cut 2 2″ strips where if I would have planned I would have known I needed 3. So I had a lot of correcting to do before I could get started.

On the bright side — 1 inch to wide is a heck of a lot better than an inch to narrow and this mess put me in the position of finding out what my new sliding compound miter saw could do.

Here’s the planning I did after the lumber was cut and purchased…

Have I ever mentioned that as a career accountant I still do all my thinking in Excel? Anyway — it was at this point I realized I was short on 2″ material and the shelves were too long.

When I finally sat down to work out the plan I knew if someone taller than me used the toilet I didn’t want them bonking their head on the bottom shelf when they sat down. I figured the bottom edge of the bottom shelf should be at standard cabinet height which is 36″ for countertops plus 18″ for space between which equals 54″. That left me with 3 shelves that were 2 3/4″ and 11 1/4″ above each shelf.

NOTE: measure both the back corner where the shelf will go as well and the front edge before cutting lumber. My walls were a solid half-inch narrower at the back than they were at the front. I cut the boards the narrower measurement since the front trim would hide the gap between the shelf and the wall. More talented people than myself might angle cut the shelves — I don’t know.

So now I had the golden opportunity to find out what my 10″ sliding compound miter saw would do. With the aid of the laser light on it I was able to successfully cut an inch off all three 16″ shelves. It wasn’t absolutely perfect, but since the ends would be against the wall it would be fine.

I had the 2″ mounting strips for the 2 back pieces and 4 of the sides. I used a 16″ scrap from the shelves and cut 2″ strips. These turned out surprisingly well. I am pretty tickled with my saw.

I sanded, primed, and painted the 2″ strips and both sides of the shelves planning to touch up where needed after all were installed.

Shelves sanded, primed, and painted and waiting to be installed

Hanging the floating shelves

This picture shows the planned height of the shelves with green boxes and the location of studs with red circles. Of the six attachment points needed there were only 3 studs to be found. I have since found out that 16″ on center is only required code for load bearing walls so builders can feel free to cheap out on lumber on non load bearing walls and my builder took that permission seriously.

I will now try to NOT go on a rant about the construction at my house. Absolutely none on the left, thankfully 2 on the back and one on the right. I’d have to use hollow wall anchors where there are no studs and then screw securely into where there are studs. With the weight distributed across the shelves they should be okay and I don’t plan and an enormous amount of weight on them (this thinking prove faulty later in the process).

The only difficult thing about floating shelves is making dead certain the support boards are level when installed. I triple checked this before proceeding on each piece and it paid off.

I installed the back pieces first after making a chalk mark where the top of each support should be. I ended up adding a chalk mark for the bottom of the top piece since I couldn’t see the top. I had a level on top of the support boards the entire time I was attaching them to make sure it was level.

Bathroom behind the toilet shelf ideas

I attached the back piece first starting with the top shelf and working down. Then I attached the side pieces making sure all was level. Okay — I got impatient and slid the top shelf in as soon as all three supports were installed because I wanted to see.

I forgot to take a picture earlier…

I painted the shelves before hand so it was a matter of inserting them so they rested on all three sides and then I nailed them down to the supports.

Adding the trim and another unanticipated problem

I wanted the supports hidden so the plan was to add 2 ¾” trim to the front edge of each shelf. I put a board on the shelf that extended over and made sure the trim was tight against the bottom of that board before nailing to the front edge of the plywood. The trim on the top and middle shelves went fine and then I couldn’t get the bottom one to line up. What was going on???

I realize when I lined up one end the other was too high and I couldn’t make it work. I stood back and saw the problem — that shelf had seriously warped for some reason so there’s was no way to flatten it and attach the trim. Why would one shelf warp when the others were fine? One of life’s little mysteries.

Remember when I said the shelves would never hold any serious weight? The DIY gods were laughing at me. I went and got a couple of weights. 16 pounds did nothing to flatten the shelf. I add 2 more for an additional 24 pounds. 40 pounds and nothing. I went and got a 25 pound dumbbell and finally 65 pounds of weight flattened the warped board down so I could GLUE and nail the trim. I glued all 3 pieces of trim, but I really glued this one and left the weights for several days. I removed the smallest weights and waited a day to see if the shelf bowed. Removed the next size weights and waited and finally removed the 25 pounder. Everything has stayed in place. Sheesh – who knew?


65 pounds of weights needed to flatten warped bottom shelf

I filled the nail holes, caulked everything and touched up the paint and done.

Behind The Toilet Stand

Finished shelves

Bathroom Behind The Toilet Shelf

I think it looks like I’m play tic tac toe with stacks of towels and cubes in the pictures below. I stuck a couple of things temporarily on the bottom shelf until I figure out what decor items I want there permanently and I’m hesitant to block the exhaust fan above the top shelf.

Bathroom Shelves Over Toilet

So I have a question. I see DIY projects online like bookcases and shelves that are then tastefully appointed with a smattering of gorgeous decor items. Don’t these people need storage? Don’t they have books, and keepsakes, and family pictures — sentimental stuff that isn’t gorgeous but priceless because of the memories? I built these shelves because I need storage. The shelves are loaded with towels and sheet sets I didn’t know where to store before. Am I the only one like this?

Bathroom Over The Toilet Cabinets Canada

Anyway — here’s the finished shelves and despite the challenges (polite way of saying mistakes :-)) I am very happy with how they turned out. Much better use of that space than a silly towel bar which I solved with the coat hook ledge shelves in a previous post.