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Have you ever used a bathroom, washed your hands after (hopefully), and when you wanted to dry them, something just felt off? You couldn’t quite put your finger on it, but the way you used the towel felt unnatural. This is where ergonomics comes in. There is a standard size and height for things to make them as comfortable as possible to use while taking human form and movement into consideration. Ergonomics can be a bit tricky to achieve when it comes to the height of a towel bar, as there are many elements to consider when selecting the height of a towel bar: the length of your towels, the design of the bathroom, the size of the bathroom, the age of the person using the bathroom, the mobility range or limitations that the user has, and so forth. While taking these points into consideration, we will be looking at standard heights for different types of towel bars as well as other bathroom accessories.
- 1 Different Towel Sizes
- 2 Selecting Your Towel Bar
- 3 Other Bathroom Fitting Measurements
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4.1 What Is the Standard Towel Bar Height?
- 4.2 What Is the Standard Height for a Toilet Paper Holder?
- 4.3 What Is the Standard Towel Rack Height?
- 4.4 What Is the Height of a Towel Hook?
- 4.5 At What Height Should the Towel Ring Sit Above the Vanity Surface?
- 4.6 Where Should a Towel Bar Be Hung?
- 4.7 What Is the Difference Between a Hand Towel and a Guest Towel?
Different Towel Sizes
When looking at the height of a towel bar, it is not only important to consider the person that will be making use of the towel bar, but also the object that the towel bar will be used for: a towel. As with most everyday objects, there are different types of towels and different sizes.
While there are many different towel sizes, the standard ones are washcloths, hand towels, and bath towels.
These are considered a standard set and you will be able to buy them as sets and they are used residentially as well as commercially. Below is a comprehensive table of all the different towels, including the standard sizes), as well as their sizes and what they are most often used for.
|Towel Type||Towel Size (inches)||Description|
|Washcloth (standard) / Face Towel||12 x 12 to 13 x 13|
|Fingertip Towel / Guest Towel||11 x 18|
|Hand Towel (standard)||16 x 30|
|Bathmat||21 x 31 to 23 x 39|
|Bath Towel (standard)||28 x 54 (regular) to 39 x 59 (large)|
|Gym Towel||33 x 63|
|Bath Sheets||39 x 59 to 40 x 72|
|Beach Towel||3 x 63|
Selecting Your Towel Bar
A towel bar is typically used to hang and dry towels for them to be ready for the next use, whether it be a bath towel or a guest towel. Towel bars come in various lengths, finishes, shapes, and designs and are usually chosen with the rest of the bathroom hardware in mind. The following are the different standard lengths for towel bars:
|Towel Bar Length||Use||Where to Install|
|18 inches||Fits a standard single bath towel when folded in half||Very small bathrooms|
|24 inches||Fits a single oversized bath towel folded in half||Small to medium bathrooms|
|30 inches||Fits two standard bath towels folded in thirds||Large bathrooms|
When choosing the length for your towel bar, it is important to make sure that there is enough wall space for the bar. If you plan on installing two or more towel bars next to each other, make sure that there is at least a two-inch gap between each bar. Also ensure that the bars are not overlapping on other accessories, such as the toilet paper holder, as well as any electrical points in the wall.
Standard Towel Bar Height
No matter the length of a towel bar, it is best to install them at a height of 48 inches from the finished floor level to the center of the bar. Although 48 inches is the standard, keep in mind the needs of the people who will be making use of the space.
For example: If the bathroom is specifically dedicated to small children, then the bar should be lowered to at least 42 inches for them to be able to reach the towel comfortably without a stepping stool.
Heated Towel Bar Height
If you are thinking of installing a heated towel bar, you will notice that these bars are almost ladder-like in their design, and this might cause confusion regarding the height at which to install them. Luckily the answer is quite simple: Use the top bar of the “ladder” as your reference point. If the height of the top bar is 48 inches from the finished floor level, the placement of the entire heated towel bar will make sense, practically as well as visually.
Also, keep in mind that an electrical point is needed for a heated towel bar and provision should be made accordingly before the installation can occur.
Towel Rack Height
A towel rack is not to be confused with a towel bar: A towel bar is one singular bar, whereas a towel rack has multiple bars either positioned flat, against the wall or protruding outward from the wall, like a shelf. Towel racks work great for small bathrooms where you need to be able to hang at least two bath towels. They also work well for hanging a bath towel at the back, and a face towel in the front. The standard towel rack height is 48 inches, which is the same as the standard towel bar height.
Keep in mind that in some cases the front bars might sit lower than the back bars of a towel rack.
Other Bathroom Fitting Measurements
Aside from towel bars, there are many other fittings that go into the bathroom that have standard heights from the floor level. These fittings are usually coordinated to be the same color and design to create a cohesive environment. These include towel rings, towel hooks, toilet paper roll holders, and so forth.
Towel Ring Height
Towel rings are very popular when it comes to hanging face towels or guest towels. They are usually installed next to, or as close as possible to the basin for ease of access after you have washed your hands or face. Do not let the shape of a towel ring confuse you, just because it is circular. The exact same rules apply to the towel bars: 48 inches from the finished floor level to where the towel will physically hang.
In this case, it is best to measure 48 inches from the floor level to the bottom of the ring, which means that your towel ring will be installed slightly higher than your towel bars, depending on the diameter of the towel ring.
Again, remember to consider the user of the space. If a child will be making use of the bathroom, a towel ring of 48 inches will be much too high. In this case, it is best to measure 42 inches from the floor to the bottom of the ring, for the child to be able to easily access the towel. If the towel ring will specifically be dedicated as a face towel ring or guest towel ring, you won’t run the risk of the towels grazing the floor, thus you have all the freedom to play around with the height.
Towel Hook Height
Towel hooks or robe hooks are popular in bathrooms that are not necessarily meant for guests, as they tend to look a bit messy but are very convenient. The standard towel hook height is usually higher than that of a towel rail because of the way in which the towel is hung on the hook: instead of it neatly being folded in half, as in the case of a towel rail, it is just simply hung over the hook, which makes for quite a long hanging area. The standard towel hook height is between 55 to 70 inches. As for placing them apart, it is safest to stick to 10 inches apart.
Popular locations for towel hooks are behind bathroom doors.
Toilet Paper Holder Height
The standard height for a toilet paper holder is 26 inches from the finished floor level to the middle of the toilet paper roll. As for where to place the toilet paper roll holder horizontally, it is recommended that it be installed at eight to twelve inches from the very front rim of your toilet.
If the bathroom will solely be used by small children, 8 to 10 inches from the front rim of the toilet should be more of a comfortable position.
Although there are standard suggestions for the heights of these items, it is important to remember that they are not hard and fast rules. When designing a bathroom for a public space where there will be many different users, these guidelines work well. But in the case of personal residential bathrooms, what is considered standard for one person might be uncomfortable for the next. Always be sure to plan and measure your fittings out in advance and make the necessary changes while keeping the user in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Standard Towel Bar Height?
The standard height for a towel bar ranges between 42 and 48 inches. 48 inches is usually the safest bet, as, no matter how large the towels are that you end up choosing, they won’t graze the floor. If there are exclusively small children making use of the bathroom, the 42-inch height is preferred.
What Is the Standard Height for a Toilet Paper Holder?
The standard height for a toilet paper container is more or less 26 inches from the finished floor level. This height makes the toilet paper easy to reach for most people and ensures that the paper won’t be grazing the floor.
What Is the Standard Towel Rack Height?
Towel racks have provisions for more than one towel. Some towel racks are flat against the wall, like a ladder, and others protrude outward from the wall. Either way, the standard towel rack height remains the same as for a normal towel bar: between 48 and 48 inches. In the case of the so-called ladder towel rack, simply make use of the very top bar as your reference point.
What Is the Height of a Towel Hook?
A towel hook sits higher than a towel bar or towel rack. Depending on the size of the towels, 55 to 70 inches from the floor should suffice for a towel hook.
At What Height Should the Towel Ring Sit Above the Vanity Surface?
Towel rings should be easily accessible to a person, after washing their hands, while in a standing position. If your vanity countertop is at a standard height (30 to 32 inches from the floor), then the bottom of the towel ring should be placed at least 20 inches above the vanity.
Where Should a Towel Bar Be Hung?
A towel bar should be hung as close as possible to the bath or the shower. If there is a bath and a shower in a bathroom, the possibility of two towel bars should be considered. If space is a limited commodity in your bathroom, a good option is to have the towel bar installed on the door of the shower. Another option for small spaces that are used quite regularly is to rather install towel hooks on the back of the bathroom door. If you have too much space and a very large shower, some towel bars are also installed inside of the shower, furthest away from the shower head.
What Is the Difference Between a Hand Towel and a Guest Towel?
Even though both of these towels perform the same function, the difference lies in their size: A hand towel is 18 x 26 inches and a guest towel or fingertip towel is 11 x 18 inches. A guest towel is also usually only used as décor, whereas a hand towel is used to dry hands and faces.