D.I.Y. hanging towel rail

James, Team member
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D.I.Y. hanging towel rail

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Project Overview

A stylish copper hanging towel rail will help keep your towels tidy and off the floor as well as adding a real wow factor to your bathroom. We’ll show you how easy it is to assemble the copper framework and hang one to your ceiling joists.  Continue to Step-by-step instructions.
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Measure twice, cut once

You can rub out a pencil mark but you can’t undo a cut from your saw. Whether you are working with timber, tiles, glass or any other building material, you should always double check your measurements before you cut.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut out wooden discs for brackets
2 Drill two recessed holes in each bracket
3 Measure and mark the copper pipe
4 Cut the copper pipe to length
5 Flare the longer pipes
6 Slide the brackets onto the pipes
7 Attach the T-joints to the pipes
8 Attach the small length of pipe
9 Attach elbow joints to the pipes
10 Attach a pipe to the elbow joint
11 Insert a pipe into the T-joints
12 Secure the bracket to the pipe
13 Polish the towel rail
14 Cut the plaster
15 Drill a recess in the joist
16 Chisel out the recess
17 Pre-drill holes in the brackets
18 Attach the towel rail to the joist
19 Plaster over the holes
20 Hang up your towels
  • Step 1. Cut out wooden discs for brackets

    To hang your towel rail from the ceiling, you will need to mount it to brackets. Clamp a timber offcut to the bench and, with your safety equipment on, use a 50mm hole cutter to cut out two discs for the brackets.

  • Step 2. Drill two recessed holes in each bracket

    For the copper pipe to sit flush with the bracket, you will need to drill recessed holes that are the width of the flared pipe. Start by using the 25mm spade bit to drill a hole three-quarters of the way through the centre of each wooden bracket. Then use the 20mm spade bit to drill the rest of the way through.

  • Step 3. Measure and mark the copper pipe

    Next you’ll need to measure and mark the copper pipes for your hanging rail. For our project, we measured and marked out 2 x 660mm lengths, 2 x 335mm and 2 x 915mm lengths. A good tip is to make sure that your rail is made to fit your bathroom joists.

  • Step 4. Cut the copper pipe to length

    To cut the pipe to length, attach the pipe cutter to the pipe, turn it one revolution and then tighten the cutter. Repeat this until the pipe is cut. Do this to cut each pipe length.

  • Step 5. Flare the longer pipes

    You will need to flare the longer pipes so that they don’t slide out of the wooden brackets. To do this, put each pipe in the flaring tool and hit with a hammer several times. Don’t stand the pipe on the floor when you do this because it may bend out of shape.

  • Step 6. Slide the brackets onto the pipes

    Slide the wooden brackets onto the pipes, with the flare sitting in the recessed end.

  • Step 7. Attach the T-joints to the pipes

    Attach a T-joint to the end of each 915mm length of pipe and secure it with the crimping tool or glue. 

  • Step 8. Attach the small length of pipe

    Attach the 335mm lengths of pipe to the T-joints to make two long vertical lengths and crimp them in place. 

  • Step 9. Attach elbow joints to the pipes

    Lay the pipes on the workbench as this will make it easier to ensure the angles on the joins are all square. Attach an elbow joint to the end of the long piece of pipe and crimp (or glue) it in place. 

  • Step 10. Attach a pipe to the elbow joint

    Take one of the 660mm lengths of pipe, insert it into the elbow joints and crimp (or glue) it into place for the base of the hanging unit.

  • Step 11. Insert a pipe into the T-joints

    Insert the remaining 660mm pipe length into the T-joints and crimp (or glue) it into place. Your hanging rail should now be ready to hang.

  • Step 12. Secure the bracket to the pipe

    Wrap tape around the flared end of the pipe to protect it. Then apply builders filler around the flared copper pipe. Push the bracket into place and apply more filler around the top of the bracket and let it dry.

  • Step 13. Polish the towel rail

    Once the builders filler has dried, use a soft cloth and copper cleaner to polish the towel rail before you mount it.

  • Step 14. Cut the plaster

    It’s important that your towel rail is secured to a joist in your ceiling because it will be holding wet, heavy towels. Locate the joists in your ceiling and use the utility knife to cut out the plaster below them.

  • Step 15. Drill a recess in the joist

    Use the 35mm hinge bit to drill a recess for the brackets in the wooden joists where you’ve cut.

  • Step 16. Chisel out the recess

    Use a chisel and hammer to clean out the recess you’ve cut for the wooden brackets.
  • Step 17. Pre-drill holes in the brackets

    Pre-drill holes in both sides of the wooden brackets for your screws.

  • Step 18. Attach the towel rail to the joist

    You’ll need someone to help you with this step to hold the towel rail in place. Use 50mm chipboard screws to secure the towel rail to the joists.

  • Step 19. Plaster over the holes

    To finish, use a multi-purpose joint compound to fill in the holes around the wooden bracket. Let it dry, then sand it back and paint it.

  • Step 20. Hang up your towels

    Now you are ready to hang up your towels on your new, stylish towel rack.

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Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.

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