How high you should mount a towel bar is really a personal choice. Although municipal building codes may specify the clearance for the proper placement of towel bars, such as 21 inches between towel bar and the toilet, most authorities do not specify a height requirement for bathroom towel bars. You need to take into consideration your personal preferences as well as the age and ability of persons who use the bathroom where you are installing the towel bar.
In most new homes and remodeling projects, the standard height placement for a towel bar is 48 inches. Over the years, it has been determined that on average, this is the best height for the majority of the adult population. This placement height allows large towels to hang freely without being too close to the floor.
Try to place the towel bar as close to the bathroom sink shower or tub as possible. You may want to consider pacing a towel bar on the wall adjacent to the tub or shower. A good rule for the tub is to place the bar within an arm's length. For long-lasting durable installations, try securing the mounting hardware into wood blocking when possible. If you must install the brackets into plaster or drywall, use hollow wall anchors.
When positioning towel bars, you need to be aware of the location of heating and cooling vents or even wall and ceiling mounted heaters. In addition, the towel bars should not be place near electrical switches, items or fixtures.
Use a little more leeway when determining the height for the installation of towel bars in children's bathrooms. On average, 36 inches seems to be the average height for the placement of towel bars for kids. Not only will it make the little ones feel more self-sufficient, but the height addresses the matter of their safety. Placing the bar higher will tempt children to pull, jump and otherwise struggle to reach their towels.
The lower towel bar height ensures that they will not have to climb up on an object, such as the tub or toilet, in order to reach their towels or place them back on the towel rack. You can always adjust the towel bars to the convention height when the children are older or if you decide to put the house on the market.
There may be other cases where you would want to place the towel bars at a level that defies conventional practices. For example, a tall person may find it more suitable to place the towel bars higher than 48 inches. At the same time, a person who is disabled or wheelchair-bound will need a towel-bar placement that is easily accessible. This will allow people with physical challenges to function more independently.