When it comes to essential accessories in the bathroom, towel bars are up towards the top of the list. While you may not think about it upfront, once you start using a bathroom regularly you're going to realize how much you really want towel bars by the sink so you can easily dry your hands and other towel bars near the shower or tub so you can have a towel at the ready when you get out. But there is more to outfitting your bathroom than just knowing that you want towel bars.
Now you have to figure out what size is best suited to your needs. Towel bars come in a number of sizes. Directly off the rack at the store you may be able to find them in widths such a 7-inch, 12-inch, 18-inch and 24-inch. Beyond that, some will let you customize the length of the rack to exactly what you need. So how do you know what you need?
What Is It For?
The first question you have to ask yourself is what kind of work you need these towel bars to be doing. Essentially, how many towels do they need the hold? And how wide are those towels?
When it comes to putting bars by the sink, for a hand towel, generally you only need something that will hold one or two hand towels. Usually these hand towels will be folded so they don't take up a huge amount of space. If you're just using one hand towel, a 7-inch rack will be plenty of space. If you like the look of two hand towels, and maybe even one of those decorative washcloths on top of those, you probably should shoot for 12-inch towel bars.
On the other hand, near the tub, usually you don't want to do with anything less than something that will hold two adult towels. Quite often, there are also decorative towels to put on these bars. If you use smaller body towels you may be able to get away with an 18-inch towel rack. However, if you have the space, you may want to go with a 24-inch towel rack so the towels don't seem so cramped when they're lying on the bar.
How Much Space Do You Have?
A major consideration when deciding what type of towel bar you want in your bathroom is just how much space you have to put a towel bar. If you have very little wall space or just have a very small bathroom, you may have to figure out how to make do with smaller bars. This can be done. For example, if you're limited to a 7-inch towel rack by the sink and only a 12-18 inch towel rack by the shower or tub, the simple answer is that you can only hang one towel at a time.
Before you ever go shopping, you should carefully measure the amount of space you have in your bathroom to install towel bars. You also want to consider where you're going to place them so that they're convenient. For example, the bar by the tub or shower needs to be easy to reach from inside the tub or shower. Likewise, the bar by the sink needs to be in close proximity to the sink so you're not walking around with wet hands.