denise_slagter

Is it ok to hang bath towels over a toilet?

Denise S
November 21, 2019

We're just finishing a remodel on our bathroom and now we have to find/hang fixtures. With limited space, I'm wondering if its acceptable to hang a towel bar above a toilet (which sits next to the tub)? It would be used primarily for the bath towel(s). Thoughts? (I'll post pics once the toilet and sink are in place for a better idea of the layout).

Comments (48)

  • ljk1

    Do you have a spot to hang hooks? We have done nice looking hooks in all bathrooms in our last two new homes. You might like that better than reaching over the toilet.

    Denise S thanked ljk1
  • tangerinedoor

    You could hang a towel warmer that gives you a few rows of bars for hanging?

    Denise S thanked tangerinedoor
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  • alissa ruhl

    I don't like towels by the toilet. Even though it doesn't touch the toilet its just too close for comfort. Is there another wall that you could hang hooks?

  • shirlpp

    My thought is ouch! For sanitary sake.

  • PRO
    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design

    Having towels hung near the toilet just always has the "ick factor". I'd try to find a better location.

    Denise S thanked Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design
  • kudzu9

    Towels above the toilet? Fine. I fail to see that there is a serious sanitary issue. I've had towel racks that have been by or above toilets all my life and I'm still here. And if you're worried about the so-called "toilet plume" from flushing, you should be wearing a moon suit any time you flush and do a decontamination of the whole bathroom afterwards.

    Denise S thanked kudzu9
  • Tara

    LOL kudzu9! The "toilet plume" can actually be 6 feet. What you should be doing is putting down the toilet lid before you flush. I don't like having a towel rack above the toilet because then you have dripping hands on the toilet, while reaching for the towel to dry off.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Ugly!!!! Get hooks! Anywhere but there! They dry better, and you need not fold

    Denise S thanked JAN MOYER
  • Sammie J

    It is certainly ok, but probably not your best option for many reasons described above. I vote hooks, too.

  • kudzu9

    Tara-

    The OP was wondering about having bath towels hanging above the toilet, especially since the bath was adjacent to the toilet. I wash my hands in the sink and there is a hand towel nearby. I don't go all the way back to the toilet to dry my hands. I interpreted the OP's original question to be about whether it was "acceptable." After that we were off to the races with comments ranging across the spectrum from germophobes to uncouth people like me who are oblivious to the lurking menace of toilets.

    But now that we are all assembled, I suggest we move the discussion along to the correct direction for the toilet paper to come off the roll ;-)

    Denise S thanked kudzu9
  • suezbell

    Would not both for looks and sanitary reasons -- every flush puts a bit of a mist into the air.

    As a practical matter, you could hang a bath towel over the shower rod or shower door if you really need to do so. If you have room for an 18" square rolling cart for storing towels or other bath related items, you could add a towel bars or rings to that.

    I actually have a three-tier basket hanging from a bracket that once held a flower pot in a corner of my bathroom opposite my toilet and it has ended up collecting a myriad of different items. If you don't have a shower curtain rod or a glass enclosure over which you could throw a damp towel, you might consider hanging a towel bar or ring from the ceiling. Such a towel bar could be hung beneath a box -- think, box hung as a swing seat -- a box in which you could keep shampoo and conditioner.

    If you don't already have a full length mirror or other items hanging from it, you might consider hanging a double towel bar -- or two of them -- on the back/interior of your bathroom door.


    Hang the swing/box/towel bars in front of one end of the shower/tub.

  • PRO
    JudyG Designs

    It makes no difference what towels are hanging over a toilet if the lid isn’t down when flushing. You can bet drying yourself off with one of those “infected” towels might be a transmitter of something yucky. I’m with Tara because:

    It's all down to what is known as "toilet plume" — the small particles of waste that mix with the water in your toilet after you flush and which can shoot aerosolized feces into the air (as high as 15 feet, apparently!). ... So basically, an uncovered toilet that's not in use can still spread bacteria."

    Bottom line…whatever is in your bathroom, photo over the toilet, towels, toothbrushes, tissues, drop the lid before you flush and then keep it down until….next time.



    Denise S thanked JudyG Designs
  • suezbell

    How decorative you make your swing (box) with towel bar or ring would be your choice . (Would not do a shelf and expect items to stay atop it.) You could paint the box for your shampoo, etc., the same color as your walls or your favorite bold accent color. With a box you could attach two towel rods or rings either beneath or on the side of your box/swing, keeping space between the towels -- better for drying damp towels or keeping the dry towel you want to keep within reach of the shower/tub several inches away from a damp towel on the other rod.


    https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&id=E5B068B94C9E53E19C7C0BCF43B9C7F05AD6D0F7&thid=OIP.auJmuJShcmCybRyo_7YV-QHaHa&mediaurl=https%3A%2F%2Fae01.alicdn.com%2Fkf%2FHTB1YOBSkDmWBKNjSZFBq6xxUFXaq%2FNordic-Bedroom-Wall-Shelf-DIY-Original-Wooden-Beads-Storage-Shelf-Organization-Swing-Shelf-Kids-Room-Decorative.jpg&exph=1001&expw=1001&q=decorative+%22swing%22+as+shelf+or+box+shelf&selectedindex=43&ajaxhist=0&vt=0&eim=1,2,6



    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/364017582353580749/

    Denise S thanked suezbell
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    A bath towel is simply too long to hang well over a loo. The bar would need to be at least 28 inches ABOVE the back of the toilet, and more if a generous high quality towel. Not pretty folks. That assumes one folds perfectly in half. ...............On the other hand, hooks are easy, and you get more convenient hang,

    Failing that buy a free standing double and move it at will. Away from the loo


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    Denise S thanked JAN MOYER
  • printesa

    Sure, why not..In small spaces, you take advantages of the vertical space.

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  • iheartsix

    I personally would not hang bath towels above toilet. I have hooks in our baths for towels - great look.

    Denise S thanked iheartsix
  • suezbell

    Also, because it was mentioned, I vote to have the paper roll from the back over the top of the toilet paper roll and hang down in the front.


    Any other votes? Your vote, kudzu9?

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Good toilet paper hang. prevents a foot of it hanging on the floor..........as you search....search........: )

    As to towels. We'll assume you come out of the shower as clean as the day you were BORN. Have two colors......toss in dryer, use shelves.....refold and re use. Store over the loo as photo above. Three days, start over.

    Is that not the purpose of the towel bar? Otherwise....a hamper and a ton of laundry. Right?

  • Tammy O'Connor

    Just to play devil's advocate here, know that hooks do not necessarily let towels dry better than bars. The towels end up creased together and locking in moisture versus being spread out to evenly dry on a bar or rack. It's been a pain point in our high moisture bathroom without any windows. Something to think about...

  • kudzu9

    suezbell- I shouldn't tip my hand this soon, but I'm with you on the TP....

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    A "high moisture" bath needs a better fan, and a door open a bit, when you shower. Mostly.......a very GOOD ventilating fan. Otherwise, expect bigger issues than damp towels.

  • Flo Mac

    In our last house we mounted towel bars on the back of the bathroom doors. Worked great. Right now, in the new house, the towel bars are over the toilet but I use them for the bathmats which are only on the floor during a bath or shower. I have placed hooks on the bathroom doors in the new house and the towels dry just as well as they did on the towel bars at the old house.

    Denise S thanked Flo Mac
  • functionthenlook

    My towel bar in the master is beside the toilet and we are still alive and well. Personally I don't like hooks. The vacation house we use to rent had hooks and our thick towels didn't completely dry out before the next shower. Plus I like the look of a folded towel.

    Denise S thanked functionthenlook
  • Lisa

    I'd rather hang towels behind the toilet than use hooks. Hooks always remind me of showering at the Y. People, it's a towel in a bathroom. Chill out.

  • drsaj

    The plume. Besides containing odors, this is another justification for a water closet.

  • tatts

    Everybody knows that the TP goes over the top, hanging to the front; it makes it easier for the cat to play with. And that's what's important.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I use hooks for bath towels but I have a hotel rack for extra towels and it is mounted above a toilet with a bar under it where I hang hand towels . IMO if someone pees that high they can move out of my house for sure . IMO there is no reason to have a seperate room inside a bathroom for a toilet there is no way someone will use the toilet while I am using the bathroom . If you go the route of European toilet rooms that is whole lot of sense.

    Denise S thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • printesa

    We have the toilet in a separate enclosure in our master bathroom and I really like that. The bathroom can be used by another person at the same time..and it does get used that way a lot. Now in this case, the OP says that there is limited space so definitely no space for separate enclosure. As long as the seat is down while flushing, there is no problem

    Denise S thanked printesa
  • shirlpp

    Husband and wife using master bathroom. One of them takes a shower and the other has to really use the bathroom. Sounds like a good case for a separate toilet room inside a bathroom.

  • Annette Holbrook(z7a)

    I have a train rack above the toilet in my guest bath. There is virtually no wall space for hanging so this was my best solution. I did stick a couple of Command hooks on the back of the door, but that’s too far to be reaching when you are standing in the shower trying to get a towel.

    Similar to this,

    Denise S thanked Annette Holbrook(z7a)
  • Sister Sunnie

    The toilet paper should be hung to hang down the back ....... but everyone must "roll" the way that works best for them..... in our house, two bathroom, two different hangs.

  • suzyq53

    Unless you close the toilet lid, droplets of whatever can be spread up to six feet when you flush. Pretty gross in a small bath with the vanity and tub right next to the toilet. And one of the reasons I prefer to never use a public restroom if I can help it.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Heavens! I go everywhere.............lol

  • kudzu9

    suzy-

    As you get older, you will come to value the ready availability of any restroom, even the dreaded public ones. And, if you really fear the toilet plume, you could always be rude and leave the flushing to the next person... ;-)

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    This paranoia re germs will in the end , kill many. Your body is meant to withstand all kinds of bacteria . Wash your hands!!!!

    Beyond that? The "critters" are all around and ON you. Unless you reside like the boy in the glass bubble.

    We're literally manufacturing super bugs. Too much intervention via antibiotics and an obsession with anti bacterial everything. If you're reasonably healthy? Enjoy life and don't count little critters ?

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    If space is at a premium, get a train rack like you see at hotels. Restoration Hardware has many of them and they look great.



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    Denise S thanked Sabrina Alfin Interiors
  • suzyq53

    I'm not that worried about germs per se; its more just an ick factor. Pee is usually sterile. It's the poop or blood particles that gross me out. Especially if they're not mine (or at least someone I know). And I just cringe when I see the toothbrush holder on the vanity next to the toilet.


    As for bath towels, I only use them once, then they are dirty and go in the laundry. I don't leave them hanging around. I have cabinet space to stack four clean towels and a little hook to hold the clean towel while I shower. If I didn't have towel storage in the bathroom, hopefully I'd have a nearby closet to store them in and just grab one on the way to the shower.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    You must be well under forty and I will pray you don't have teens using a towel once. Hon........you are very clean and scrubbed when you come from the shower, or we hope you are : ) A towel drying is definitely not "ICK" A micro fiber hair towel can be a great solution if most of that "damp" is coming from your hair. Saves a lot of work. ......which is a definite "ICK"??!!

  • drsaj

    NOTHING is worse than being a guest at someone's home and taking a folded towel out of the linen closet to dry off, only to find that your body is then covered with dog hair because apparently the towel was used to dry the dog off after coming in from outside. Yeah. Really happened.

  • suzyq53

    Even when you've just showered, you are getting hair and skin particles and maybe other stuff on your towels as you dry off. My husband uses his towel in his ears and between his toes and a few other places. Trust me its ick.

  • shirlpp

    drsaj....I agree that is pretty gross. Gosh - I'd wonder about the kitchen habits.

  • drsaj

    shirlpp, exactly.

  • printesa

    let's just agree to each their own..some people are germaphobes, some like a bit of dirt, some prefer more and so on

  • functionthenlook

    I think the human race is going to become extinct from our own demise. We are taking clean to unsafe levels. Our immune systems needs to be used to remain strong. That means the immune system needs to be exposed to germs to be at its best. For one because of using anti bacterial products we now have super bugs that don't respond to antibiotics. All we are doing is making germs stronger the more we try to eliminate them. A healthy immune system can combat the weaker germs, but because of our cleanliness the super bugs we created is too strong for our immune systems.

  • Cheryl Smith

    I personally don't like towels above a toilet. But I don't like anything above it except a picture. It is the ick factor but also the thought of dropping one in the toilet. I prefer to hang my towels as close to the shower as possible but over a heat vent to help with drying. I also prefer a towel bar not hooks. But I am planning on putting hooks in my guest bath so I won't have bath towels hanging unless I actually have someone using them. I'm going to use old glass door knobs from my husbands moms house so want to see them. Something like this

    Denise S thanked Cheryl Smith
  • Denise S

    When I originally posted, I hadn't expected so much response... and so much to think about. THANK YOU everyone who has weighed in on this...


    I FINALLY have some photos to share (renos always take way longer than expected - at least in our house). As you can see we have limited space. The toilet sits quite close to the tub and, while I really like the idea of hooks, I don't think we'll have the space for it here (however, I DO plan to do this in our newly renovated ensuite). We will have a corner rack (not pictured) going in so the only space we really have is above the toilet (oh, we also have a rob hook on the door). I am a FIRM BELIEVER in closing the lid before flushing and when not in use (I'm a warden when it comes to enforcing this as well! lol). That said, I've probably answered my own question about where we'll be hanging a towel bar. Now I just need to decide if we go with a train rack or a traditional bar. I honestly hadn't even considered a train rack as I was thinking about a traditional towel bar and adding a display shelf for decorative things above... but perhaps the corner shelf is enough for 'decor' and a more functional, towel rack should be considered. As you can see we don't have any where to store towels in this bath as there is no cabinet and we currently have to use our linen closet in the hallway... perhaps this is something I should look into a bit further... great suggestion!







  • printesa

    Your bathroom is beautiful. A shelving unit in that corner should be plenty for towel storage and some toilet paper

    Denise S thanked printesa
  • Cheryl Smith

    You have a very nice small bath. I think a storage cabinet in the corner is perfect. I would look for something with open shelving above and drawers or doors to hide things that aren't so nice to see. But I still really hate anything but a picture above a toilet. In your case I would probably just have multiple hooks behind the door. You can get a lot of different kinds for really cheap at big box stores that just hang over the door. No mounting.

    Denise S thanked Cheryl Smith

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