A loose towel rack is one of the most common and annoying issues in a bathroom. 

I’ve had a wobbly towel rack in almost every place I’ve lived. It’s a nagging problem that’s typically ignored until the whole thing falls off the wall when your kids decide to it them as a monkey bar.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix that also upgrades the look of your bathroom.

A towel bars’ posts rarely line up exactly with the studs behind the drywall. This forces homeowners to use drywall anchors on at least one side, which never work very well when holding heavy items like wet towels. 

In my new home, we neglected to put extra stud material where we wanted the towel racks to go, so I recently went back and fixed the problem.  

First, I found some pieces of hemlock that matched my trim for one set of racks, and some reclaimed barnwood for another set. Each piece needs to be longer than the towel rack’s posts. Don’t use MDF, which is basically glued sawdust — it won’t be durable enough and can soak up water.


Once you source a good piece of wood, clean it up by sanding it with a fine-grade sandpaper. Fill in the holes as needed and stain or paint it.

Next, locate at least one stud in the area where the towel rack will go. Use a stud finder or probe the wall with a tiny drill bit until you hit solid wood. You will need at least one stud to hold the wood.

Mount the wood to the stud with at least two screws. I like using trimhead screws that are counter sunk so that I can fill the holes later.

Once the board is solidly attached to the wall, you have something firm to which you can attach the towel rack posts. 

The difference is night and day. While your kids still can’t swing from it, at least wet towels won’t make the rack slowly pull away from the drywall.