Replacement towel bars for ceramic towel bar holders — our research — 3 sources

replacement-towel-barsWhere to turn when the towel bar that hangs between built-in ceramic tile towel bar holders breaks? Luckily, with the help of reader Kathy, we’ve found three sources for trim-to-fit, spring-loaded replacement towel bars — including a “hack” to use a chrome bar, rather than the off-the-shelf plastic solutions. No need to touch those vintage tiled-in towel bar ends! 

Reader Kathy wanted to help a friend repair her original 1934 bathrooms. In her search, she found two sources for spring-loaded replacement towel bars that can be cut-to-fit.

replacement towel bar1. Lenape Re-Place-A-Bar via distributor Eclectic-ware

First Kathy wrote:

I found a website that carries replacement white and clear plastic spring-loaded 3/4″ square towel bars to fit old ceramic towel bar holders!

Eclectic-ware has a wealth of information on the size, installation and modifications you can do using their spring-loaded replacement towel bars. The bars are available in white or clear in 12″, 24″ or 36″ lengths that can be trimmed-to-fi. Prices range from $11-$13 each.

replacement-towel-bar-retro2. Adjustable plastic towel bars via Amazon

Amazon has a few options for spring-loaded replacement towel bars in white or clear from Ez-Flo, Moen and Franklin Hardware. The bars are available in sizes from 24″ – 36″ and range in price from $5-$15 including shipping — comparable in price to the Lenape models from Eclectic-ware.

Important hack idea: Use the spring-load ends on a chrome towel bar to avoid a plastic bar:

Interestingly enough, Kathy also wondered:

I’m wondering if those spring-loaded plastic ends from Eclectic-ware/Lanape could be retrofitted into a a square metal replacement bar, or with scavenged for parts from a cheap modern towel bar.

replacement-chrome-towel-barYup! Ez-Flow has a 36″ chrome, square towel bar that could fit the bill — and their spring loaded ends are available separately. This way you could make your own chrome, spring-loaded towel bar replacement without having extra parts from cannibalized sets left lying around.

replacement-towel-bar3. Big box home improvement and hardware stores

I also found that replacement bars can be found at local brick and mortar stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot and Ace Hardware:

Mega thanks to reader Kathy for pointing out the availability of these replacement towel bars!


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


  1. Mary Elizabeth says

    A just-in-time solution for me! I have an odd-sized chrome towel bar in the shower, screwed into the wall through the plastic tile. The bar is rusted beyond help, but the holders are in good shape. I need to replace the whole thing but can’t get a bar that size. An adjustable or trim-able bar is just what I need. Thanks to reader Kathy and Kate!

  2. Katie says

    If you do end up needing to replace your towel bars, I’d suggest hiring a contractor to install grab bars along the wall. They make good towel bars, and when someone needs a grab bar, they are in place.

  3. Erik says

    Your local tile shop will carry plastic and chrome bars that can be cut to length and the spring loaded clips as well.

  4. Jenny says

    I am looking for this style of replacement bar, only in glass to replace our vintage ceramic holders. Do you know of a site where I can get glass square replacement rods?

  5. Jennie says

    My home was built in 1950. I am restoring my 1950 bathroom and my towel bars are wooden. I’m sure they are the original with what appears to be a baked on white high gloss paint. The paint has yellowed . I really want to replace the bars with wooden. It seems the spring loaded end caps fit inside a hollow plastic or chrome bar.
    Any suggestions on replacing my wood bars with new wood bars?
    My last resort is sand them and paint. 😳

    • Kathleen says

      My towel bars are wooden also, and one just broke. I would like to replace it with a wooden one but I have no idea how to get one in the holders. I have been googling like mad but all I can find are instructions on plastic or chrome replacements. Hopefully someone reading this can help us.

      • pam kueber says

        I don’t know the answer to this one. I suspect that if you have ceramic towel bar holders with wood rods, the wood rods were installed at the same time the holders went into the wall. My only thought if you want wood again would be to jury-rig a solution. That is: Carve into the ends of a new wood rod and insert the spring, like the ones shown in this story…. or, cut three pieces — two small ones that fit into the rod holders and one long piece that spans the holders then glue the long one to the short ones – you wouldn’t really see joint — dovetail or miter for added strengths, maybe. I’m not an expert on such MacGuyvered solutions… just some thoughts!

  6. Dale Wares says

    I went to Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, Target and Walmart in Norman, OK looking for replacement towel bars. None of them carried replacement bars.

  7. Heather K. says

    I am looking for replacement mounting brackets for my vintage glass towel bars with bent ends. I find many sources for brackets for straight towel bars, but not for these bars that end in 90-degree angles. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *