How to fit a towel rack in a small bathroom — 4 pro tips if short on space

It's not impossible. Our organization pros reveal how to fit a towel rack in a small bathroom

A small green vintage bathroom with a black towel rack on the wall next to the freestanding bathtub
(Image credit: Getty Images/Andreas von Einsiedel)

It's not easy trying to figure out how to fit a towel rack in a small bathroom, especially when you can barely squeeze in there yourself. Designers always seem to recommend vertical storage options, but what happens when there's not enough wall space to execute a plan?

Tight quarters can be frustrating, but it doesn't mean they're a lost cause. Whether you're living alone or sharing space, it's possible to square away necessities with our expert organizer and design guidance with eight tips on how to fit a towel rack in a small bathroom.

If your small bathroom ideas include a towel rack, the pros can tell you where to start measuring. Toolkits at the ready!

How to fit a towel rack in a small bathroom

Your initial ideas on how to fit a towel rack in a small bathroom might go out the window, but there are definitely ways to get your Brooklinen favorites and the rest of the bath towels in your collection situated. 

Start by decluttering your small bathroom and then work to set up a rack in one of our pro's favorite spots. 

1. On the bathroom door

A bathroom door towel rack with several towels on a white door and grey walls in the background

(Image credit: Amazon)

Vertical space might be limited when it comes to the walls, but don't forget about the back of the door. 

"One of the best ways I've seen of maximizing space is by installing towel racks on the inside of the bathroom door," says Nick Valentino, the VP of market operations at Bellhop. "If you mount one high and one low, there's even room for two full-sized towels as long as you fold them correctly." 

Should you be wary about making holes in the door, renter-friendly option such as a Madjid-over-the-door towel rack from Wayfair that doesn't require any installation is the perfect plan B.

Nick Valentino
Nick Valentino

Nick is currently the VP of Market Operations for a talented team at Bellhop, which helps create a better home moving experience, whether you're headed locally or across the country. 

2. On a cabinet

A white wall-mounted cabinet in a green bathroom with a towel rack beneath it

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Designer Artem Kropovinsky  is always in favor of leaving floor space clear, no matter the room you're working with. 

By opting for a wall-mounted bathroom cabinet, as he suggests, you're not only freeing up room to move around, but you're giving yourself some storage options, an essential rule for small bathrooms. Fasten a towel rack to the bottom of the cabinet or select a piece that already includes a towel rack (such as an Amazon wall-mounted bathroom cabinet with towel bar, available in four colors).

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York

3. Above the toilet

A black towel rack above a toilet in a white bathroom with a circular wooden mirror

(Image credit: Target)

If you're looking to make more space in a small bathroom but are still keen on having a towel rack, opt for a handy space near where you shower. 

"The space above the toilet can be suitable for a towel rack, and it's normally close to the shower," says professional organizer Laura Price. "I recommend installing one that allows you to roll your towels so you don’t have loose towels hanging down over the toilet."

Laura Price
Laura Price

Laura Price is the founder and director at The Home Organisation. She creates spaces to bring moments of calm in a busy life and help others experience the benefits of living an organized life.

4. Consider alternatives

A wooden freestanding bathroom cabinet with rolled up towels in wicker baskets and accessories

(Image credit: Target)

Clever small bathroom towel storage ideas don't necessarily have to include a towel rack. There's no requirement for the feature. You can keep your linens folded or rolled neatly and stashed in a woven basket, on a decorative ladder, or in a freestanding cabinet. 


What are towel rack alternatives?

Instead of using towel racks in a small bathroom, you can place adhesive hooks behind the door and keep that as your designated towel spot. Additionally, you can keep them in a freestanding cabinet, on a decorative ladder, in woven baskets, in storage utility carts, or even on over-the-toilet storage systems.

Are towel hooks or bars better?

Towel hooks aren't necessarily better than towel bars (otherwise known as towel racks). However, if you're a renter, you'll want to be mindful of drilling holes into the wall, which might make a towel rack a no-go. In that case, that, opt for over-the-bathroom-door storage racks or a freestanding bathroom unit that are easily removable. You'll have designated bathroom storage space for your stuff but won't do any permanent damage. 

Where is the best place to put a towel rack?

Although it differs on a case-by-case basis, designers suggest fitting a towel rack in a small bathroom near the bathtub and shower, where they're the most in demand. If the space can be clear and decluttered, even better!

Now that you're settled on where to put everything in your W.C., you'll want to keep things organized and clean. One thing you can't avoid? Humidity. Experts shell out tips for how to keep a bathroom dry. No time for mold here.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.