Towel Bar Inside Shower: Pros, Cons and Considerations

Some people love the idea of having a towel bar inside their shower. They think it is convenient, but others are not so sure. Some pros and cons of towel bars in showers are discussed below to help you make your decision.

To use a towel bar inside your shower, make sure you have enough space in shower for movement and to keep the towels dry. An in-shower towel bar saves on space, keeps the house clean and dry, and can be used to hold other items as well. It may, however, not allow the proper drying of the towels.

Towel bars and other towel accessories should be placed conveniently near the sink and other bath fixtures. All shower bars should be placed on the longest wall in the shower and should be as horizontally long as possible. Among the best towel bars is the Tomic Matte Black Towel Bar set. It comes with 4 pieces to be used in different locations of the bathroom.

Towel bar inside shower

Pros of a towel bar inside the shower

Some of the benefits of having an in-shower towel bar include:


A towel bar inside the shower provides convenience because you can easily grab a towel without getting out of the shower or opening up any doors. 

Saves on space

It also saves space because it does not require an extra hook, bar, or rack elsewhere in the home. This is great for small bathrooms or any home with little space.

Helps keep the house clean

Given that you don’t have to leave the bathroom while dripping with water to get your towel, it makes it easier to keep your house clean. You are also less likely to have puddles of water on the floor that could potentially slip and cause someone harm.

Can be used to hold other items

You can use the towel bar to hold other items like soap or shampoo. This makes it easier to get ready in the morning. You can even hang your underwear on the bar to dry up. 

Cons of a towel bar inside the shower

The downsides to having a towel bar inside the shower include the following:

Towels may not dry properly

One of the main downsides to having a towel hook, bar, or rack in the shower is that it will not dry properly and may even get mildewed. Towels should be hung out to air-dry in a well-ventilated area. If there is nowhere outside the shower for this to happen, you could find yourself with moldy towels or wet ones hanging from your towel bar when you’ve finished showering.

Use vinegar to clean shower doors and other areas infested with mold. For your towel, add a cup of white vinegar to the washing machine then clean with hot water.

Can damage walls and tiles

Another key disadvantage of having a towel bar inside the shower is that it can damage walls and tiles by either ripping them off their moorings when too much weight is put on them (such as all those wet bath towels) or becoming rusty after years of exposure to water without proper upkeep. 

If left unattended, these issues can become very costly over time which would ultimately outweigh any benefits gained from placing a bathroom towel bar inside the shower.

Bars made from stainless steel and with rubber grips on them don’t damage the wall when you put things on top of them. Stainless steel doesn’t rust although it’s quite easy to clean rust from shower bars.

May not fit in small bathrooms

If the bathroom is very small, a towel bar inside the shower may not work. The main reason for this is because it reduces the space in the bathroom which could be used for bathing and other items such as shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste.

Towel hooks inside a shower take less space than a towel bar but have poor towel-drying capabilities. Towel racks take up too much space although they store more towels and other items at once. 

May not be convenient 

The other reason for placing a towel bar outside the bathroom is that it may be hard to get the towel if you’re simply washing your face or hands at a sink outside the bathroom. You’ll be forced to walk into the bathroom, use the towel, then leave. If the towel bar was outside, it would be easier. 

Also, some people prefer going to the bathroom with a towel wrapped around their bodies. If the bar is in the bathroom, you have to go take it then tie it around your body (from your room) before going to the bathroom again. 

What to consider for towel bars inside the shower

Do you really need a towel bar in your shower? There are a number of reasons why you might want to put that towel bar in the shower, but it is important not to lose sight of its downsides as well. The aspects to consider before making this decision include:

Amount of space in the bathroom

The space in your bathroom is one of the most important things to consider when deciding on this type of towel bar. If you have a very small shower, then it might be difficult if not impossible to fit a towel bar in there and still leave enough room for yourself. Consider both the height and size of the towel bar for this reason. 

Towel bars should be between 42 and 48 inches above the floor. The hotel-style towel racks that combine towel bars and a top-shelf should be at least 48 inches from the floor. Robe or towel hooks should be at least 70 inches above the ground. If you’re installing several hooks, place them at least 9 inches apart. For towel rings, they should be at least 20 inches above a vanity countertop. 

The direction of the door

When installing a towel bar, consider the direction of your shower door. The most common mistake is to install a towel bar on the inside, which makes it hard for people exiting the shower without getting wet in order to reach their towels. If you have a shower curtain instead, consider the differences between shower doors and shower curtains to find out which one is the most suitable with a towel bar.

The type of towel bar 

A towel bar made of rust-resistant materials will not be damaged by the water and can thus survive in the shower. Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with lots of rust on the shower rod. 

Cost of repairs

Can I afford repairs if damage does occur down the road due to incorrect placement within my bathroom space? Towel bars carry weight and, depending on the materials used, can be costly. If you choose to use a metal bar for use with ceramic tiles, there will likely be damage to the tiles if too much weight is put upon it. The cost of repairs should always be a factor in your decision-making process when designing or remodeling a bathroom space.

Ease of cleaning

Most towel bars come in an array of finishes including chrome, brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze. Towel bars made from these types of metals tend to show fingerprints even after they’ve been cleaned. I recommend installing something that comes off as more inviting yet durable such as stainless steel or high polished brass.

The size of the towel bar

If you’re planning on using your towel bar as a shower caddy, then this is especially vital to consider before placing it inside of your bathroom space. There are many sizes available and, if you don’t want to measure out what size will work best for your situation, use an old paper clip and mark where height should fall. 

This way, when shopping online for particular options or offline at retail stores like Home Depot or Lowes, you’ll have the information needed ahead of time. Imagine spending all that time getting ready only to realize upon leaving that you forgot something important because there wasn’t enough room in which to place everything? Costly mistake if not avoided beforehand.

Ease of installation

When searching for a towel bar, take into consideration if you’re capable of installing the product yourself. For example, most online retailers provide installation instructions that are easy to follow along with all the necessary hardware. 

However, some specialty products might require an expert’s help in which case they will be available upon request from the retailer at reasonable rates. As such, consider towel bars that don’t require drilling as they’re easier to install and reduce the amount of damage done to the wall. 

How long you plan on staying in the home

Also, consider how long you will be staying in that house since towel bars are quite costly. If you’ll be there for a short while, then it may not be worth the investment. You can consider towel bars that don’t need drilling and can be easily removed and relocated in such a case. 

Bathroom ventilation 

The towel bar needs to allow the towel to dry up ready for the next use. Bathrooms need ventilation. Air needs to be able to circulate around the bathroom. Placing a towel bar on one of the walls will thus require an opening for air circulation.

The worst thing you can do is place your towel behind closed doors where humidity starts building up which leads to mildew growth quickly if not cleaned regularly. The soap scum that builds up over time also needs regular cleaning.

Too much humidity can also allow bacteria and other pathogens to develop in the bathroom leading to infections such as pneumonia or tuberculosis during cold seasons.

Where else to place towel bar in shower 

Besides inside the shower, you can place your towel bar in the following areas in your shower:

  • Shower door
  • Outside the shower
  • Shower adjacent
  • Vanity recess
  • Bathroom door
  • Double vanity
  • Long vanity rail
  • Freestanding rack
  • Next to or above the sink

If you have enough space in your shower, a towel bar inside it is a great idea. Simply make sure the shower is well-aerated to allow the towels to dry up properly in-between showers and baths.

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