Installing a towel bar in a bathroom. Bath Accessories:

Installing A Couple Of Towel Bars

In This Article:

The studs were located, large holes were drilled for toggle bolts, and the towel bar brackets were tightened against the drywall.

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Skill Level: 2 (Basic) Time Taken: About 15 Minutes

By , Editor

The first step in installing this towel bar was to determine the placement of the end brackets.

I decided to position the rod at 48 inches above the floor, which is just at the level of the horizontal seam between the drywall panels. Since the bracket mounting holes are above and below the level of the rod, this approach would keep my drywall anchors from landing near the seam, which can be a weak area and possibly break if someone pulls too hard on the towel bar. (such as mischievous children)

 I located the studs and made a pencil mark to outline the edges of the studs. Sometimes it's better to put some masking tape on the wall and then mark on the tape.

The homeowner had two towel bars and wanted them mounted end-to-end. Luckily the framing carpenters installed a horizontal 2x4 near the bath tub, so only one of the four brackets required special anchors.

 These two brackets were easy to mount.

Just position the piece, make sure it is level, and drive in the screws.

The left-most bracket did not land on a stud. I marked the holes on the wall.


 Now there are a lot of different drywall anchors on the market. Toggle anchors are probably the strongest. They are reasonably cheap, but they can take a little more time to install.


Having made a lot of repairs in hotel and resort buildings, I have seen the effects of using inadequate anchors. From my experience, towel bars and towel rings get lots of abuse. I have made countless drywall repairs where other "quick" anchors were installed and subsequently worked loose and took out a hefty chunk of wallboard. I cannot recall a toggle anchor ever breaking.

I put the screws in the holes and then threaded the spring-loaded toggle onto the end. I made sure the springs worked smoothly.

I used a spade bit that was a little bigger than the widest point of the toggle.


I blasted two holes in the wall with the spade bit.

I squeezed the toggles together and carefully inserted them into the holes.


I pushed the toggles into the holes until I heard them "click", telling me that they had opened up. I tugged on the bolts to make sure they were fully engaged.

Still tugging lightly on the entire bracket, I use a cordless drill/driver with a slot bit to turn the screws. A plain screwdriver could be used here, but it would be dreadfully slow.

It's important to tug on the toggle as it is tightened, so the spring-loaded legs are forced against the wallboard. Otherwise the toggle unit just spins inside the wall and never gets tight.

I find it necessary to alternately tighten one toggle a little bit and then the other, to make them draw up uniformly.

The drill is a fast way to secure the toggle bolts but too much tightening can destroy the toggle legs. The screws don't need to feel very tight to make the toggle bite firmly into the wallboard.

After you have destroyed a few of these things you'll know how much force is too much.


Just before the final tightening of the screws on the second bracket... it's a good idea to slip the wooden bar into the holes.

The finished product.


Tools Used:

  • Cordless Drill/Driver
  • Drill Bits, " Spade Bit
  • Basic Carpentry Tools
  • Small Level
  • Stud Finder


Materials Used:

  • Towel Bar
  • Small Toggle Anchors
  • Screws
  • Duct Tape


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Copyright 1999,2005

Written July 19, 1999
Revised October 19, 2007