How to Replace a Towel Bar

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Stud finder
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Drill and bits
  • Level
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
Materials Required
  • Towel bar
  • Anchor fasteners
  • Joint compound
  • Screen/cardboard
  • String
  • Stick/pencil
  • Sandpape

Before You Begin

If you are replacing a towel bar because it has come loose from the wall you will have to make some repairs to the wall before you can reinstall the new bar. If this is not the case, skip the repair steps and get right to the installation.

Don't want to do the job? Click Home Advisor and it will open in a new tab and you’ll have to answer some basic questions about your job followed by Handyman Contractors in your area.

Wall anchors and fasteners

The bar probably came loose because small plastic wall anchors were used to install them. We suggest that you discard the wall anchors included with most towel bars and purchase any of these heavy-duty fasteners: Molly-type wall fasteners, toggle bolts or expanding plastic anchors like the ones in the illustration.

An alternative to using wall anchors is to mount the bar directly to the wall studs. To do this, use a stud finder to locate the studs. However, the studs are seldom in the right place so using heavy-duty fasteners is you best bet.

  • Step 1 : Enlarge hole and prepare to patch

    Enlarge hole and prepare to patch

    Filling the old mounting holes with joint compound is easy, but fixing a larger hole can be a bit of a challenge. If the towel bar has been pulled out of the wall and there is substantial damage, you must first use a utility knife to cut away the damaged wallboard. Then use a small putty knife to apply some joint compound to the inside of the damaged area to hold the patch in place.

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