If you have a bathroom with old ceramic tile, chances are the towel bars are made with ceramic end brackets and bars of plastic or plastic-covered wood. If yours are like mine were, they probably didn’t look all that good when new and are looking pretty dismal now. I decided to replace mine with oak to match the cabinets.
I removed the old bars, and then made new ones to fit the sockets.
I cut the length of the new bar to the distance between the inside faces of the brackets, plus the depth of just one socket. This allowed the bar to be easily slipped into place. To keep it from falling, I inserted five or six pennies, one at a time, into the gap between one end of the bar and its socket.
At the other end, I drilled and tapped a diagonal hole for a 1/4-in. setscrew. I couldn’t find a brass or stainless setscrew, so I cut off a length of a brass bolt and sawed a screwdriver slot in one end.
Mark Thiel, St. Louis, MO
From Fine Homebuilding 218, pp. 24
March 10, 2011