How to Hang Towels in Your Bathroom

October 28, 2022

Hanging Towels In Your Bathroom

When it comes to bathroom accessories, towels are one of the most important yet least-considered items on the list.

Imagine if you had to wash your hands day in and day out with your hand towel hanging on the bathroom’s opposite wall. As you rush over to it, you might drop water on the floor, which could regularly make your socks wet. Perhaps a bit more serious, if you were to step out of the shower each morning and walk across the bathroom to grab your hanging towel, you might leave larger puddles on the floor, which could pose a safety risk if someone slips.

No matter who you are or where you live, hanging towels in the bathroom is a must. The information below will tell you not just how to hang towels and racks, but also how to hang towels decoratively.

Bathroom Towel Basics

What Types of Bathroom Towels Should I Hang?

This one is pretty easy: when it comes to bathrooms, you’re going to want to hang both hand towels and bath towels (or sheets). While you technically can hang towels on random walls or toss them over a shower-curtain bar willy-nilly, you may benefit from finding a solution that’s both functional and decorative.

What is a Hand Towel, and What Sets it Apart From a Regular Towel?

We’re glad you asked, because not all towels are the same. You might know that bathroom hand towels are typically 15”x25” to 18”x30” in size, but did you know that they’re often made from cotton-based terrycloth to help increase absorbency? Like bath towels and bath sheets, which typically measure 27”x52” and 35”x60” respectively, they’re constructed to dry you—or at least your hands and face—when you’re wet.

Hand towels come in an assortment of colors, and while they typically match your bath towels or sheets, you’re always free to get creative and try complementary colors.

Hanging Bathroom Towels

You might be asking: What are the best options for hanging towels in the bathroom? You don’t have to be an interior-decorating guru to learn how to hang hand towels in a way that’s both functional and pleasing to the eye. If you’re not looking to take decorative risks, you can hang bathroom towels in the following ways:

Towel ring. Towel rings are a classic option for hanging hand towels in a bathroom with limited wall space. While you can obviously use them in any bathroom, they’ll allow you to hang your towels securely without letting them drop. To hang towels on a ring, do the following:

  1. Place the towel on a flat surface, front down.
  2. Smooth out any wrinkles.
  3. Fold the towel vertically into thirds, so it makes a thin rectangle. 
  4. Loop the towel through the ring with its decorative side facing out (or the seam side facing the wall). 

Towel bar. While towel bars often take up more wall space than towel rings, they come in various lengths and can sometimes fit multiple towels. Some bars even come with shelf space above them, which can be great if you like to fold (or roll) extra towels and store them for future use. To hang towels on a bar, do the following:

  1. Set the towel on a flat surface, front down.
  2. Flatten it out to remove wrinkles.
  3. Fold the towel vertically into thirds so it makes a long, thin rectangle.
  4. For bath towels or sheets, fold it in half again, this time lengthwise.
  5. Loop the towel over the bar with roughly ⅓ hanging off the back, and ⅔ hanging off the front.
  6. Make sure the towel’s decorative side is facing outward.

Towel hook. Out of all your bathroom towel hanging options, these take up the least amount of wall space. Some even come with two hooks attached so you can hang two towels. If your bathroom is small—or if you’re looking to take a minimalist approach with its decor—hooks are a great option. To hang towels on a hook, do the following:

  1. Set the towel on a flat surface with the decorative side facing up.
  2. Using your fingers, pinch the center of the top side and lift.
  3. Set the towel on the hook.
  4. Pull the sides down to assure the folds hang symmetrically.  

Towel rack. Often shaped like a small ladder, towel racks can be very handy for hanging towels in the bathroom. Some can even be powered and heated, which not only dries your towels faster but also makes them warm to the touch. This can feel amazing after a shower, particularly in the winter. To hang towels on a heated rack, do the following:

  1. Follow the same folding method you would use for a towel ring or bar (this can vary depending on the size of the towel). 
  2. Drape the towel over whatever rung is most convenient on the drying rack.
  3. Make sure to space your towels out so they’re not draping over each other. This will help them dry faster.

Where Should I Hang My Bathroom Towels?

When you’re hanging hand towels in the bathroom, it always makes sense to place them on the wall that’s 1) nearest to the sink and 2) out of the way of any other bathroom fixture. Consider also whether there’s anything that could sustain water damage below them, as your hands may drip as you reach for the towel. If your bathroom has a double vanity, consider hanging a towel ring on either side for easy access, regardless of what sink you’re using.

When you’re hanging bath towels or sheets, you’re going to need more space both vertically and horizontally. Again, it’s best to hang these bathroom towels where you’ll need them most—that is, near your bath and/or shower. If you have a hinged shower door, consider whether it will open inward or outward, as opening outward against the towel-hanging wall could prevent you from grabbing the towel.

How Do I Mount Bathroom Towel Racks, Bars, Hooks, and Rings?

If you’re wondering how to hang a towel rack, bar, hook, or ring, you’ll need to do a few things to make sure they’re attached properly so your towels don’t hang crookedly or unevenly on the wall. Here’s a quick DIY checklist:

  1. Decide where you want to hang your bathroom towels. Again, it pays to plan. Any towels you use regularly should be easy to grab whenever you need them. (If you’re also up for hanging towels decoratively in your bathroom, read the tips below!)
  1. Measure the area. While measuring might seem straightforward, it’s key to do this correctly if you want your bar or rack to be level or your rings or hooks to align horizontally. 
  1. Mark the area. With a pencil, mark the spots where you’ll want to drill holes to hang your mounting brackets.
  1. Drill holes for your mounting brackets. After making sure your marks are all aligned, pre-drill holes in the exact spot where you marked the wall so you can attach mounting brackets for your rack, bar, hook, or ring.
  1. Pound in anchors. If your mounting brackets require anchors, pound these into the pre-drilled holes using a hammer. 
  1. Secure your mounting plates. Attach your mounting brackets using screws and a screwdriver or drill. 
  1. Hang the bathroom towel rack, bar, hook, or ring. Once your mounting brackets are in place, attach the object you’ll be hanging your towels from. For bars, you’ll often have to attach one side first, then rotate the other side into place.
  1. Test the weight. Before hanging your towels in the bathroom, test the weight of your new ring, bar, or rack by lightly pushing down on it. If it’s solidly attached and nothing moves, you’re ready to hang your bathroom towels.

Storing or Hanging Towels Decoratively

If you’re the type of person who likes form to accent function, hanging towels decoratively in the bathroom—or hanging decorative towels in the bathroom!—can be a great way to breathe life into this small but important space. We’ve answered some key questions below to help you get creative.

How Do I Hang Bathroom Towels Decoratively?

When you’re looking for decorative ways to hang towels, it’s fun to get creative! If you find the typical fold-and-hang methods lackluster, you can try hanging your bathroom towels using the techniques below. 

  1. Layer your towels. This is a simple way to hang your bathroom towels decoratively on a day-to-day basis while keeping them functional.
  2. Tie the towel in a bow. This is a quick and simple method to hang your bathroom towels decoratively. It works particularly well on towel rings.
  3. Tie a bow around the towel. Try tying a bow around a towel’s center using ribbon or material. Not only does this keep the towel functional, but it also offers a repeatable look you can use across your bathroom. 
  4. Fold your towels into unique patterns. Who said a towel has to look flat and boring? Try folding yours in floral or geometric shapes, and hang them over the main towels you use on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Tassel tie. Remember the tassel? Nothing says decorative like tying a ribbon around your towel and using it to support a hanging tassel that accents your bathroom’s color scheme.

Can I Store My Towels in a Creative, Decorative Way? 

Of course! Hanging towels decoratively isn’t the only way to be creative. On the contrary, bathroom towels have to be switched out regularly, so finding creative storage solutions for backup towels should be top of mind whenever you’re remodeling or redecorating your bathroom. Below are just a few great towel-storage options.

  1. Shelves. Not only are mounted shelves an obvious choice for bathroom towel storage, but they also give you an opportunity to include peripheral decorations to brighten up your space.
  2. Cubbies. Cubbies are like shelves, only smaller and cuter! Whether they’re built into your bathroom walls or mounted like a shelf, they can be a great way to store rolled-up but ready-to-use bathroom towels.
  3. Floor baskets. This is an easy option to decoratively store bathroom towels. Baskets come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, and you can easily pick one that fits with your taste and budget.
  4. Wall-mounted baskets. Did you think towel baskets were just for the bathroom floor? Think again. They can also be mounted to the wall and used as a place to store your rolled or folded backup towels. 
  5. Ladders. These are not just for climbing anymore. You can lean a wooden ladder against an empty wall to hang towels decoratively in a way where they won’t overlap. As a bonus, you can even attach baskets to store the backups. 

Contrary to what you might have thought, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to hanging towels in a bathroom. Whether you’re fully remodeling your bathroom or simply wanting to update the decor, there are endless options for hanging towels in a way that aligns with your personal taste.

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