Project tutorial

DIY Towel Rack with Faucet Taps

Project cost
1 hour
Estimated time

If your bathroom is short on storage or you’re utilizing dull and outdated towel bars, this DIY rack is the upgrade your space needs. Using salvaged barn wood and vintage porcelain faucet taps, we were able to build this shelf and add a rustic element to the bathroom within an hour. The ornate handles pay homage to late nineteenth century bathrooms, but if a contemporary and industrial look is more your speed, swap out the porcelain pieces for metallic ones.

For additional storage space, we attached a shelf to the top. You can purchase a shelf with brackets or use scrap wood for this as well. The added shelf offers room for displaying candles, decor, stacked towels, and other bathroom essentials.

(This article originally appeared in This Old House magazine. Author // Amy R. Hughes. Photos // Matthew Benson; Kristine Larsen.)

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  • (3) porcelain taps and escutcheons
  • (3) dummy spindles
  • (2) shelf brackets
  • epoxy
  • barn wood for shelves
Step 1

Calculate the Space Between the Taps

Use a tape measure to determine the rough distance between each tap on your mounting board. Factor in an extra inch on either side of the board for the brackets.

Step 2

Mark the Board For a Shelf

Trace a line on the board where its top shelf will sit to figure out how high to position the supporting brackets on either end.

Step 3

Position the Brackets

Position the brackets 1 inch in from the ends of the mounting board, with their tops just below the pencil line. Mark where the brackets’ fasteners will go.

Step 4

Screw the Brackets On

Drill pilot holes for the fasteners and secure the brackets to the board.

Step 5

Mark the Tap Positions

Draw a horizontal line across the center of the mounting board using the straightedge of a combination square. Then mark evenly spaced vertical lines through the horizontal one to indicate where each tap will go.


Step 6

Attach the Spindles

Place the dummy spindles on the marks and drill pilot holes for their fasteners. Secure the spindles to the board.

Step 7

Glue the Escutcheons On

Mix a two-part, fast-drying epoxy formulated for bonding metal. Spread the epoxy on the rims of the porcelain escutcheons and place them over the spindles.

Step 8

Set the Taps

Fill the metal fittings at the base of each tap with epoxy and fit them on top of the spindles. Wait 5 minutes for the epoxy to set. (It takes 1 hour for it to fully cure.)


Step 9

Attach the Shelf Top

Rest the shelf top on the brackets. To secure it in place, drive trim-head screws through the shelf and into the top ledge of the supporting board. Now pick a nice spot in the bathroom for your new towel rack.


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