First, determine where your towel bar should be placed so that it won’t interfere with other bathroom fixtures or electrical sockets. Once you’ve chosen a spot, measure the span of your towel bar. Mark the position of the towel bar mounts on the wall. Then, apply thinset adhesive to the back of the mounts and press them into place on the wall. When installing the second mount, ensure the towel bar is already in place, spanning between the mounts.
How Do You Hang a Towel Bar on the Wall Without Screws?
The advantage of ceramic bars is that they do not require any screws during installation. Instead, adhesive is applied to the back of the ceramic posts where they attach to the wall. Once the post is set in place, the adhesive secures the towel bar to the wall. This simple installation removes the need for screws.
Do Towel Bars Need to be on Studs?
Because ceramic towel bars are glued to the drywall with adhesive, there is no need to line up your towel bar posts with wall studs. The post itself is glued to the surface of the drywall. This makes it simple to install a towel bar anywhere you wish.
8 Steps to Install a Ceramic Towel Bar on Drywall
Whether you’re replacing an old towel rack with a new one, repairing a damaged towel bar, or completing an all-new installation, the guide below will walk you through the process. The tools and materials required for this job are:
- Utility Knife
- Thinset Adhesive
- Putty Knife
In just a few short steps, your towel bar will be installed securely. If you are removing a ceramic towel bar before installing a new one, refer to our guide here.
Pick a Location for Your Towel Bar
A towel bar should be in a location where it will be usable, convenient, and not interfere with other bathroom fixtures. Ensure the towel bar is not positioned directly above any electrical outlets, as the moisture from wet towels can harm the outlet.
- Place your towel bar in a place that is usable and convenient.
- Make sure the towel bar will not cover electrical outlets.
- Choose a position that will not interfere with sinks, toilets, or other bathroom elements.
A good way to find the perfect position for your towel bar is to hold a towel up against the wall in the place where you will install the towel bar. Does the towel block sinks, toilets, or decor elements? If so, reposition the towel until you find the ideal place for your towel bar.
Measure and Mark the Wall
Measure and mark the height of your towel bar, as well as the position of the post at each end. Then, inspect your towel bar mount. Some mounts have a rectangular section that extends from the back of the mount. This rectangular section is designed to extend through the drywall. If there is a rectangular protrusion on your mount, hold the mount against the wall. Then, use your pencil to trace around the perimeter of the rectangular portion. If your mount has a flat back with no protrusion, skip to Step 4.
- Inspect your towel bar mounts—there may be a rectangular portion that extends from the back of the mount. Refer to this image.
- Hold the first mount against the wall at the desired location.
- Use your pencil to trace around the perimeter of the rectangular portion that extends from the back of the mount.
- Repeat for the second mount.
- Ensure the traced outlines are appropriately spaced and level.
With the position of the first mount traced on the wall, repeat for the second mount. Position the second mount so it is the appropriate distance from the first mount. Make sure it will hold the plastic towel bar securely at this distance. Additionally, make sure the two mounts are level with one another.
Cut Holes in Drywall
(Note: this step is only necessary if your ceramic mount has a rectangular protrusion [known as a thinset mount] on the back of the mount. If your mount has a flat back, do not cut your drywall. Skip to the following step.)
Use your utility knife or Dremel to cut through the drywall around the traced outline. Cut carefully to avoid removing more drywall than necessary. Then, remove the cut rectangle of drywall, leaving a small hole in your wall. This step is only necessary if your ceramic towel bar mount has a protrusion on the back that must extend through the drywall for the mount to sit flush.
- Use a utility knife to cut through the drywall along the outline traced in Step 2.
- Remove the rectangle of cut drywall.
- Use the utility knife to scrape the edges of the hole clean.
- Repeat for the second post.
Scrape the edges of the drywall hole with your utility knife until the sides are smooth. Hold the mount in position to ensure the hole is properly sized. Correct the hole as necessary. Then, repeat for the second mount.
Apply Adhesive to the First Post
Use thinset mortar or construction-grade adhesive to secure your towel bar mounts to the wall. If your mount has a flat back, apply a thin layer of thinset mortar or construction adhesive to the entire back of the mount.
- Use this thinset mortar or a construction adhesive to secure your towel bar mount to the drywall.
- If your mount has a flat back, spread the adhesive in a thin layer over the entire back of the mount.
- If your mount has a rectangular protrusion on the back, spread the adhesive only on areas that will contact the drywall.
If your mount has a rectangular protrusion on the back, spread the thinset or adhesive only to the portion of the mount that will make contact with the drywall. There is no need to spread adhesive on the back of the protrusion since it won’t make contact with anything.
Install the First Post
Press the mount with adhesive into place on your wall. Use firm pressure to ensure a strong bond with the drywall surface. Some adhesive will squeeze out around the sides of the mount during this process.
- Use firm—but not excessive—pressure to press the mount into place on the wall.
- Hold the mount in place for 30–60 seconds to ensure a firm bond.
- Make sure the mount is level and square.
To make sure the adhesive bonds tightly to the drywall, hold the mount in place for 30–60 seconds. Before allowing the adhesive to dry, ensure the mount is level, with the bottom parallel to the floor. Adjust as necessary.
Clean Excess Adhesive
Before moving on, take the time to wipe any excess adhesive off the wall around the base of the first mount. Use your finger to remove any large globs of adhesive. Then, use a sponge or cloth to wipe any adhesive residue off your wall gently.
- Remove excess adhesive from the base of the mount with your finger.
- Use a sponge or cloth to clean any remaining adhesive residue from the wall.
- Do not scrub or clean vigorously, to avoid affecting the placement of the mount.
Make sure not to scrub the base of the mount to avoid knocking it loose. Also, avoid using an overly wet sponge or rag, as water may negatively affect the adhesive’s ability to set. Clean lightly, then move to the next step.
Install Second Post With Towel Bar
Repeat the previous steps to apply adhesive to the second mount and install it. As you do, make sure to follow one crucial additional step. The plastic towel bar must be in place, spanning between the two mounts, as you install the second mount. If you install both mounts without the towel bar in place, you won’t be able to insert the towel bar once the adhesive hardens.
- Repeat the previous steps for applying adhesive to the second mount and installing it.
- When installing the second mount, make sure the plastic towel bar is in place, spanning the two mounts.
- If you install both mounts without the plastic towel bar, you won’t be able to install the towel bar later.
After installation, clean off any excess adhesive. Make sure the second mount is level and square. Also, check to make sure the installation of the bar and second mount did not alter the position of the first mount.
Allow Time for Adhesive to Set
It can take thinset mortar 12–24 hours to cure when used to mount ceramic fixtures fully. While some other construction adhesives may cure more quickly, it’s best to wait at least 12 hours before using the towel bar. This will prevent the mounts from coming loose from the wall.
- Allow 12–24 hours for adhesive to set before using the towel bar.
- If desired, use tape to keep the mounts in place as the adhesive sets.
Use painter’s tape to tape the mounts to the wall. This will keep them in position as the adhesive cures. Then, remove the tape and use your new towel rack.
How Do You Hang a Ceramic Towel Bar on Drywall?
To hang a ceramic towel bar on drywall, it’s essential to ensure proper placement and a level towel bar. It’s also important to prep the wall according to the type of towel bar you have. Standard towel bars often require you to cut a small hole in your drywall, although this isn’t true for all models. Follow this process for a flawless installation:
- Choose a location for your towel bar.
- Mark the wall where your towel bar will go, making sure the mounts are level and properly spaced.
- If your mounts require it, cut holes in the drywall so the mount can sit flush with the wall.
- Apply thinset adhesive to the back of the first mount.
- Press the first mount firmly into place to ensure a good bond.
- Clean excess adhesive from the wall around the base of the mount.
- Repeat adhesive and mounting steps for the second mount.
- When installing the second mount, make sure the plastic towel bar is in place. It cannot be inserted after the mounts are secured and the adhesive is dry.
- Allow 12–24 hours for the adhesive to dry.
These steps will result in a strong bond between your ceramic mounts and the wall, resulting in a durable towel bar.