Towel Bar Height
Towel bars typically come in two lengths: 24 inches and a shorter 18 inches. For adult bathrooms, hang the towel bar approximately 48 inches up from the floor. Once you hang the towels from the bar, check the edge of the towels. The towels should not touch any surfaces, including the floors, bathroom counters or bathtub. For multiple towel bars, install one bar 48 inches from the floor and hang a towel from the rack. Hang the second rack high enough above the first that the towels do not bump against each other. Install any additional towel racks in the same way.
As children are shorter than adults, you should hang towel bars at a lower height in bathrooms designated for children. Hang the towel bar approximately 36 inches up from the floor. Keep in mind the height of the children using the bathroom. For children under 3 feet tall, 36 inches might feel too high and leave the towels just out of reach. When you first install the towel bar, check the natural reaching range of your child and lower the height as needed.
Do not install the towel bar anywhere near outlets or electrical switches in the bathroom. As the towels dry out, the water can drip inside the outlets or seep behind the light switch. The excess water may lead to serious problems, including electrical shortages or damage to the electrical system.
The Americans with Disabilities Act covers the layout and design of bathrooms designed for handicapped users and users with disabilities. The Act requires grab bars in showers, bathrooms and bathtubs of 42 inches long and placed less than 12 inches above the sink or toilet, making it easy for an individual to reach the grab bar from a seated position. Use the same guidelines for inspiration when installing towel bars in a bathroom for those with disabilities. Place the towel bars close enough that the individual can reach it without straining.