The first thing we reach for when we get out of the shower is a towel, so it makes sense to have them in a convenient location like on a towel bar. You don't want it too low that the towel drags on the floor, but you don't want to have to stretch too high to reach it. So how high should your towel bar be? We've researched the topic in-depth and have an answer for you.
Your towel bar should be between 42 to 48 inches from the ground for an average bathroom. If the bathroom is used primarily by children, you may want to hang it at a lower height until they are tall enough to reach it at 48 inches. You may also need to have it closer to the ground if you have elderly or disabled family members.
We've given you the typical height a towel bar should be. Keep reading as we elaborate on this and discuss how to hang a towel bar, how many you should have in your bathroom, and whether there are any alternatives.
Best Height For You
The industry standard for a towel bar is 48 inches from the ground. So, if you've recently moved or are moving into a newly built home, you can expect your towel bar to be this high from the ground. If you're planning to sell your home in the foreseeable future, you should probably stick with the average recommended height. However, if you plan on being in your home for a while, you can customize the height of your towel bar a little more.
You still need to remember to keep the bar high enough off the ground to prevent the towel from dragging on the floor and collecting lint and dust. But if you have children or any elderly people in your home, mounting your towel bar between 36-44 inches from the ground is a good idea. That way, children don't have to stand on their tip-toes to reach the towel. Likewise, if you are above average height, you might want to hang your towel bar a little higher. The perfect height is when you can reach the towel standing up with your arms outstretched.
How Many Towel Bars Do You Need In A Bathroom?
So we've talked about how high your towel bar should be, but how many should you have? Well, this depends on how big your bathroom is, the design of your bathroom, and how you plan to use your towel bar. Are you just using it so your towels are easy to reach, or will you be using it to dry your towels too? If it's just you using the bathroom and no one else, one towel bar will probably be enough for both storing while you shower and for drying the towel after. Still, if you have a partner or spouse, or just multiple people using your bathroom, you may want to have another so everyone can hang their towel to dry.
Towel bars come in three sizes, 18", 24", and 30", so keep this in mind when choosing your towel bar and how many you will need. A standard towel folded in half is about 15 inches long. Will you need space to hang multiple towels or just one? If you don't want to fold your towels in half, a 30" towel bar will hold a standard towel unfolded, but then you might need another towel bar if you use more than one towel. Fortunately, there are also double towel bars available, so this is also an option you could consider if you have limited space!
If your bathroom is big enough to have multiple towel bars, you need to also think about what location you would place them in. For ideas on where to place your towel bars, check out Where to Put Towel Rack in the Bathroom.
How Do You Hang A Towel Bar?
Now you know how high your towel bar is and you've thought about how many you need. Let's talk about how you hang one.
You need a tape measure, a pencil, a stud finder, a level, and a drill to hang a towel bar.
The stud finder will help you find a secure location for your towel bar because you don't want it to pull down part of your wall! If you're unable to locate a stud, you can drill in a wall anchor. It's also recommended that you drill in at least one wall anchor for extra stability, even if you locate the stud.
The level will make sure you secure it straight, so your towel doesn't slide to one end. Your drill will be for actually securing the hardware to the wall.
Once you've decided on a general location for your towel bar, use your stud finder to locate a wall stud. Then, using your tape measure, measure the height you want your towel bar to be. Remember, 48 inches is the standard! Measure and mark where you want your towel bar to go using a pencil, and use the level to make sure it will hang straight.
Pre-drill holes for your mounting plate, and then secure it to the wall with screws. Finally, attach the bar to the brackets.
Most bars will come with the hardware you need to attach it to the wall. Remember these are general guidelines, so be sure to follow any additional instructions that may come with your towel bar!
If you don't like the idea of having to mount a towel bar to your wall, there are also over the door towel racks like this one!
For more detailed tips on how to hang a towel bar, check out our other post, How To Install A Towel Rack [5 Steps].
What Can You Use Instead Of A Towel Bar?
If you don't have space for a towel bar, you're not out of luck. You can also use hooks to hang your towels. You can buy hooks that attach to the wall or hooks that go over your bathroom door. Some people drape their towel over the shower rod and use that as a makeshift towel bar. If you choose to do this, make sure your shower rod is strong and sturdy enough to hold a towel. You don't want to have your shower rod and curtain crashing to the floor!
If you don't like how a towel bar looks, you could also channel your creativity and develop other ways to hang your towels. Consider using shelves or a wooden ladder. There are many alternatives you could choose from for storing your towels. For drying, a hook or a bar style will work best, unless you want to splurge on a towel warming and drying rack. That way, you can grab a warm towel right as you exit the shower or the bath, and you'll have a much quicker way to dry them.
Towel rings will not be able to hold your bath towels but are a good alternative for hand towels and washcloths.
Do Towels Dry Better On Hooks Or Bars?
If your towel isn't hung up properly, it'll stay wet, probably develop a not so pleasant odor, and mildew can develop if it is left for a longer period of time. So what is the best way to dry towels and keep them fresher longer? Towels will dry better the more that they are spread out. Therefore, els will dry better on bars, especially if you have a bar big enough that you don't have to fold your towel. If you dry your towel on a hook, you might find that the areas that are bunched up, especially close to the hook, will stay damper longer.
Now you know the standard height at which a towel bar is hung. Hopefully, we've also helped you out with some other questions you might've had about your towel bar. If you've decided that a towel bar isn't for you afterall, then maybe some of our other suggestions will work instead!