Timeless design toilet paper debate — over or under?

retro starburst toilet paper holderOoooooh, Kate just sent me a photo of her new, installed atomic starburst toilet paper holder — one of the last remaining stock from Rejuvenation’s current supplier. I thought it looked lovely but frankly, I found it very difficult to focus, as I was so OCD-alarmed that the toilet paper was hanging the wrong way. It needs to go OVER! Talk about a timeless design issue: What is your view on this  importante topic, dear readers? I invite you to vote and to comment, too.


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  1. Jana (Berniecat) says

    I have tried it both ways; over and under and now I don’t even bother- I don’t use the TP holder – have it sitting on the back of the potty. I have three cats and one unrolls it if it is over, the other one unrolls it if it is under; and the third one likes to jump in the middle of the unrolled paper and rip it to shreds. 🙂

  2. John plant says

    depends many people with cats have the paper hang under so that the cat doesn’t unravel the whole thing all over the place! Personal preference is fine. Many do it under so that they tear off smaller sections or I should say their children pull off smaller sections lol

  3. Lena_P says

    Neither? My T.P. dispenser is just a big, chrome hook that the roll is on vertically. And no one has a bidet, or bidet spray? Is that just an Asian thing? (Not that I use my spray to replace T.P., but it does help a LOT when it comes to cleaning out the toilet.)

    There are feng shui rules about toilets? Who made them up? Is there a feng shui council, like the language council in France? What about “Asian” toilets that don’t have covers?

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      Lena, most Americans do not have bidets, and when they stay in Europe or Asia and see one, they don’t know how to use it or why they should!

      As for the feng shui consultants, they are just decorators that read a book about feng shui. Or they just read a blog about it, such as:


      By the way, the only thing I could find about bathrooms on this particular site was that a pet’s bed should not be in or near the bathroom. Other sites have a lot to say about the bathroom feng shui, but I couldn’t find a National Feng Shui Council or anything like that.

  4. Rick says

    Always over. Under makes me think of a fast food or airport terminal restroom. And, in any online photo, have a full or nearly full roll. Kate passed that part.

  5. Heather says

    I used to be part of the “over” camp, but having a cat will quickly train you that “under” is the way to go. When kitty tries the classic paws-roll-the-tp-move, if it is hanging over the cat can unroll the whole thing. With under, it just moves without dispensing tp.

  6. Scott says

    I think under looks classy but over is more practical.

    And hey while we are on the subject of staging the perfect bathroom, today’s ever-shrinking in width TP means the roll is never in the center, it’s always somewhere between slightly askew to completely pushed over to one side or the other. Does anyone have a solution for that?

    Sounds like a mission for Handy Kate to me. 🙂

  7. says

    I never thought about it until I married my husband and he was steadfastly in the “over, of course” camp. No I too am appalled by people who do it any other way.

  8. Lauryn says

    KATE, HOLD YOUR GROUND AND KEEP YOUR T.P. UNDER. It’s too easy to unintentionally pull off way too much paper when it’s over. (I cannot believe we are in such a minority.)

  9. Jim says

    I agree 100% with Lauryn!! Under all the way! When it’s over, way too much TP rolls to the ground and it keeps going. Especially with a 2 year old in the house! Such a funny story though Pam, my Mom used to always make us change it to Under as kids if we loaded it Over.
    I too am surprised Over has such a majority though.. since it’s plain wrong! haha. Great post, what a great way to start the day.

  10. Elizabeth Creighton says

    I solved the under-over TP dilemma. I have a freestanding TP holder…it used to have a bar extending out from the top. The bar broke so I just store the tp on the pole. Works very well!

  11. CarolK says

    I have cats ever since junior high and none of my kitties has ever attacked the toilet paper roll even though we hang our over. Of course, our cats will probably start now! I like it hanging over because the end of the paper is a little further from the floor.

  12. benr says

    Under is the way to go for me. In my opinion, it looks neater and makes a better presentation. It’s also easier to take what you need from the roll using one hand.

  13. Leslie says

    On a Oprah episode, Once Upon a Time, this debate was there and one of the big TP companies said “it is designed to go OVER”
    Thank Goodness because that is soooo OCD for me! (in my Pink and oddly blue bathroom)

  14. vintagesister says

    it really doesn’t matter BUT as many of may recall, toilet paper used to have colored printed patterns on them…(tiny flowers, etc.) You would HAVE to put the roll going OUTWARDS not under, in order to see the pattern.

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