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Replace a towel bar

Replace a towel bar

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If you're handy, you can replace a towel bar.

Is there anything more annoying in a bathroom than a towel bar unable to do its only job? As it dangles by one end, off the wall, it is good for nothing and certainly not for hanging a towel. The problem is the hardware fastener no longer works and is pulled out of the wallboard which can be a self-inflicted wound when someone mistakenly took it for a grab bar once too often.

Unfortunately, when the bar pulled away from the wall it created a hole in the wall so the job gets more complicated. You have to first remove the bar and repair the wall, and then reinstall the towel bar with new fasteners. If the wall was painted it can be repainted, but if there’s damaged wallpaper, you may have to install new wallpaper throughout the room and then reinstall the towel bar. None of these steps are rocket science, but they involve several of them.

Repair the old hole or holes using a wallboard compound with at least two applications, smoothing and sanding the patch to match the wall surface. Then paint or hang wallpaper before installing the towel bar. To do that position each end of the bar on a wall stud (use a stud finder to locate them) and use a drill to predrill the installation holes for the fasteners. A level guarantees the bar is straight as you fasten it to the wall.

The job is small and requires several different steps, so you’ll be lucky to find a handyman to do it. If you do, the charge will be $91, which includes the labor and material. If you’re handy, you can do the job for about $70, the cost of new towel bar and molly or toggle-type anchor fasteners. New paint or wallcovering will cost more.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit

Pro Cost — DIY Cost — Pro time — DIY Time — DIY Savings — Percent Saved

$91 — $70 — 0.7 — 1.5 — $21 — 23%

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