When installing a towel bar in a bathroom you should measure out the height to ensure that the towels are going to be hanging within easy reach without draping on the floor.
The standard height for a towel bar is 48 inches, though a few inches higher or lower can work for many people. Here we look at the points you should consider when setting the height of your towel rail, along with the recommended height of towel rails for people with limited mobility and disabilities, as well as the most suitable towel bar heights for children of different ages.
Standard Height of Towel Bar
The standard height of a towel bar in a bathroom is 48 inches. This is the industry-wide standard measurement at which most towel rails are fitted because it is considered to be a height that is easy for people to access without having towels draping along the floor.
A height of 48 inches also allows people to install a towel bar above their vanity unit without the hand towel falling into the sink or getting in the way of the vanity unit. As most vanity units have a height of 30 to 32 inches, a towel bar fitted at 48 inches will still be at least 16 inches above the vanity unit.
Why is Towel Bar Height Important?
The height of a towel bar is important for cleanliness and for practicality. People who use the bathroom need to be able to comfortably reach the towel rail so that they can use the towels for drying themselves, and it also needs to be accessible for the person who changes the towels. As well as being within easy reach, the towel rail needs to be high enough off the floor so that even when large bath towels are hung from it, they don’t sweep across the floor.
This is so that the towels remain clean and don’t pick up any germs or bacteria that may be harboring on the floor tiles. Towels should also not reach the floor since it might be wet from people getting out of the shower or children splashing in the bath. If towels drape along the floor they may also pick up stray hairs or dust from the floor, which won’t be pleasant for the next person using the towel.
The culmination of these points is that a towel rail needs to be low enough to be accessible yet high enough to keep the towels off the floor. The standard height agreed upon across the industry, which meets these requirements, is 48 inches high.
Towel Rail Height for Limited Mobility
The standard height a towel rail should be fitted is 48 inches from the floor. However, this height isn’t going to suit everyone. If your bathroom is for the use of someone with limited mobility, then a towel rail that is slightly lower would be more suitable. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) recommends that if the towel bar is not being installed near a vanity unit, then it should be no lower than 15 inches from the floor and no higher than 48 inches from the floor.
This leaves a wide range of possible heights for a towel rail, so it is best to first consult with the person who is going to be using the bathroom before you make any decisions. The ADA also advises that if the towel rail is being installed near a vanity unit, then the maximum height of the towel bar should be 44 inches.
This helps to account for having to reach across the vanity. In most scenarios, a height of 44 inches from the ground will be best for a bathroom designed for those with limited mobility, regardless of whether there is a vanity unit close by.
Towel Bar Height for Children
If you have a bathroom designed for children, it makes sense to adjust the standard height of fixtures and fittings so that the children can use them without needing to stand on a plastic step. Children will want to be able to reach the faucet over the basin and see themselves in the mirror over the vanity unit.
Children should also be able to easily reach their towels to encourage good hygiene. The age and height of your children will affect the best height for the towel bar, but remember that children grow, and you don’t want to be readjusting the bar every year or two.
For children who are aged 3 to 4, a maximum height of 36 inches is suggested. This increases to 40 inches for 5 to 8-year-olds and 44 inches for 9 to 12-year-olds. In a teenager’s bedroom, set the towel rail height at the standard 48 inches.