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I have a towel bar which isn't anymore firmly attached to the dry wall as it should. You can see what the situation looks like in the picture below. This was most likely due to the screw not being properly installed in the drywall, which ended up damaging the drywall.

Now, in this situation, how can I get the towel bar properly attached?

(I thought of filling the existing hole and placing the attachment a few inches to the left or to the right, but this isn't an option, as this is 1 of 3 towel bars, and it needs to be in that position to be aligned with the 2 others, plus there wouldn't really be enough space to the left or the right.)

enter image description here

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I can't figure out what the picture is of. It looks like something sticking into a wall. Is the speckled piece in the foreground the rod? It would help if you would back up a bit from the wall and take another picture? –  getterdun Oct 17 '13 at 1:00

2 Answers 2

I might suggest my, "If you don't overbuild it, it isn't worth doing," approach by:

  1. locating the studs and marking their centers (they should be 16" apart);
  2. cut out a stud-center to stud-center swath of drywall to include where your towel bar was mounted;
  3. replace drywall (using a "patch piece" from local HW store - usually 16"x16", so if you do a 4"x16" strip you can afford 3 do-overs);
  4. tape edges of your patch, prime, texture to match, prime again, and paint. If you take your time, it'll take you a full day.

There are many ways to patch a hole in drywall and screwing to the studs offers a good, standard way to do this without adding extra stuff that isn't supposed to be there and will also be strong enough to hold your towel rack. If all else fails, you might consider replacing a half-sheet of drywall to obtain a new, strong mounting base for all towel racks. The more repairs needed to a given area, the bigger your patch should be to be able to hold what you are mounting to it.

Happy drywalling!

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Mounting to studs is the obvious best solution. If that were possible, it probably would have been done already. Replacing the damaged drywall with fresh drywall just prolongs the inevitable failure. Drywall alone is not an adequate anchor surface. If one is going to remove any sizable piece of drywall, they should install substantial backing behind the drywall in which to make a proper connection. This can either be 2x flat blocking or plywood attached to studs via cleats nail-glued to the studs. –  bcworkz Oct 16 '13 at 23:14

If you could wind back the clock and use a heavy duty drywall anchor, this probably would have been fine:

enter image description here

But now your options are more limited. You could try a larger than normal "Snaptoggle" brand anchor. Or make your own:

  1. Clean out the hole.
  2. Find the largest piece of wood that fits in the hole.
  3. Drill a hole in the wood, insert some string.
  4. Insert the wood/string into the hole and pull tight.
  5. Using two drywall screws and some glue, secure the wood to the back of the drywall.
  6. Patch the hole with mesh reinforced plaster. Patch the step #5 screw heads.
  7. Screw the towel bar into your new wood backing. Teach the kids to do chinups elsewhere, but short of that it should last through any normal use.
  8. Consider retrofitting the rest of the racks with the standard heavy duty toggle bolts.

If that fails you'll need to cut out drywall, insert a proper backer board, and re-plaster with a matching finish. Matching the finish is hard.

Come on back and let us know what you did in the end, with a wider angle photo!

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