The Art of Under Cabinet Paper Towel Holding

Under cabinet paper towel holders offer a convenient way to keep paper towels handy while freeing up precious counter space. But with so many options, styles, and installation methods available, choosing the right under cabinet paper towel holder can be an art in itself.

From spring-loaded dispensers to platform designs, you’ll learn the pros and cons of different types while discovering features like customization and storage capabilities.

Mounting Location Possibilities

The first step in your paper towel holder installation is determining the ideal mounting location. Under cabinet holders can be placed in several areas, depending on your kitchen layout and storage needs.

Under Wall Cabinets

Mounting a holder directly under your wall-mounted upper cabinets keeps paper towels very close to countertop prep areas. Just be sure to allow enough vertical clearance so that the towels pull down easily without bumping into lower cabinets.

under cabinet papertowel holder

Inside Cabinet Doors

If you have a large enough interior cabinet area, consider attaching the holder to the inside of a door near the sink. Opening the door provides quick access to tear off sheets one-handed.

Under Peninsula Cabinets

Peninsula cabinets with open knee-wall space are ideal real estate for under cabinet paper towel storage. Place near seating areas for convenient wipe-up while eating.

Inside Sink Cabinets

Mounting a paper towel holder inside a sink base cabinet creates a handy towel station right where you need it. Allow enough clearance in front so the door doesn’t hit folded towels.

Types of Under Cabinet Holders

With your mounting spot selected, now comes choosing an under cabinet paper towel holder design. Several common styles each offer their own advantages.

Spring-Loaded Dispensers

Self-contained spring-loaded dispensers represent many homeowners’ introduction to under cabinet paper towel holders. This popular style consists of a molded plastic or stainless steel case that holds a standard paper towel roll vertically. Springs applies light pressure against the roll, enabling clean one-handed sheet tearing.

Spring-loaded dispensers mount easily with adhesive tape or screws, with some models offering height adjustment features. Their simple and sleek built-in design often makes these units among the most affordable under cabinet paper towel holder options.

Box Dispensers

Box dispensers fully enclose the paper towel roll inside a rectangular metal or plastic case mounted under cabinets. Slots or curved openings on the front and bottom enable sheet feeding and tearing with one hand.

Box dispensers provide a smooth, neat appearance, keeping excess towel bulk out of sight. Their enclosure also helps facilitate a controlled dispensing motion. Some models even have a locking door for added security and paper protection.

Platform Dispensers

As their name suggests, platform dispensers provide an open flat shelf for holding standard or jumbo paper towel rolls. Without confinement, platform holders can accommodate larger or custom roll sizes.

Platform dispensers also allow the greatest visibility and easiest loading access. Their simplicity does leave rolls more exposed however. Open holders mounted near stoves require occasional cleaning to prevent grease buildup.

Key Features and Considerations

With your desired mounting area and general holder style selected, now examine options more closely by evaluating key features and considerations.


Under cabinet paper towel holders come in a variety of materials. Metal constructions like aluminum or stainless steel offer maximum durability. Models with antique copper or brushed nickel finishes can provide aesthetic coordination.

Wood holders infuse rustic charm, although may require occasional sealing. Durable plastics like ABS with chrome or black accents generate an affordable yet upscale modern look. Consider material heat and moisture resistance for placement near stoves or sinks.

Mounting Method

Most under cabinet paper towel holder models install using either high-bond adhesive tape strips or included screws. Self-adhesive tape allows for quick no-tool positioning. Screws provide a more secure permanent hold, but do create cabinet holes.

Many holders offer a combination approach with tape plus screws for added stability. Height-adjustable holders use vertical tracks for finding just the right custom fit. Select your mounting method based on personal preference and cabinet material.

Roll Capacity

If you frequently entertain guests or use paper towels for pets, a single roll unit may require burdensome refilling. Multiple roll holders can hold two or even three spare rolls, keeping backups on standby. Side-by-side standard or jumbo rolls also extend total sheet capacity.

Bulk use kitchens may prefer open platform dispensers for their flexibility with oversized custom roll diameters. Just confirm your chosen holder can handle the total paper towel roll weight when full before mounting.

Ease of Loading

Replacing an empty paper towel roll should be quick and simple. Spring tension systems that clamp down tightly can frustrate loading attempts and even damage delicate sheet edges.

Box dispensers with flip-down locking fronts optimize roll access. Platform holders let you manually slide rolls directly into place. If your kitchen goes through paper towels rapidly, tester-try a floor model first to experience the refill process.

Aesthetic Design Factors

With functionality determined, aesthetic refinements provide the finishing touch.

Built-in Storage

Some under cabinet paper towel holders feature built-in storage options to maximize space. Small shelves above or below provide specialized storage to corral hot pads, oven mitts, cleaning supplies or overflow paper products.

Platform dispensers with handy custom hooks allow hanging dish towels or potholders within easy reach. Even unused mounting screw holes could be repurposed for attaching handy scrapers, brushes or measuring tools.


Select a holder size, shape, and finish that integrates seamlessly into your kitchen’s decor. Stainless steel, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel and matte black represent some of the more popular finishes.

Match existing cabinet hardware color for visual continuity. Or make a bold statement with an accent piece contrasting beautifully against a colorful painted cabinet backdrop.

Handleless cabinetry offers the perfect opportunity to define your distinctive style. Allow an artfully placed paper towel holder to punctuate those pristine uninterrupted surfaces for subtle symmetry.

Installation Process

With so many design elements to coordinate, installing your perfectly curated under cabinet paper towel holder verges on artistic triumph. Here are some tips to guide you through the process.


Carefully read any included templates and instructions. Confirm required tools and materials. Cabinet interiors should be emptied and cleaned. Degrease any areas around stoves. Position components prior to assembly and marking to confirmSpatial planning prevents problems

Mounting Method

Adhesive-back holders allow repositioning during the first 24 hours after mounting. Use a level to double check alignment before applying maximum pressure.

Screw-mounted holders often include various length screws for different cabinet materials. Pre-drill any pilot holes at marked locations to ease screw insertion while preventing structural damage.

Loading Paper Towels

Set adjustable tension springs to their lightest setting before loading the first roll. Then test a few sheets to determine optimum tension to allow easy yet controlled single-sheet dispensing.

Box dispensers may have a feed slot in the bottom or back wall. Rotate the roll accordingly so sheet edges enter the slot for proper dispensing.

Jumbo rolls used in platform holders dispense over the front. Position perforated sheet overlap facing you for convenient access.

Troubleshooting Tips

Problem solve occasional issues easily. Bulging or collapsing cardboard tubes can bind dispenser operation. Insert a paper towel roll with a sturdy intact core. Moisture can weaken adhesive mounting. Consider additional screws for permanency.

Preventloose platform rolls by installing textured shelf liner. Adjust springs or loading method if difficult towel tearing occurs. Remain philosophical and patient throughout the process, as even Michelangelo endured creative struggles.

Top Models and Reviews

After consulting interior design publications like Kitchen and Bath Business for the latest in functional artisanship, we narrowed options to these trending and top-rated under cabinet paper towel holders:

  • Simplehuman No Mount Holder – Its weighted painted zinc base eliminates mounting yet stays securely put.
  • mDesign Expandable Holder – Coordinate your cabinetry with five color options including on-trend brushed brass.
  • Umbra Satin Nickel Dispenser – Compact modern profile houses two spare rolls out of sight.

The Amazon Basics Kitchen Paper Towel Holder earns designer kudos as an affordable crowd favorite. Reviewers praise its adjustable mount and diamond etched texture resisting fingerprints and smudges.

Your local hardware store inspired the homier traditional look of Liberty Hardware’s Pull Out Cabinet Paper Towel Holder. Handy slide out racks conveniently rotate for easy paper loading and covered storage.


Why would I want an under cabinet paper towel holder?

Installing your paper towel holder under cabinets rather than cluttering up counter space helps keep your workspace cleanly organized while keeping paper towels handy above the sink or prep area.

How difficult is it to install an under cabinet paper towel holder?

Most quality under cabinet paper towel holders designed for home use include adhesive strips or mounting hardware for straightforward do-it-yourself installation requiring only basic tools and limited expertise.

How do the springs in self-contained dispensers work?

Integrated spring mechanisms apply light pressure against the sides of paper towel rolls, creating tension that separates individual sheet perforations for easy one-handed tearing while preventing excess unraveling.

Can under cabinet paper towel holders damage my cabinets?

Reputable paper towel holders use materials and adhesive tapes or hardware specifically designed not to damage cabinet surfaces during ordinary use after proper installation. Always follow manufacturers usage guidelines and weight limits.

Finding your perfect under cabinet paper towel holder involves balancing function, features and form. Take time to consider your kitchen’s unique workflow, traffic patterns and ascetics.

Experiment fearlessly with mounting locations and dispenser styles as you channel your inner interior design visionary. Include unexpected storage nooks or a customized juxtaposition of finishes. Ultimately the under cabinet holder you install should reflect, recharge and redefine the very essence of you.

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