Tune-up for towel racks

How to fix a towel rack—the DIYer’s guide to great results

Read this quick summary on how to fix a towel rack and you’ll be prepared to install a towel bar on drywall, tile, and most other surfaces. Loose towel racks are a very common problem, but easy to fix.

How to install a towel bar in just minutes

A towel bar can be quickly installed in almost any location. The easiest way is to use a good adhesive. The choice of glue is crucial since the adhesive will determine the strength of the bond.

Follow these steps:

  1. Measure from the floor and make a mark at the location for one side of the towel bar.
  2. Measure over the width of your towel bar and put a vertical mark for width.
  3. Use a level to put a horizontal mark at the exact height for the other side.
  4. Apply adhesive to the back of the towel bar mounts.
  5. Place the towel bar against the wall at the marks and press firmly.
  6. Use tape or another means to hold it in place until the glue sets.

How to fix a towel rack that is loose

A loose towel rack is a very common issue, especially after years of use. They are usually either glued on or hang on small metal hangers that are screwed to the wall. If the old adhesive has failed, simply clean it off the back of the mounting area and continue as described in steps 4 through 6 above.

If the bar was mounted on metal hangers, you will need to remove the hangers and patch the wall with some joint compound or plaster. Once the hole is repaired, you may re-use the hangers.

For a simpler method remove the hangers, repair the wall, and remount the bar using adhesive. Again, just follow the instructions above.

How to remove a towel rack

If you want to remove a towel rack completely, it will again depend on how it was mounted. If it was fixed to the wall with metal brackets:

  1. Remove the brackets by backing out the screws.
  2. Patch the holes with drywall compound, plaster, or caulk as needed.
  3. Sand the repairs smooth after they are dry.
  4. Apply some matching paint to blend in with the wall.

If the towel bar was glued onto tile:

  1. Carefully cut the adhesive with a razor knife or putty knife by sliding it under the bar mount.
  2. Once the mounts have been removed from the wall, scrape away as much glue residue as possible.
  3. If any residue is left, use acetone to clean it away.

If the bar was glued to drywall:

  1. Use a putty knife or razor to loosen and remove the mounts.
  2. Scrape away remaining adhesive.
  3. Repair the drywall with some joint compound or patching compound.
  4. Sand the repair and paint it.

You’ll also need to know how high to hang the towel bar so that it is easy to reach. Standard towel bars are installed at 106cm to 122cm above the floor. Of course, you can adjust this according to circumstances.

Best adhesive to mount a towel rack

Always use an adhesive that is compatible with the materials you will be joining, whether it’s drywall, tile, or other material. For bathrooms and other wet areas, make sure the glue is also water resistant.

For quick fixes such as a loose towel bar mount, try Loctite Super Glue XXL Liquid. It delivers an ultra-strong bond and will adhere to porcelain, metal, wood, plastic and paper, making it suitable for most bathroom and kitchen area repairs. The liquid glue is also waterproof. Best of all, it dries transparent and sets in just seconds, making repairs quick and easy.