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November 5, 2010 11:48 AM   Subscribe

How to attach a towel bar to stone without drilling?

My shower is done in 12" stone tiles. My landlord's contractor didn't install a towel bar. I have a metal towel bar and would like to glue or bond it to the stone (I have the equipment to drill stone, but since I rent, that seems like a bad option).

I've seen several epoxies and such looking around the web that would probably do the trick. However, I can't clamp the bar and have no desire to spend a couple hours holding it to the wall. Also would like to be sure that it'll hold the weight of a couple wet washcloths. If the glue or whatever doesn't dribble down the wall and turn neon green, that'd be a bonus.

So, what should I use?
posted by QIbHom to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've used the shower/bath version of Command Adhesive products with a fair degree of success (holding up racks of shampoo etc., which seem markedly heavier than wet washcloths).

Note: the shower/bath version! Not the regular kind. These require more surface prep (thorough clean, then clean again with alcohol), but once they're on, they're on -- mine have been up for over a year so far on tile, right beneath the shower head.
posted by aramaic at 11:53 AM on November 5, 2010

Rather than a bar, what about several hooks? I'm a big fan of the Command brand of hooks. They're really sturdy (right now I have three heavy coats--a full length wool trench, a wool peacoat, and a parka--hanging on a medium-sized one in my bedroom) and they come off cleanly and easily. And they also have metal-finish ones so your bathroom won't look like a college dorm room.

You could also use an over-the-door towel bar, if that's something you might be into.

But have you asked your landlord yet? I had a landlord once who was thrilled to let me install curtain rods because it meant it was one less thing she had to worry about. (Of course, I also had a landlord once who flipped out when I asked--just hypothetically--if he would be OK with my painting the ugly dark "wood" paneling in my bedroom white, saying he "just had it installed two years ago." Two years ago my ass, they haven't even sold that crap since 1975...) Anyway, it doesn't hurt to ask. You may be able to get your properly-installed towel bar after all.
posted by phunniemee at 11:57 AM on November 5, 2010

How large is the surface that'll meet the wall? I would use Liquid Nails, a construction adhesive, which is pretty much my go-to answer for this sort of stuff.

Since you can't clamp it I might rig up some sort of brace to hold it in place or use hot glue or double sided tape in addition to the Liquid Nails. The hot glue/tape to hold it right away while the Liquid Nails sets.

Or, call your landlord and say "Hey man, I really need a towel bar. I can do it myself if you don't mind. Ok if I drill through the tile or would you rather get your contractor back here to do it?"

Really drilling wouldn't be any more permanent than gluing, and might be easier to remove down the road. Epoxy can be mighty permanent.
posted by bondcliff at 11:57 AM on November 5, 2010

Nobody glues a towel bar to stone tile,
and since you rent, it's a doubly bad idea.
Get the landlord to finish the job, and install a towel bar.
posted by the Real Dan at 11:58 AM on November 5, 2010

The issue here isn't how strong of a glue you use, the issue is how strong the stone itself is. It does you no good to attach to the stone, only to have a part of the stone pull away.

I agree wwith the Real Dan: this should be your landlord's problem, not yours.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:07 PM on November 5, 2010

Wait, why do you want a towel bar inside the shower? This doesn't make any sense to me. The towel bar should go on the wall, outside the shower, no? There are also many free-standing towel rack-type things you can get to put on the floor outside the shower.
posted by brainmouse at 12:08 PM on November 5, 2010

Why do you think it would make a difference to your landlord if you glue or drill? For most glues that would hold at all, it's equally permanent. If you want temporary, go with Command strips. If you want permanent, talk to the landlord.
posted by aimedwander at 12:38 PM on November 5, 2010

3M's 4200 marine adhesive will work, and it's "removable."

5200 is the non-removable version, but since you rent you should avoid it ;)

My local Home Depot carries it, check similar stores in your area. Or a marine supply/equipment store (like West Marine) will definitely have it.
posted by jpeacock at 12:45 PM on November 5, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. The landlord has fired this particular contractor, who left a lot of stuff unfinished. By agreement, I'm taking care of the smaller stuff, she's taking care of the bigger stuff, just to speed things along. She wasn't thrilled with the idea of me drilling into the stone.

I hadn't thought of hooks. That might be a decent idea. Sounds like the 4200 marine adhesive might do the trick.

Appreciate all the suggestions.
posted by QIbHom at 4:13 PM on November 7, 2010

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