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How to Remove a Towel Bar with No Visible Screws

If your towel bar has no visible screws there is likely either a hidden set screw, a tab that holds the towel bar to a wall bracket, or the towel bar is glued to the wall.

  • To remove a towel bar with a set screw, loosen the screw until the first end post comes off, then repeat for the second post.
  • If your metal towel holder has no set screws, search for a metal tab keeping the end post in place. Press this down with a screwdriver to release the end post. Repeat for the second post.
  • Remove a glued-on ceramic towel bar by using an oscillating tool to cut through the adhesive holding the end posts to the wall. Do this for both end posts.

Some tricky towel bars seem to defy all reason due to a hidden screw or a complex tab system. We’ll break down exactly how to tackle each of these common types of towel holder. In no time at all, you’ll have the towel holder off your wall.

How to remove a towel bar with no visible screws

How Do You Remove a Metal Towel Bar that has a Set Screw?

Many towel bars are held in place with a set screw on each end post. Although it may seem at first that the towel rack is mounted without screws, take a closer look. Your towel rack might be this type.

Search for a Hidden Screw

Check the underside of the end post where it meets the bathroom wall. What you are looking for is a small circular hole with a hidden screw inside. If you find a hole, use a flashlight to determine what sort of screw is used. Set screws are typically loosened with an Allen wrench or a small Phillips head screwdriver.

Loosen the Screw

Now that you have located the set screw, use an Allen wrench or screwdriver to loosen it. In most cases, the set screw does not have to be completely removed. As you loosen it, the end post will begin to wobble. Soon, it should come off completely.

Remove the End Post and Bar

As the first end post comes loose from the wall, you will be able to remove it along with the bar that makes up the towel rack. Where you removed the end post you will see a flat metal bracket secured to your wall with a screw.

Remove the Second End Post

Use the same Allen wrench or screwdriver to loosen the set screw for the second end post. Remove it as well. If you intend to reattach the towel rack, do not lose or discard the set screws.

Remove the Wall Brackets

Use a screwdriver or electric drill to back out the screws that hold the metal brackets to the wall. With the towel bar completely removed, you can patch, paint, replace, or otherwise remodel the wall.

How Do You Remove a Metal Towel Bar Without a Set Screw?

Some metal towel bars truly do not have a set screw. These can be confusing and frustrating to work with, but there are a few tricks that make removal easier. Just follow these steps:

Search for a Metal Release Tab

Look on the underside of the end post for a slot and tab. In many cases, end posts are secured to wall brackets with metal tabs instead of set screws. If you find one of these instead of a set screw, take the following steps for removal.

Press the Release Tab

Use a flat head screwdriver or another flat tool to press down the tab that holds the end post to the bracket. In some cases, you may need to press the tab inward. Use gentle pressure—it shouldn’t take much to free the end post.

Remove the End Post and Bar

As you press down the release tab, use your hand to tilt the end post upward, pulling the bottom edge away from the wall. It should come free easily. If it resists, the tab is still interfering. Try a different angle with your screwdriver, then try to remove the end post again. The first post and bar should come away together.

Repeat for the Second End Post

Now that you have the trick for pressing the tab in and removing the end post, repeat for the remaining end post. This should leave two metal wall brackets secured to your wall.

Remove the Wall Brackets

Use a screwdriver to remove all the screws that hold the wall brackets to the wall. This system works very similarly to a set screw system, but it can be daunting when you first discover there are no screws holding your towel rack to the wall.

How Do You Remove a Towel Bar With Fixed Ceramic Ends?

Some towel bars truly are secured to the wall without screws. In most cases, this only applies to a towel rack with ceramic end posts. If you have one of these for a towel holder, follow these steps:

Choose the Right Tool

A ceramic towel post is typically held in place with a ring of adhesive around the edge of the post where it meets the wall. Attempting to pry the posts free can cause extensive wall damage. Instead, it’s best to use this oscillating multi-tool to get the job done easily.

Cut Between the Post and Wall

Insert the oscillating tool blade vertically between the post and the wall to cut through the adhesive that bonds the end post to the wall. Often, there is only a small ring of adhesive around the edge. Because of this, work slowly around the entire perimeter of the end post. Only cut deeper than ¼-inch if the end post won’t budge after cutting all the way around the post.

Pull the First Post Loose

Once you have cut through the adhesive bonding the post to the wall, rock the end post back and forth and pull it loose. In many cases, part of the post actually extends through a hole in the drywall. After the adhesive is cut, it should pull free easily. The towel bar will come free as you remove the first post.

Repeat for the Second Post

Cut through the adhesive bonding the first post to the wall. Repeat the process from the previous step, working slowly and cutting only through the adhesive. Cutting through the actual ceramic of the post is hard work and should not be necessary. In a minute or two, the second post will be free.

How Do You Remove a Towel Rack Without Visible Screws?

If your towel rack has no visible screws holding it to the wall, it often has a recessed set of screws holding each end post to the wall. Search for set screws and loosen them to free each end post. If there are no set screws in a metal towel rack, there are often metal tabs holding the end post to a wall bracket. Use a screwdriver to depress these tabs and release the towel rack. Finally, ceramic towel rack end posts are often mortared in place. Cut through the mortar with an oscillating tool to free the towel rack.

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