How to Install a Bathroom Towel Bar

Updated: Apr. 12, 2024

Here is the process for how to hang a towel bar on drywall or tile.

Next Project

An hour or less




Less than $20


Bathroom towel bars need firm anchoring or they will loosen and eventually fall off the wall. Here is how to install a towel bar that lasts.

Tools Required

  • Allen wrenches
  • Assorted drill bits
  • Drill/driver
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Stud finder
  • Tile drill bit

Materials Required

  • Drywall anchors
  • Painter's tape
  • Screws
  • Towel bar

Anchoring a towel bar to the wall isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Most towel bars come with all the pieces and equipment needed to attach them to your bathroom wall safely. You’ll just need a few tools and about an hour to mount it.

The biggest thing to consider is where your towel bar will be mounted. Whether you’re anchoring to a stud, drywall, or other surfaces — like tile — makes a big difference. Mounting to a stud is easiest and requires no additional hardware. But the studs often don’t align with the perfect location for your towel bar. If you want to install a towel bar in drywall, you’ll need drywall anchors to attach it to the wall securely. Properly installed drywall anchors will support the weight of a heavy, damp towel.

I installed a few towel bars as part of a recent bathroom remodel. Here is how to mount a bathroom towel bar on drywall and tile.

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

Towel bar placement

  • Find the wall studs using a stud finder. If the location of the studs is in line with where you envision the towel bar, simply plan to anchor it to the studs.
  • Most towel bars come with a template that is the length of the towel bar and identifies the two holes needed for the mounting brackets. If your towel bar does not come with a template, make one with paper and pencil. Line up the towel bar and brackets and mark the holes. You can also just hold the towel bar to the wall and mark the location of the mounts, but I find the template to be more manageable if I am working by myself.
  • Use painter’s tape to tape the template to the wall roughly in your desired location.
  • Use a level to ensure the template is level, and re-secure it to the wall with tape.

TIP: If you are adding a towel bar above the toilet, hang a towel from the bar to see how high up it must be mounted so the towel doesn’t rest on the top of the toilet tank.

Towel Bar PlacementTMB Studio

Step 2

Drill holes

  • If the towel bar kit doesn’t come with anchors, you will need to buy some unless you install it directly into a stud. Purchase anchors with a larger weight capacity than you expect you’ll need. Wet towels can be extremely heavy.
  • Using the diameter drill bit specified for the anchor screw you are using, drill the holes marked on the template into the wall.
  • Remove the template from the wall and install the drywall anchors.

Drill HolesTMB Studio

Step 3

Mount towel brackets

  • Screw the brackets into the anchors or studs.

Mount Towel BracketsTMB Studio

Step 4

Attach bar and posts

  • Use an Allen wrench to tighten one post to the bracket.
  • Slip in the bar and position the other post in the bar and on the mounting bracket.
  • Tighten the other post with the Allen wrench.

Attach Bar And PostsTMB Studio

Step 5

How to install a towel bar on tile

  • When mounting the towel bar on a tile wall, ensure that the brackets are as close to the center of each tile as possible. The closer you get to the grout line, the more likely the tile will crack.
  • Completely cover the tiles you intend to drill into with painter’s tape. That will make transferring the hole locations to the glossy bathroom tiles easier. Additionally, leaving the tape on during drilling will prevent cracks in the tile.
  • Use a tile drill bit to create a pilot hole in the tile according to the hole diameter needed for tile anchors. Avoid using the hammer drill setting on your drill. Doing so is a surefire way to crack a tile. When drilling into the tile, keep the drill on its normal setting and begin slowly, gradually increasing the drill speed as you go deeper into the tile.
  • Remove the template and tape covering the tiles you drilled into.
  • Gently tap the anchors into the pre-drilled holes.
  • Continue as above by securing the mounts with the screws, then attaching the posts and bar.

How To Install A Towel Bar On TileTMB Studio

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Step 6


Why does my towel rod keep falling off?

This could be a couple of things. The screw on the mount might need to be tightened. Grab an Allen wrench and tighten. If this doesn’t work, it might mean that the screws in the drywall have loosened over time and need to be replaced with a sturdier anchor. Remove the posts and mounting brackets. Switch out the screws with a stronger anchor, and replace the towel bar.

How much weight can a towel bar hold?

Check the weight limit on the anchor. Typical plastic expansion anchors can hold around 20 pounds. Since multiple are used for the towel bar, the total weight limit they can hold increases.

How high is too high for a towel bar?

It depends. A towel bar that hangs over a toilet should be higher than one with nothing underneath. Overall, it should be in reaching height; on average, it is recommended to be 42-48 inches from the ground.