Usually, determining how high to install towel bars in the bathroom doesn't actually come up until it is time to install them. If you are building a new bathroom or home, or remodeling an existing one, plan the location, including the height. Towel bars are available in a wide range of styles, diameters, shapes and finishes.
Most building codes have rules for the clearance required for the placement of towel bars; however, the height is usually not addressed. For example, the code may set a minimum of 21 inches in front of a toilet. Check with the building department in your town to get more information.
Generally, the height for hanging a towel bar is 48 inches above the floor. This seems, on average, to be the optimum height for most adults. In addition, this height ensures that the towels have the necessary space to hang freely. However, you will need to take into consideration where the HVAC vents, electrical outlets and switches are located.
For children's bathrooms, the height suggestion is a bit different. The average height for a child's towel bar should be about 36 inches. Placing children towel bars at a lower height helps to develop their independence. They will not only be able to reach the towels, but they will be able to place the towels in the proper way. Also, it prevents them from straining or climbing in order to reach to reach their towels. The height of the towel bars can always be adjusted as the children grow up.
These installation heights are not etched in stone; they are only recommendations. People who are taller may want to consider installing towel bars higher. Conversely, those who are shorter may want to place the bars at a height that is at an optimal height for their situation. Place the towel bars for disable people at a height that is within their comfort level, especially if they are wheelchair bound.
Along with the towel's bar height, try to locate the towel bar within an arm's length of the vanity, tub or shower. If you must place the towel bar where solid wood reinforcement is not available, use hollow wall anchors. These anchors usually have to be purchased separately.
If you are remodeling the walls, plan ahead of time where you want to install the towel bars. Before you install the drywall or plaster, insert wood blocking between the studs in the locations where you will be positioning the towel bars. The blocking, which will provide reinforcement for a durable installation, should be flush with the studs.
Do not position towel bars under or near heating sources, such as a ceiling-mounted heat lamps or wall-mounted heaters.