Towel bars are typical bathroom accessories used for hanging towels. While installing them is relatively straightforward, removing them can be tricky if no screws are visible. With the right techniques and tools, removing a towel bar without visible screws is quite simple.
This guide will assist you in determining how your towel bar is attached to the wall so that you can easily follow the steps to remove it. Soon you’ll be able to remove that old towel bar with confidence.
Determine the Type of Mounting Method Used
The first step is figuring out if your towel bar is screw-mounted or adhesive-mounted. Here are some tips for determining the method:
- Check for Access Panels – Many towel bars have end caps or a central plate on the wall that can be taken off. Look for these and see if there are screws underneath.
- Look For Holes – Check the bottom of the bar and the backplate for any tiny holes where screws might have been used. If you find them, it’s likely attached with screws.
- Try Wiggling It – Hold both ends and give it a slight wiggle. If it doesn’t move much, it’s likely stuck with adhesive. If it feels loose, it’s probably screwed on.
Once you’ve determined the method, you can gather the proper tools and start the removal process.
Tools Needed to Remove Towel Bars
Gathering the proper tools will make towel bar removal much smoother. Here are some must-haves:
- Screwdriver – A flathead screwdriver can remove hidden screws.
- Pry bar – Helpful for prying off end caps or pulling adhesive-mounted bars off the wall.
- Putty Knife – Useful for scraping off old adhesive.
- Heat gun or hair dryer – Helps soften adhesives to loosen the bond.
- Gloves, masks, and eyewear – Protect yourself from sharp edges or falling debris during removal.
Removing a Screw-Mounted Towel Bar
If you confirmed your towel bar is screw-mounted, follow these steps:
First Protect Surrounding Surfaces
Before starting, protect surrounding surfaces by laying down drop cloths. Wear gloves and goggles to keep yourself safe from any injuries while you work.
Locate Hidden Screws
Towel bars often have screw heads hidden under decorative end caps. Carefully insert a flathead screwdriver under the edges of the end caps to pry them off, revealing the screws.
If end caps don’t come off, check under any installed cover plates in the middle section. Slide these off to potentially find screw heads.
Unscrew the Bar from the Wall
With screw heads now accessible, use a screwdriver to unscrew them. This will detach the bar from the wall. Be sure to unscrew any brackets as well. Go slowly to avoid stripping the screws. You may need to apply penetrating oil if the screws are stuck.
Patch Holes and Repair Wall
Once the bar is removed, make sure to fix any holes or damage on the wall.
- Joint compound
- Fill any holes with the joint compound and allow it to fully dry.
- Smooth the area using sandpaper for a flat and even surface.
- Use the same color of paint on the patched area to make it blend in with the rest of the wall.
Removing an Adhesive-Mounted Towel Bar
For adhesive-mounted bars, use the following process:
Insert a putty knife under one end and gently pry upwards to break the adhesive. You can also use a hair dryer or heat gun to soften the adhesive which loosens its grip. Keep the heat moving and use the lowest setting. Be patient so you don’t rip off chunks of drywall.
Remove Adhesive Residue
Any adhesive left on the wall needs to be properly removed:
- Start by rubbing it off with your fingers or a cloth.
- For stubborn residue, apply rubbing alcohol, acetone, or nail polish remover. The alcohol acts as a non-solvent, breaking down the adhesive so it’s easier to scrape off.
- Be cautious using solvents like alcohol or acetone as they can damage paint or drywall if left too long. Wipe off immediately after scraping the adhesive.
Things to Consider When Removing a Towel Bar
Follow these tips for safe, smooth towel bar removal:
- Work slowly and carefully to avoid unnecessary wall damage.
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper bar removal methods.
- Consider hiring a handyman if you lack the right tools or skills.
- Place drop cloths or towels under the bar area when removing them to catch falling parts.
- Turn off electricity at the breaker if removing a bar near the outlets to prevent shocks.
Having trouble removing the towel bar? Try these troubleshooting tips:
- Stuck screws – Apply penetrating oil around the screw head and let it sit before trying to unscrew.
- Stripped screws – Place a rubber band between the screw head and screwdriver to improve grip.
- Heat gun burning wall – Keep the heat source moving and use the lowest setting.
- One end detached, one stuck – Try gently twisting and moving each end back and forth until it comes off smoothly.
Removing the towel bar with hidden screws might seem challenging. However, if you follow the simple steps mentioned above, you’ll be able to remove the bar from the wall without causing any damage. Just take your time, be gentle, and if you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help.