It sounds simple enough, but we've seen many frustrated consumers struggle with installing a new towel rail in their bathroom. These can be rod style (two anchor points) or towel loop style (single anchor point). There are even space-saving models with articulated arms and multiple shelves that swing out to allow for more towel capacity. The finish can be chrome, brushed, antique, copper or any other color you can imagine or dream up.
It sounds simple enough, but we've seen many frustrated consumers struggle with how to install a towel rail over drywall in their bathroom. These can be rod style (two anchor points) or towel loop style (single anchor point). There are even space-saving models with articulated arms and multiple shelves that swing out to allow for more towel capacity. The finish can be chrome, marble, brushed, antique, copper, or anything else you can imagine or dream about.
Not installing to drywall? no problem. See our tips below the how-to guide for how we tackled installing towel bars on block walls or even plaster and lathes.
Most towel rails come with a template that can be used to locate the exact location for the anchors that need to be drilled into the drywall and secure the towel bar to the wall. We recommend using the included anchors as they will fit perfectly with the included screws.
Editor's note: Check out our article on how to use drywall anchors for these tips on how to secure shelving and shelves to drywall.
What's great is that if you hit a stud, you can screw right into the wood stud, giving you a very secure anchor point.
Step by Step – Installing a Towel Bar
Time required: 15 minutes.
Here is a breakdown of the necessary steps to install a towel rail in your bathroom or shower area:
- Find the approximate location of the towel bar
Get an overview of where you need a new towel bar.
- Place the included template on the wall
You want to use a level to make sure the rod is straight after installing it on the drywall.
- Mark walls at hole screw points
Mark with a pencil the holes where drywall anchors and/or screws will need to be installed.
- Drill into drywall at screw points and insert drywall anchors
This is probably the easiest step – just make sure you get there.
- Hammer the anchor into the wall
Gently tap the anchors into place. If you're using screw-in anchors, use a large Phillips-head screwdriver to screw them into the drywall. These types of drywall anchors hold heavier loads.
- Screw the rear bracket into the wall anchor
These brackets come in many different forms, but generally consist of a rear piece into which the front bracket attaches. This can be done with a small set screw or (as in this case) locked to the two upward-facing tabs provided by the bracket.
- Use a precision screwdriver to secure the bracket to the wall
This is probably the best step in installing the towel bar – last assembly! If your stand looks like the picture above, slide the towel rail down to secure it to the stand. Make sure to add the horizontal towel bar or bar before you secure the second bracket in place, as you won't be able to insert the bar later.
How to Install a Towel Bar on a Block Wall
When installing a towel rail on a block wall, steps 1-3 remain the same. However, when drilling is required, you want to use Tapcon screws or suitable concrete anchors. Both methods require pre-drilling a hole before attaching the bracket with screws. In the case of Tapcons, you can usually get the bits you need in the container.
With concrete anchors, screws go with the anchor, but you'll need to buy a drill. The package should tell you what size concrete drill bit you need. Once you have decided on suitable anchors and put them in place, proceed to step 6.
Installing Towel Bars on Plaster and Lathe Walls
To install a towel bar on a plaster and lathe wall, follow steps 1-3, then consider switching to Moley bolts that expand in the wall.
To install Molly Bolts, use a standard drill bit or concrete drill bit to pre-drill holes to the recommended size (see packaging). Tap the molly bolts flush into the wall with a hammer. Next, turn the screws to enlarge the slotted sleeve in the wall so that it holds securely in place. Tighten until it fits snugly and the flat washer-like surface begins to sink into the plaster.
With Molly in place, you can remove the threaded screws and install the brackets in step 6.
Everything here is its own. Of course, if attaching a towel bar directly to the wall isn't right for your bathroom, feel free to check out the many freestanding towel rails on the market.