How Practical Are Glass Towel Bars?

dmckeeFebruary 16, 2013

I'm redoing a 1930's bathroom and am contemplating glass towel bars. Are these practical? Do they chip easily? I want something that will last. Feedback from those who have had glass towel bars would be much appreciated.

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herring_maven

We have owned our present home, which was built in 1917, since 1974. When we bought it, it had glass towel bars throughout the master bathroom; when, in the period between 1917 and 1974, they were installed, we can only guess, but I am sure they were nowhere near new in 1974.

The glass towel bars -- all of them -- are still in the same bathroom, and none has ever broken or chipped. The main shafts are round and about 3/4" in diameter.

The only caveat is that hand towels do like to slip off the smooth surface of the glass rods. Bath towels have enough heft that they stay put, but hand towels must be handled carefully when drying hands or one will be stooping to pick a towel off the floor.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:18AM
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Olychick

I don't have any experience, but I'd guess that modern day glass towel bars might not be the same quality of those installed in 1917 - or 1970, for that matter. Wonder if you could find vintage ones without breaking the bank?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 3:29AM
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writersblock

I would think that modern ones would be better, if anything. Modern annealing methods have improved considerably, after all. There was no gorilla glass in 1917, or even 1970.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:34PM
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doug_gb

I would suspect that 'clear' towel bars are now made with acrylic material.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:17AM
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writersblock

Some are, but you can also get some that are made from glass. Usually they market themselves as "crystal", which of course they mostly aren't.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:35AM
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Olychick

Well, I stand corrected...never heard of gorilla glass until now!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 3:44PM
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writersblock

Hi, olychick. That's the glass that's on iphones and ipads and such, which is amazingly scratch resistant. They wouldn't waste it on towel bars, but it's a great example of how important really strong glass has become.

If you're interested, corning has a couple of videos on youtube about the use of glass in the not so distant future. Interesting, and kind of scary, too, in some ways.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 5:07PM
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Fori is not pleased

I had one inside the tub enclosure of a 1920s house--pretty sure that glass and porcelain towel bar was from the 1980s. Anyway, it was good. There isn't much that is tougher than glass. It was square in cross section (so very '80s!) and ribbed so things stayed put.

I think the ones sold by Rejuvenation are glass, not acrylic.

I suspect glass will hold up better than any metal towel bar's finish!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:43PM
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