How high should a towel bar be? That depends largely on who needs to reach the towels and your personal preference. You'll also want to look at the other fixtures and details in the room. Start with the normal towel bar height range, and adjust from there to fit your personal needs.
Standard Towel Bar Height
Common towel bar placement falls between 42 and 48 inches as measured from the bathroom floor, but they can range anywhere from 30 to 52 inches. A height of 48 inches is a common option. It gives you plenty of room for hanging towels while keeping everything accessible.
Length of Towels
How large are your towels? Standard bath towels should be fine at most towel rack height options. But larger bath towels and bath sheets are often much longer. That means a towel bar installed on the lower end of the range may not be high enough to keep the towels off the floor. Test the required height by folding your longest towel in half. Hold it up to the wall to see how high it needs to be. Use this as your minimum towel bar installation height.
The Height of People Using Them
Another factor is who will be using the towels on the bar. An average-height adult can reach towels easily at most heights within the standard range. Kids may need a lower bar to be able to reach and hang towels on it. Aim for a height of 30 to 36 inches if you have young kids in the home. A lower towel bar can also be useful for people in wheelchairs.
Location of Other Fixtures
The height and location of other items in the bathroom can help you decide where to place towel bars. For example, some people like to mount towel bars even with the vanity top to continue the line across the room. Take the toilet paper holder height into consideration if you're mounting the towel rack over it. You'll need to leave enough space between the bottom of the towel and the toilet paper holder. Consider the same height issues if you mount the towel bar above other fixtures in the bathroom.
Size of the Towel Rack
Most towel racks have a single bar, which gives you flexible placement options. If you're installing a multi-bar rack or a towel warmer with multiple spots, the overall height of the rack plays a role in placement. You want the rack high enough to keep the towel on the lowest bar off of the ground. But you also need to have easy access to the towel on the highest bar. The same idea applies if you're installing two separate racks, one on top of the other. Hold the rack up to the wall with a towel hanging on the lowest rack to make sure it's high enough.
Overall Look of the Room
Other features in the room can also play a role in how high you put the towel bar. For example, if you have wainscoting or tiling on the lower half of the room, you may need to hold the bar up to the wall to see how far above that section you want to hang it. The exact location is often a matter of personal preference. Even if your bathroom doesn't have wainscoting or tile on the bottom portion of the walls, testing out different heights to see what looks best to you can help you make the final decision.
Even though many people stick to the standard 48-inch towel bar height, you can adjust the height to fit your needs. Whether you have extra long towels that necessitate a high bar or young kids that require a lower bar, fitting the installation to your situation makes the bar convenient and functional.
Shelley Frost combines her love of DIY and writing in her freelance career. She has first-hand experience with tiling, painting, refinishing hardwood floors, installing lighting, roofing and many other home improvement projects. She keeps her DIY skills fresh with regular projects around the house and extensive writing work on the topic.