towel bar height / wainscotting question

foodonastumpFebruary 20, 2013

The length of my planned medicine cabinet would have me mount it such that the bottom is lower than the standard 4' height of tile wainscotting. This has me thinking I should lower the height of the wainscotting to around 40" give or take. The planned tile is subway tile with chair rail cap. (Back of the sink comes to about 35.5", so this would mean roughly one course plus chair rail above the sink.) This has me questioning the height of the towel bars. As I see it, I have three options:

1) Raise the height of the wainscotting and choose a shorter medicine cabinet. But one of the main reasons I want a longer one is so that my young kids can see themselves.

2) Raise the height of the wainscotting and let it run into the sides of the medicine cabinet. (Obviously I'd have to check clearances to make sure the chair rail doesn't interfere with the mirror.) I'm wondering if that would look awkward.

3) Mount the towel bar(s) above the wainscotting. Again, wondering if that would look awkward, or be awkward to hang a towel since the chair rail would be sticking out just a couple/few inches lower than the towel bar.


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I would want my towel bar to be in the wainscot tile area otherwise dampness of towel would be touching the wall and then the towel would be sticking out as it drapes over the crown.

I think it would look fine to have the crown run into the sides of the cabinet. I've included a drawing showing where I have my wainscot run into my window frame.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:48AM
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I've seen plenty of examples with the medicine cabinets inset into wainscoting. It all comes down to personal preference.

How tall are your ceilings? Wainscot usually looks best 6-12" above the halfway point so that the room is not visually cut in half.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 2:43PM
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I set things into wainscot all the time. No worries if you go that route.

If you can't properly deconflict the wainscot cap with the door swing, you could pad the medicine cabinet out a bit. But that detail, it's on a case-by-case basis.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 2:48PM
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We wrapped a framed mirror into wainscot. I am sure you could do something similar with your medicine cabinets.

Our bathroom is not finished, but here is a pic.

This post was edited by sparklebread on Thu, Nov 14, 13 at 21:36

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 3:24PM
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Thanks for the responses.

Allison - Interesting observation about the height. My ceilings upstairs are low (dormered cape - 88") so 40" would be less than half the height. Either way, it's a small bathroom so I think there's not enough wall to create that split in half look.

Enduring - The chair rail I'm considering would only come out about an inch, so I don't think the towels would touch the wall except while actually hanging them, nor would they drape out. If anything, the chair rail will hold the towels off the wall for those top few inches. But I'll definitely take the depth of the bars into consideration when choosing.

Mongoct - Good idea with bumping out if needed. I suppose another option would be a surface mounted cabinet, but I'm trying to avoid that.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 6:38PM
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