Can You Mount A Towel Bar Over Toilet?

Bathrooms are notoriously small, even in larger homes, and they lack proper storage. The space above your toilet is often overlooked when it comes to space-creating potential, and many homeowners are apprehensive about mounting a towel bar over the toilet. So, is it OK to put a towel bar over toilet?

There may be a few sanitary concerns when it comes to installing a towel bar over toilet. But, yes, you can install all kinds of things, including a towel bar over toilet. This article covers this and any other questions you might have about mounting a towel bar over the toilet. Read on.

Where’s The Best Place to Install a Towel Bar?

Towel bars are a staple accessory for any bathroom design. These horizontal bars are primarily viewed as a space for hanging towels but they also add to your bathroom’s aesthetics and keep your space organized.

So, where should a towel bar be placed in a bathroom? In most cases, the best location for a towel bar will simply be the area with the most space. However, towel bars must be placed in optimal locations to maximize convenience and functionality.

A good rule of thumb is to place towel bars and other tower hardware on the wall nearest to sinks and bath fixtures. That being said, bathroom designs vary. It’s imperative that you are familiar with the specifications of your bathroom design to install your towel bars correctly.

Can You Install A Towel Bar Over A Toilet?

Due to design and size limitations, many bathrooms don’t always have the wall space to install towel bars close to sinks and bath fixtures. In these situations, homeowners have to be inventive when finding optimal locations to install these fundamental bathroom accessories.

The space above the toilet is a solid contender. The area above your toilet provides a place to hang your towels and also allows you to fill a bare and unappealing space. If you want to create more storage, choose over the toilet storage with a towel bar.

However, there’s one major concern with installing a towel bar over the toilet; is it safe? While a towel bar over the toilet is functional and convenient, it’s not always the best option due to the hygiene risks.

Why Is It Unhygienic To Put A Towel Bar Over The Toilet?

Flushing the toilet generates copious amounts of airborne germs known as aerosol plumes. These aerosolized pieces of poop, urine, and pretty much anything else you flush down the toilet can scatter up to six feet in all directions, contaminating anything in the vicinity. 

Having over the toilet on an over-the-toilet towel bar, your towels will likely trap some of these germs. The tiny droplets can hang on the fibres on your towel for a week. Every time you dry yourself with the towel, you risk spreading these germs all over your body.

But aerosolized droplets aren’t the only potential drawback when it comes to mounting a towel bar over the toilet. Keep in mind that the bathroom is a damp environment. As a result, there’s also the risk of your towels becoming a breeding ground for mold, mildew, bacteria, and yeast.

Is There A Safe Way To Put Towel Bar Over Toilet?

Despite the sanitary concerns, you can still have a towel bar over the toilet safely. What you need to do is ensure that you put the toilet lid down every time you flush the toilet. In fact, it doesn’t matter where you put the towel bar if you don’t put the lid down before you flush.

As mentioned in the previous section, toilet plumes can disperse up to six feet in all directions. That means if you have an average size bathroom, where you hang your toilet makes no difference if you don’t put down the lid before flushing.

How to Install a Towel Bar over Toilet

So far, we’ve learned that while installing a towel bar over the toilet may not be the best idea, it’s generally okay. Just make sure that you put the lid down every time you flush the toilet and try to keep the bathroom clean and as dry as possible at all times.

Mounting a towel bar over the toilet will provide you with a functional and convenient accessory and add to your bathroom’s visual aesthetic. The best part is you don’t need professional help to install a towel bar over the toilet.

Here are the items you’ll need to mount a towel bar over the toilet:

  • Hammer
  • Power Drill
  • Measuring Tape
  • Nails
  • Wall Anchors
  • Pencil

Height is one of the most important considerations when installing a towel bar. You don’t want the horizontal bar hanging too low or too high. The ideal height of a toilet bar over the toilet comes down to practicality, convenience, and personal preferences.

Therefore, the first step is to determine the ideal height for a towel bar over toilet. The standard elevation for these bathroom accessories is 42­­­­–48 inches from the bottom of the baseboard. Be sure to account for children and those with limited mobility in your household.

  • After choosing the ideal height for your towel bar over the toilet, the next step is to mark the spot. Use the pencil to create a marking on the wall. The next steps are as follows:
  • Use a power drill to make mounting holes at the marked spots. Align the mounting brackets against the market sport and make sure it’s level before drilling.
  • If you are using wall anchors, use a hammer to drive them into the drilled holes
  • If you are not using wall anchors, align the mounting plates and use a screwdriver to secure them to the holes in the wall
  • Use the provided wrench and set screws to attach the bar holders to the mounting brackets, one after the other
  • Apply some pressure on your newly mounted towel bar to ensure it’s stable and then proceed to hand your towel

Other Places to Mount Towel Bar in the Bathroom

In addition to the space over the toilet, there are other clever locations to install towel bars. Here are a few examples of other ingenious locations to install towel bars in your bathroom.

On Bathroom Vanity

You can also mount a towel bar on a bathroom vanity. A towel bar on a bathroom vanity is an excellent solution especially if you have a small bathroom. Compared to other locations in your cramped bathroom, the vanity will typically have much more surface area to accommodate these accessories.

Inside a Walk-in Shower

The obvious problem with installing a towel bar inside a small walk-in shower is that it will get wet from the shower head or sprayer and become unusable. However, a towel inside the shower isn’t such a crazy idea if your walk-in shower is spacious. Ensure that you place it on the wall opposite the shower.

On A Bathroom Sink

One of the best locations for a towel bar is on the bathroom sink. As a matter of fact, a towel bar will typically come prebuilt on a bathroom sink. So if you are looking for an ideal place to put a towel bar, consider attaching it to the bathroom sink or buy a bathroom sink that comes with a towel bar attached to it.

On The Wall Next To the Shower

The wall next to the shower is the most popular location for a towel bar in most homes. That’s because it’s the most convenient place for a towel bar. After all, it happens to be on the way out of the shower. And in most bathrooms, there’s enough space for a towel bar on the wall next to the shower.

On The Shower Door

The shower door is another great location to put a towel bar if your bathroom design allows it. It’s an effective and accessible place to put a towel bar. Of course, this location won’t work if your shower doesn’t have some sort of a movable barrier at the entrance. Some shower doors come preinstalled with a towel bar.

FAQs on Towel Bar in the Space above the Toilet

Here are some frequently asked questions on towel bar over toilet.

Is It OK To Put Towel Bar Over Toilet?

Yes, having a towel bar on the space above the toilet is OK. The sanitary concerns are mitigated by putting the lid down before flushing the toilet.

How High Should A Towel Bar Be Above The Toilet?

The standard towel bar height is between 42 and 48 inches. However, the ideal towel bar height can vary based on preferences.

What Are The Sanitary Issues Associated With Towel Bar Over Toilet?

The biggest hygiene concern with a towel bar over toilet is toilet plume. These are tiny droplets of faecal waste that disperse when the toilet flushes.


As mentioned earlier in the article, the ideal location for a towel bar is simply the area in your bathroom with the most space. Perhaps that’s the wall nearest to the shower, sink, or bathroom vanity, it depends on your bathroom design. Be sure to position the towel bar in a manner that’s most accessible for you.

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