Correct Placement of Towels in the Bathroom

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With all the different types of bathroom towels--hand towels, decorative towels and bath towels--it can be confusing when it comes to their correct placement. Before you hang your towel holders, consider which types of towels you need and where they should be located in your bathroom.

Hand Towels

  • After you wash your hands at the sink, you need a conveniently placed small towel to dry your hands. The towel rack, ideally, should be located on the wall directly next to the sink, positioned at a height that is comfortable for the average person. If it is a child's bathroom, position the rack lower to be within his reach.
    In some situations, the sink is located in the middle of a long counter and there are no adjacent walls, only a mirrored wall behind the sink. A towel stand is the appropriate solution, which can sit on the counter top near the sink.

Bath Towels

  • You reach for a bath towel when you climb out of the bathtub or shower. Install a 36-inch towel rack on a wall adjacent to the shower, close enough that you can reach it without stepping out of the tub or shower. It should be installed at approximately the same height as the hand-towel rack. The standard is around 48 inches. You may install one rack on top of the other if two people are using the bathroom. Allow adequate space between so the towels can hang and dry properly.
    If there isn't a blank wall adjacent to the shower or bathtub, consider installing a towel hook or purchasing a freestanding towel rack. Over-the-door hooks are available for smaller bathrooms and can accommodate multiple towels. Sometimes it is possible to install a towel rack within the bathtub or shower, if there is a wall opposite the water source so the towels won't get wet.

Decorative Towel Display

  • Rather than rely on towel racks, you can choose to creatively display your towels. Place a decorated cabinet or shelving within the bathroom. Neatly fold extra towels and stack them on the shelves. For a spa effect, roll the towels and stack them in rows.
    Extra wash cloths can be similarly rolled and displayed in a basket on the counter top. For guest bathrooms, consider using decorative hand towels. However, if you don't intend them for use, be sure to hang them far away from the sink and provide alternate towels for drying hands.

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