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poorly hung towel rack

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Dec 16, 2013, 08:55 PM
poorly hung towel rack
Hello to all.

Hope each of you and your families are all doing well this holiday season.

In one of our bathrooms that has wall-paper, the towel rack bracket that the round part of the towel rack mounts to [with the little screw underneath], is loose. It seems that the bracket screws just keep turnning and the sheet rock is also loose/pliable or cracked.

As of now, you cannot remount the bracket in another location bc there is no wall paper behind the circular wall-mount that holds the towel rack bar.

I have a couple of ideas, but I wanted to see if you guys have fixed something like this before and if the fix held well? I am looking for a long term solution. I sure would appreciate your feedback and experience.

Thank you very much, and Merry Christmas to all,
Dec 16, 2013, 09:26 PM
Butterfly bolts.

Most towel bars come with plastic expansion anchors. They can work but it there is a load like someone grabbing the bar, they can pull loose fairly easily.

The large screw in type anchors will hold better, but these too can be ripped loose under load.

Butterfly bolts grab a much larger area behind the drywall, making them much stronger. They will also have the advantage in that they can be installed exactly where the towel bar is now. It makes a huge hole - about 1/2" in diameter, but that will be covered by the base.

The best anchor of course is to mount it into solid wood, but for an anchor that is only in front of drywall, the butterfly bolt is as strong as it gets.

Dec 17, 2013, 08:16 AM
Thank you Jaybee. I beleive you also call these toggle bolts.

What I planned on doing was cutting out the area of sheet rock that was bad, then go as far as the towel rack cover plate to get clear margins. Then with my jig-saw, cut a piece of wood that would fit that hole snug. I will need to make sure the wood is the same thickness as the sheet-rock. Drill a hole into the center of the wood to pass the t-bolt and then thru a piece of wood about half the lenght of a paint-can stir-stick, but much thicker.

I was then going to apply Lock-Tight to the wood in the back and hold the head of the t-bolt, pull the wood flush to the back of the sheet-rock. Let it set 24 hrs, and that lock-tight bonds that wood like cement to the wall. Then tighten the t-bolt to allow the wood to be both tight and flush to the wall. Then I can drill my pilot holes for the towel-rack clip to be I am in wood and good to go...any issues, pls let me know.

All the best, and Merry Christmas to all,

This message has been edited. Last edited by: tstex,
Dec 17, 2013, 09:02 AM
From your first post, it sounded like one of the issues is that the walls are covered with wallpaper? If so, then that makes the problem one where you can only work with the size and shape of the base of the towel bar.

Yes, butterfly bolts and toggle bolts are exactly the same thing. I will say again that unless the drywall has been really weakened, the toggle bolt should hold the load of a towel bar. Not as strong as if it were backed by wood, but if you are working through a small hole to instal a wood backer, then the wood is dependent on the drywall for support anyway.

If that's what you are trying to do then the best you can get is to cut a piece of wood (1/2" to 3/4" plywood works well) that is small enough to fit through the hole yet large enough to span the sides of the hole. You can coat one side of this wood piece with construction adhesive and hold it in place until it cures. To hold it, you can add a second piece of wood on the face of the drywall and put one screw through both and through the hole. Once cured, you can fill the larger hole to get things up to the plane of the wall. This plug can be drywall or wood - doesn't matter as the strength will be in the first backer wood piece.

If it wasn't for the wallpaper, the strongest option would be to cut out a large enough section of drywall so that you expose the studs in the towel bar area and either add 2x4 blocking and/or a 1/2" plywood skin in place of the drywall. But again, it appears that the wallpaper prevents that.

Dec 18, 2013, 09:25 AM
Thanks Jbee,

Yes, the wallpaper complicates or limits the options to nothing bigger than the base of the t-rack.

And yes, just like a mare, "it would be good to have a strong 'stud' close by". LOL

Dec 18, 2013, 11:14 AM
what's on the other side of the wall where the towel bar is ? If it's a closet or some other closed area, you could remove a section of the dry wall in that area, and back up the damaged area with a piece of wood
Dec 18, 2013, 11:33 AM
Thanks for the follow-up and good "out of the box" thinking. It is the bathroom toilet w wall paper too. Damn wallpaper is getting in the way. Frown