Shower “Towel” Bar Replacement

Estimated Time Required: 10 minutes (plus trip to the hardware store)
Estimated Level of Difficulty: Easy breezy

If you, like me, live in a house that carbon dates back to the Mesozoic era, some home improvement tasks are difficult to tackle.  I have yet to track down replacement tiles for our cracked baby blue tile.  When I asked in the tile store, the kind, old salesman laughed over my head (he was too tall to laugh directly in my face) until he realized I was serious.  The only blue tile they had in stock was a horrid bright blue tile which I can’t imagine a use for (which is probably what he thought of my baby blue color description).

My shower “towel” bar (does anyone know the actual term?  No one in Home Depot knew what the heck I was referring to), however, was a much easier fix.  And, unlike redoing the tile in my master bathroom, it was cheap and quick.  Here’s how I did it, as part of my Finish It! May challenge.

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Can you see the crack that propagated along the bottom of the plastic bar?  While it still held its structural integrity, I have had more than one bottle of shampoo or can of shaving cream come careening down this wall before.  My soft, soggy pinkie toe does not appreciate the landing.  So I got proactive (for once).  The problem?  The Porcelain mounts on the end are adhered to the wall.  The solution?  I ended up snapping the bar into five pieces to get it out.

The replacement?  I found an oversized replacement bar at Home Depot for $5.  The best part is that it includes spring ends, which means I have a way of mounting it inside the unmovable Porcelain mounts without making it a week long ordeal with a lot of tears and booze.

The full solution only required a few minutes and a few tools:

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With a measuring tape, I measured the inside length of the bar (from Porcelain side to Porcelain side).  Mine was 20 7/8″.  I then measured the pocket depth on either end (how far into the Porcelain mounts the rod can go).  I ended up with .6615″ on one side and .627″ on the other (I used my digital calibers but you can get away with the tape measure if need be).  Both were similar so I added around .60″ – .70″ inches to my 21″ (rounded up from 20 7/8″ to account for the sawblade width) and marked my bar after removing the compression ends.  Using two c-clamps, I clamped it to a stool and with my handy dandy mini-hacksaw and cut off the excess of the 24″ rod.  Then I replaced the compression ends (I superglued one in just to be safe – and because I love the challenge of working with superglue without getting any on my fingers).  It popped easily back in and voila!  Easy, breezy amigos.  Good as new, and fits in with the design until we finally remodel the bathroom.

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