A towel rack doesn't have to hold much weight, but over time, especially in the damp environment of a bathroom, an improperly hung rack can sag or even fall off the wall. Here's how to install a towel rack that will last.
Step 1 - Mark the Towel Rack Location
To ensure that you place the towel rack high enough that towels will not touch the floor, use the longest towel you have. Hold it up to the wall for a reference. It will show the ideal height for the rack.
Hold the rack in place and mark the wall where the screws will go. Use a carpenter's level to make sure the rack is level. If you don't have a level, measure the distance from the ceiling or floor to the mounting position on both sides, and mark them.
Step 2 - Choose the Proper Anchors
If the towel rack can be placed with 1 or both legs over a wall stud, special hardware is not required. If the rack will have both legs over empty wall space, the wall should be further framed if it is accessible from the opposite side such as from inside a closet for instance.
Without any other type of access, you'll have to resort to using hollow or drywall anchors, which are available in a great choice of models, designs, and weight capacity. They must be chosen carefully, however, as to provide adequate support.
Step 3 - Drill the Holes
Drill pilot holes where the screw holes were marked, then proceed to re-drill to a larger size hole as specified as per the anchor's instructions. If you're working with butterfly anchors, proceed directly to step 5.
If you're using anchors that stay secured on their own inside the wall, install them all in place as described on their packaging instructions—each manufacturer and system are particular in their own way.
Step 4 - Placing the Towel Bar
Place the bar in its right position and insert one screw into one of the flanges so that it grabs and screw into the anchor but without tightening it. Then insert the next screw through one hole of the other flange this time and repeat the procedure.
Just tighten them both so they can still be moved for their final adjustment. You can then insert and tighten the remaining screws.
Step 5 - For Towel Bars with Concealed Screws
Higher-end towel bars are usually designed so that the screws are hidden from view, attached to the wall by a wedge-type clip onto which the bar is then placed and secured with the use of tiny set screws conveniently placed.
The procedure remains basically the same except that instead of attaching the towel bar itself to the wall, you'll have to anchor the metal wedge brackets. You just have to make sure the holes at both ends are level and at the right distance from each other.
Step 6 - For Butterfly Anchoring Systems
Install each of the butterfly anchors to each one of the holes on both flanges of the towel bar, with the screws provided, but fitting very loosely.
With all the butterfly anchors hanging from both flanges, proceed to squeeze the wings on each butterfly. Insert them one at a time inside their respective holes, completing all the screws at one flange before proceeding to the screws on the next flange.
Step 7 - Level and Tighten up
Check the placement of the bar with a level and tighten up one screw at one end. With that slightly added tension, adjust the height at the other end so that it lines up perfectly level, and tighten one of the screws firmly in place.
Go back to the previous screw and finish tightening it. You can finally tighten up the rest of the screws onto a bar perfectly installed and level.