Bathroom Towel Rack Ideas

Bathroom towel racks can be as basic, complex or downright bizarre as you can handle; use everyday items for the job or DIY project.

Don't let your bathroom towel rack -- or bar or hook -- be an afterthought when it can be a conversation starter, focal point or at least a good-looking element.

Ladder, Ladder on the Wall

Additional Towel Rack or Hanger Ideas

  • Coat racks
  • Metal craft hoops, hung with rope or chain from rafters or joists above
  • Wine racks -- for rolled towels
  • Wooden hangers -- hung right-side up or upside down.

The rungs of a vintage ladder -- cleaned and finished with sealer -- make a simple towel rack when all you have to do is lean it against the wall near the tub or shower stall. For a large bathroom, use a painter's stepladder; years of paint splatter adds personality, and the paint tray makes an ideal spot for a plant or large, clear container of decorative shells, soaps or rolled facecloths.


Polyvinyl chloride pipes and fittings connect in almost limitless ways, making them common do-it-yourself supplies. The pipe is relatively easy to cut with a hacksaw -- file the ends smooth so that the cement bonds well when you secure the parts. Create a standard rack with a basic, freestanding design; form an industrial look by snaking pieces along the wall with wall clamps -- or come up with something special. Spray paint the plastic -- do it outdoors for ventilation -- using the room's accent color.


For a more substantial rack, use copper or cast iron pipes and fittings.

Box-Style Racks

Wood boxes -- think "apple crates" -- make ready racks when you attach them to the wall by screwing through their bottoms. If you plan to use more than one, fix them in a horizontal or vertical straight or staggered row, depending on the available wall space and your design savvy. When putting holes in the wall isn't ideal, you can stack the boxes on the floor instead. Vintage boxes have ready personalities, while new ones can benefit from a few coats of paint.

Towel Hook Ideas

Antlers and glass door knobs have little in common, except that they both make handy, conversation-starting towel hooks. Mount either feature on painted one-by-four lumber or a weathered -- and sealed -- plank, and then mount the wood backing to wall studs for stability.

Other hook ideas include:

  • Retro faucet handles
  • Stocky branches or driftwood
  • Screw-style drawer pulls
  • Bent spoons
  • Tools, such as a timeworn hammer -- mounted to the wall by its wooden handle with the claw or head as the hook. 

About the Author

Lorna Hordos is a home-flipping business owner and freelance writer. She writes friendly, conversational business, home and lifestyle articles for Bizfluent, azcentral, Daltile, Marazzi, Lowes, Philips Lighting, WordPress.com and numerous other publications.