How to Install a Towel Rack on Ceramic Tile

Updated February 21, 2017

Many bathroom designs will incorporate ceramic wall tile into the design. This tile can extend through the shower and around the room as high as shoulder-height, meaning that any towel rails may need to be installed on the tile. To drill through the tile glaze, you'll need to have the proper tools to ensure you can install the screws without cracking the tile.

Measure the wall where you wish to install the towel rail and place masking tape on the areas to be drilled. The tape will help the drill stay in place, keeping it from slipping on the tile glaze.

Make a pencil mark on the tape where you wish to drill. Place the carbide drill bit on this mark and drill slowly into the ceramic tile. Do not drill too quickly, or you risk overheating the drill and removing too much of the tile from the drill site.

Push plastic screw anchors into each drilled hole to firmly secure the screws inside the tile, and keep the towel rail from slipping out once installed.

Line up the rail and screw directly into the rail's escutcheons evenly on each side, if you're installing a one-piece towel rail. Do not tighten down the screws until all screws have been inserted at least part way and the rail is balanced.

If installing a rail with brackets, screw each bracket into the wall, tightening them down securely. Look at the side of the towel rail's escutcheons for a small screw, and unscrew it until it clears the inside of the escutcheon. Place the escutcheon over the bracket and use a screwdriver to tighten down the small screw on the side. This will attach the escutcheons to the brackets. Leave the escutcheons slightly loose.

Insert the rail into one escutcheon at a time, tightening each one down completely once the rail is in place to hold it securely.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • Drill with carbide bit
  • Screw anchors
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About the Author

Sarabeth Asaff has worked in and has written about the home improvement industry since 1995. She has written numerous articles on art, interior design and home improvements, specializing in kitchen and bathroom design. A member in good standing with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Asaff has working knowledge of all areas of home design.