Install a Towel Bar in a Bathroom

DoItYourself Staff

A poorly-installed or -placed towel bar can be more a hindrance than a help in your bathroom. Without the appropriate-sized towel bar, large bath towels may not dry in time for the next shower. Towel bars that are installed too far from the shower can be a safety hazard. Here are 3 steps you can use to install your towel bar properly.

Step 1--Decide the Best Place to Attach Your Towel Bar

Consider carefully where to mount your towel bar. It should be within easy reach of the shower or bath tub so you won't have to overextend your reach when you're exiting the shower or tub. You also won't want to hang it above the sink, because the towel will dangle into your sink. You won't want it too close to a cabinet door that might be opened when you want your towel, either.

It should also be long enough to accommodate your largest towel. If a single towel bar won't do the job, install two: a large one near the tub and a smaller one near the sink, for a hand towel.

A standard height for your towel bar is 48 inches up from the floor. This should be low enough for a child to reach it, if necessary.

Step 2--Locate Wall Studs

Attaching your towel bar to drywall with nothing more to secure it than standard screws is asking for trouble. It's only a matter of time until enough pressure is placed on the bar to pull its screws out of the drywall. Your best bet is to get a bar on which the holding screws are spaced 16 inches apart, because that is the most common amount of space between wall studs. Otherwise, you'll have to use the less-secure molly screws at one end of your bar.

To locate a stud into which you can drive screws, use a stud finder, which you can purchase at a hardware store or home-improvement store.

Step 3--Attach Your Towel Bar to a Wall Stud

Once you have located a wall stud, mark the spot with a pencil. Hold one end of a level against the wall so that the mark you made is at the right end of it. Adjust it up or down until it is level. Then, put a pencil mark on the wall at the left end and top edge of your level, where the stud is located.

Next, position your towel bar at this location so that the screw holes at each end line up with the marks you made on the wall. Now, level the bar and make a mark on the wall through each of the screw holes. Finally, use your screwdriver or drill to sink the screws.

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