Introduction: Fix a Broken Towel Rack in 10 Minutes or Less
Loose or broken towel racks are probably one of the most common issues homeowners face. They're frequently used, putting stress on the attachment points, which overtime, give away. We had this exact issue, but it was complicated by the fact that the previous homeowners used the WORLD'S LARGEST drywall anchors when they installed the towel rack in the master bath. It started pulling away from the wall before it finally just fell out, leaving a large, gaping hole in the wall.
We didn't want to do any drywall repair, as that would require repainting the entire bathroom (since we don't have the original paint). So, we turned to toggle bolts to fix the issue. It was quick and easy--the best kind of home repair. Follow along as we show you how you can fix your own loose or broken towel rack in about 10 minutes.
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Step 1: Choosing the Right Toggle Bolts
Toggle bolts come in a variety of sizes. You'll want to measure:
- The thickness of your drywall (to be sure you purchase a long enough bolt)
- The holes in your towel rack attachment plates (to ensure that the bolt will fit through it)
- The size of the holes in your drywall (to ensure that the toggles are wide enough to grab on to the inside of your wall)
Once you have these measurements, you can purchase the right toggle bolts.
Step 2: Clean the Attachment Plate for Your Towel Rack
Our towel rack has a separate plate that attaches to the wall first, and then the arm that holds the towel rack is tightened onto the plate.
If your attachment plate looked anything like ours, it will need a good cleaning before you can move forward with the reinstall. Ours had tons of adhesive, which we think was used as a prior, failed attempt at fixing. We removed the drywall anchors that were attached and scraped the plate clean with flathead screwdriver.
Step 3: Put Toggle Bolts on Attachment Plate
Toggle bolts come in two pieces - the bolt and the then toggle, which is a spring loaded v-shaped nut that helps provide traction on the other side of the wall. You'll want to insert the bolts through the attachment plate to prepare for the install.
Before screwing on the toggles, you'll want to check to see how thick the drywall is. This is because the toggles will need to close fully and then open once they're inside the wall. We did this by holding the bolts onto the attachment plate and then sticking them through the wall to eyeball the depth.
Twist the toggles onto the ends of your bolts, ensuring that you will have enough clearance for them to close fully and then reopen after being inserted into the wall. The toggles should close toward the bolt heads.
Step 4: Insert Toggle Bolts Through Wall
Pinch all toggles closed and carefully insert them though the holes in the wall.
Make sure you pay attention to the direction that the toggles will open. We wanted ours to be parallel to the floor, as that's where they'd have enough traction.
Once the toggles clear the depth of the drywall, they should spring open.
Step 5: Tighten Attachment Plate to Wall
To tighten the bolts and secure the attachment plate in place, you'll need to pull forward on on the plate, creating tension on the toggles.
Keeping the tension, use a screw driver to tighten the bolts on your attachment plate. It will work best if you tighten one a little, tighten the other a little, and continue swapping back and forth until they are both secured fully to the wall.
Step 6: Attach Rest of Towel Rack and Enjoy!
Once the attachment plate is in place, you can install the rest of the towel rack and then hang your towels.
We hope that this tutorial was helpful. If you liked this project, please head over to JustMightDIY.com for other tips, DIY stories and more. And if you’re interested in checking out more of our tutorials, check out our Instructables profile or head over to our YouTube channel.
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