Your bathroom isn’t finished until you have the right towel holders in place. But how do you choose from the many hooks, rings, or bars — not to mention styles and colors — that are on the market? Take it step by step. Determine your budget, holder needs, and styling preferences, and you’ll find the right towel holders for your situation.
Please note: Towel holders won’t support human weight. If you need extra support for getting in and out of the tub or shower, provide a properly installed grab bar.
Rings, Hooks, or Towel Bars?
Towel rings are useful for hanging a hand towel near the sink, where you can use it without removing the towel. But constantly removing and replacing a full-sized towel from a ring is inconvenient and annoying.
Hooks take up little wall space, but they don’t hold large towels as firmly as the other holder types. It makes sense, though, to place a hook near the tub or shower to temporarily hold a bath towel. Then you can easily grab it when you finish bathing.
Towel bars are sturdy and allow you to spread out a damp towel so it dries completely. Use towel bars as the mainstay for hanging towels that are currently being used. If you don’t have wall space or don’t want to put mounting holes in the wall, consider a free-standing towel rack that needs only floor space.
Towel bars, the holder with the greatest variation in size, should be selected to accommodate both your wall space and the number and size of the towels you want to hang:
Hand towels — Use an 18-inch towel bar to hang two folded hand towels, or one hand towel unfolded.
Bath towels – A 24-inch towel bar will hold one folded bath towel, but the towel will be slightly scrunched when hung unfolded. If the scrunching bothers you and you want to hang your bath towel open and flat, use a 30-inch or larger towel bar.
Bath sheets –These extra-large towels measure 35 inches wide, or 17.5 inches when folded. To hang a bath sheet open and flat, you’ll need a 36-inch towel bar, but a 24-inch or 30-inch towel bar will hang a folded bath sheet.
Style and Color
You have nearly unlimited choices for style and color of your towel holders. Styles range from classic to contemporary, rustic to modern. Colors are offered in the cool silvery tones of chrome, pewter, or brushed nickel, and the warm metallics such as copper, oil-0rubbed bronze, or polished brass. You can also find towel holders that display color-wheel shades such as rich red, blue, or green.
A classic, simply shaped style in chrome or brushed nickel works for many bathrooms. If you want a streamlined and cohesive look, which greatly simplifies your decor choices for the room, choose towel holders that closely match your faucets and other fixtures. But if you long for a bold, eclectic style, and you’re confident in your design choices, you can mix and match colors and styles as you please.
Basic towel holders from discount stores sell for as little as $5 to $10 for each piece; some lines are available in sets at a reduced cost for the combination. A quality product line generally prices their single towel bars in the range of $20 to $30. Designer lines, however, can reach into the hundreds of dollars per piece.
Once you know your budget, measure your wall space and determine the number and type of holders you need. Then, have fun shopping through the array of colors and styles that catch your eye!