Towel Rack Ideas

Written by anne hirsh
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Towel Rack Ideas
Organise your bathroom towels on a custom rack. (towels in the bathroom image by Ivonne Wierink from

A bathroom towel rack may not seem like the most important fixture in your home, but when you step out of the shower and find no towels within reach, or only a wadded-up, mildewed pile of terrycloth, you may reconsider that thought. Standard towel racks can be found to match most bathroom decor, but if you want custom sizing or materials options, you may want to make your own.

Industrial Metal

If you have an ultramodern or simply masculine bathroom and want to go with a heavy, industrial look for your towel rack, you can make your own, but it may require some skill and specialised tools. Start with a sheet of sturdy metal, approximately 3 feet long and 6 inches high. When the metal sheet is placed horizontally, cut the right and left ends into decorative shapes, smooth the edges, and drill a hole about 3/8 inch diameter about 3/4 inch in from each end, centred vertically. Using a bending brake or similar machinery, bend the last 3 inches of each end forward, so the pieces of metal with the holes stand perpendicular to the main portion of the metal. Cut any decorative shapes you like out of the unbent portion, and then add two holes for screws to attach it to the wall. Slide a piece of hard copper pipe, about 3/8 inch OD (outer diameter), through the holes for your towel bar and add decorative finials or simple copper caps to the ends.

Natural Bamboo

Show off your eco-consciousness and design flair with a bamboo towel ladder. Bamboo is rapidly renewable resource that is naturally moisture-resistant, so it makes a great bathroom accent. Select bamboo sticks the length you want for your towel bars, and then drill a hole through each end of each rod. Pass long strings of thick natural twine or soft rope through the towel rods, tying a large knot beneath each rod to hold it in place. The effect should look similar to a rope ladder. Hang the ladder from the ceiling, about 2 to 3 inches away from the wall, in an area that is easily accessible from the shower or tub, and also near a heating vent for drying and warming towels between uses. The ladder will swing freely, adding a bit of visual interest to your bathroom due to its motion. You can add an extra rope hanging from the bottom of the rack to tie it off to an eye hook placed near the floor if it swings too much, or use a thin rope strung back up through an eye hook in the ceiling to pull the rack out of the way when your towels are not in use.

Rail Racks

Repurpose old fixtures and furnishings into freestanding or wall towel racks by finding any old item that has horizontal---or vertical-turned-horizontal---bars. Metal railings, sections of wood railings or even old futon frames can become towel racks if laid against the wall at an angle. Take sturdy artwork frames and space them out from the wall with wood blocks, and then use the upper and lower portions of the frame for towels. Add decorative hooks to the edges of these items for hanging smaller hand and fingertip towels or washcloths.

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