Installing Towel Holders on Tile Walls


Installing Towel Holders on Tile Walls


A towel holder is a necessary feature in a bathroom. The most convenient towel holders hang on the wall, but installing these towel holders on tile walls present some unique challenges. Carefully chose a convenient location for the towels. Locate them in a place that is easy to reach from the sink, the tub and the shower.

There are 2 different types of towel racks that can be installed on a tile bathroom wall. These include racks that are glued to the tile and racks that are installed by drilling into the tile.

Method #1 –Glue on Towel Racks

For this method, you will need:

Silicone Caulk

Painters Tape


Towel Racks

Step 1 – Determine Location

You can install the glue on towel racks in the shower or near the sink, shower or tub. Determine where you want the towel rack and mark the wall with a small piece of painter’s tape or a grease pencil.

Step 2 – Measure and Mark

Once you have determined the general location of the towel rack, measure the towel rack and the size of the wall from the edges to be sure the towel rack is centered. Mark the location of each of the supports.

Use the level to make sure the supports will be even and level.

Step 3 – Attach First Support

Clean the area with denatured alcohol. Then use 100 percent silicone caulk on the back of the support. Put it into place, using firm pressure to put it securely in the proper spot. Use painter’s tape or masking tape to securely hold it in place.

After an hour, use the caulk gun to apply a bead of caulk around the seam between the wall and the fixture. Smooth with a wet finger. Allow it to set overnight.

Step 4 – Attach Bar and Second Support

After at least 12 hours, clean the spot for the second support.  Apply 100 per cent silicone caulk to the back of the second support. Insert the towel bar into the first support and then into the second support. Using firm pressure, push the second support into place according to the markings you have made. Use a level to make sure it is correct. Tape the support into place and allow to sit for one hour. Caulk and smooth around the perimeter, then allow it to cure overnight before removing the tape.

Allow the caulk to cure for 12 more hours before allowing any water to touch the caulk.

Method #2 – Drilling into the Tile

For thie method, you will need:

Towel Racks

Stud Finder


Masking Tape

Power Drill

Carbide or Diamond Tip Drill Bit

Hollow Wall Fasteners


Step 1 – Determine Location

Use a stud finder to locate studs on the wall.  Determine if you will be able to attach the towel rack on the studs. If so, you can use screws to mount the towel rack. If not, you will need to use hollow wall anchors.

Holding the rack up to the wall, mark the location where you will mount the new towel rack.

Step 2 – Level the Rack

Still holding the rod up to the wall, use a level to determine that the support placement is level. It helps to have a second person for this step. Once the rack is level, use a grease pencil or some masking tape to mark the top and bottom of the supports.

Step 3 – Drill Holes For the Supports

Measure in the supports and determine where you need to drill a hole. Mark the location on the tile. Use masking tape to create a 2 x 2 inch square of masking tape on the spot where you need to drill. You should be able to see through the tape. Mark it on the top of the tape. The masking tape prevents the drill bit from skipping and damaging the surrounding tile.

Using the carbide drill bit for ceramic tile and a diamond tip bit for porcelain tile, drill slowly through the tile at the marked location. Drill through the tile and into the wall. If you are installing wall anchors, determine the size of drill bit you need by reading the package. If you are drilling straight into a wall stud, then drill a small pilot hole, smaller than the screw.

Step 4 – Wall Anchors

If you are using wall anchors, insert them into the wall at this time. You may need to use a hammer to gently tap them in until they are flush with the tile. If they don’t go in with gentle tapping, you may need to ream the hole just slightly.

Step 5 – Install Holder

Complete the install of the towel holder by first installing one support, then inserting the towel bar and installing the other support. Check the level of the towel bar as you go.

Towel holders make an attractive and convenient addition to the bathroom and are easy to install, even on ceramic or porcelain tile.

Looking forward to your comments!

Shawn Penoyer Interiors



Atlanta High end interior Designer

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