How to Properly Install a Towel Bar in Your Bathroom

Looking down on a stainless-steel towel rack with the edge of a towel visible on the right side of the frame.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20
What You'll Need
Towel bar
Carpenter's level
Phillips screwdriver
Stud finder
Molly bolts
Power drill with speed bits

A poorly installed 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 - Determine 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 bathtub so you won't have to overextend your reach when you're exiting the shower or tub. Don’t hang it above the sink, because the towel will dangle into your sink. You won't want it too close to a cabinet door.

It should also be long enough to accommodate your largest towel. If a single towel bar won't do the job, install 2, a large bar near the tub, and a smaller bar near the sink. A standard height for your towel bar is 48-inches from the floor. It should be low enough for a child to reach

Step 2 - Locate Wall Studs

Attaching your towel bar to drywall with nothing more than standard screws is asking for trouble. It's only a matter of time until enough pressure is placed on the bar to pull the screws from 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. Use a stud finder 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 the end of the level against the wall so that the mark is at the right end. Adjust it up or down until it is level. Make a pencil mark on the wall at the left end and top edge of your level, where the stud is located.

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.