How to Install a Closet Valet Rod
A valet rod is a slide out rod that tucks away neatly when not needed. They are useful in the closet, but also in the bathroom and laundry. The valet rod is the most under appreciated tool of the organized closet. So whats the big deal? Well for starters, the rod is obviously a place to hold clothes. The idea is that it is an extra pair of hands to help hold your garments or purse etc., not a permanent place to hold things. If you just brought home the dry cleaning, you can hang it there while you sort it. Another great use is to assemble your daily wardrobe. Hook your jacket and shirt there while you select your slacks etc. Unlike a hook that continues to stick out, just slide the rod back out of the way when you are done. Most closets are narrow places so space saving is a must.
Drill or Driver
1”x 3” pine
1 1/4” wood screws
paint (in this case black)
Step 1: Step 1
Now in my case, the existing closet has custom trim between cabinet sections. Normally a valet rod attaches flush to the cabinet wall or even a fixed shelf. When measured, I had a space of just over 1/2”. I considered ½” stock but it would need to be shimmed out. To simplify things, I decided to just use some 3/4” 1” x 3” stock pine scrap I already had. The mounting plate on the slide out valet rods I have are 12” long. There are other sizes available. I bought these from the October Company. They specialize in closet accessories. You can find lots of them on Ebay in different shapes, sizes and colors (prices too).
I wanted some wiggle room so I cut a piece of the board 12.5” long for each valet. I then gave them a good sanding. The valet rod was centered top to bottom onto each piece of pine with the front to the edge of the wood. I then marked the screw holes with a pencil. The screws that came with the rod are 5mm euro style. I'm not a fan of these but luckily I had a 5mm self centering bit that came with my Rockler Shelf Pin jig (I use a 1/4” bit most of the time. It's easier to find shelf pins in that size locally). You can free hand it, but I used my jig. I centered the jig over each spot and drilled the holes.
Step 2: Step 2
The closet trim is black. I had some satin black water based paint left from a previous project. I prefer water based over oil. Clean up is easy with soap and water. In my hot south Texas climate I can recoat in an hour. I gave the boards two coats of paint. I forgot to drill for the anchor screws so I added two pilot screw holes on each board in the middle about 2” or so from each end. I used a counter sink bit so the screw heads would be flush.
Step 3: Step 3
Once the paint was dry, I started with the install. I held up the board roughly where I wanted it, about 1/8” away from the cabinet face trim. I screwed in the front anchor screw. Now that it was snug enough to hold itself in position I held a level to it to make sure it was straight. Once leveled I put the back anchor screw in place. Now all that was left was mounting the valet rod to the board using the included screws into the predrilled holes.
Now if you don't need a spacer like I did you can skip a lot of the above. Valet rods are very handy. You can use the same steps for sliding belt and tie racks. I hope this was helpful to you. Thank you for reading this Instructable. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments!