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How do I Make my Towel Bar Rod fit in the Ends

Published by John W. Wagonis in Bathroom Hardware · Tuesday 09 Mar 2021
Approximately 8 to 10 times a year, we encounter a customer who cannot seat the square plastic bar of a towel bar set into the square openings on the ceramic posts. We have labeled that problem: Globby Glaze.

The ceramic towel bars that we offer are hand dipped when it comes to the colored glazes. It is a rare happening, but sometimes too much glaze catches in the square hole and inhibits the bar from going in very far. Ideally, you would like to have the bar seat at least 1/4" into that hole, or greater. This goes for both sides. You want the bar in far enough so there is no chance of a slight sag or tug on it to dislodge it from the two posts.

This past winter, the frequency of this problem grew a little. To the point where we had to investigate this globby glaze problem in more depth. There was one towel bar in particular that incurred greater complaints. It was the AC625-C5 black towel bar set. The black towel bars use to come with a clear bar, and still do, but we had a lot of requests for black bars. When we found out that AC Products had a leftover stash of near 600 black bars, we bought a couple hundred. The black bars work fine in the model 730, 830, and CA530 towel bar sets. But in some of the AC625 sets, the bar was barely seating into the posts by 1/8". That just is not enough. It's not that the square holes in the posts are not deep enough, they are just not big enough in true squareness. The globby glaze catches in the square corners kind of making it a rounded corner square hole instead of neater square corners. So it is the squareness of the bar that cannot get past the rounded corners.

When this happens, we do report it to the manufacturer and we have the manufacturer send a no cost replacement. It is a defect and our responsibility to make a proper replacement available. On the AC625, we did find out that AC Products was grinding out the excess glaze and making the holes the proper size again to accept the bars. This is when they catch the globby glaze problem before the towel bar posts are shipped out the door. Not all are caught.

To top off the problem, we discovered that the black bars are a touch larger than the clear bars, by about 1/32". That is just enough to make them a problem. So on the AC625-C5 black towel bar set, we have made the clear bar the default again, and the request for a black bar an option.

That is our little history behind the problem. Now a solution.

Of course, as our customer, if you encounter this problem on any of the towel bars, not just this one, report it to us. It has happened on white and bone color towel bars because that glaze is a little thicker by nature. And again, roughly 8 to 10 times a year. So it is a rare problem. But do report it to us if you encounter it, and we will have a replacement post(s) sent to you.

How to round the corners on a plastic towel barOn the AC625-C5, though, since we are making it known that you could encounter a size issue with the black bar, here is what we can tell you. In this picture, we inserted a clear bar, an unaltered black bar, and then a black bar with the sharpness of the corners filed down. We put a little blue tape on the bars so you can see how far the bars did go into the posts. As you can see, the unaltered black bar did not go in very far, just 1/8". The clear bar and the black bar that we rounded the corners on both sunk in 3/8". So the black bar with the corners filed down now fits.

The width of the black bar really is not the problem. The width fits in both ways, but with the square corners of it trying to get past the rounded square corners of the ceramic, that is what is inhibiting it.

If you encounter this, you can file down the corners of the plastic bar, on both ends just a little to take off the sharpness. You can use a wood mill file. What I used was a Dremel tool with the barrel sanding disc. It took me about 35 seconds to round 4 corners on one end. I did not go too deep, I did not want to split the bar. I just rounded over the squareness, more on the very end, and then tapered it down the bar about 7/16". I did it fast, mostly for this demonstration. If I actually intended to mount this set, I would had taken a little more time, filed or ground a little down at a time, and then a little more until the desired depth that I need is achieved. By doing this fast, 35 seconds on each end, I did get the bar that only wanted to go in 1/8" to fit in 3/8". It will hold quite well. And by doing it neat and clean, you will not even know it had been done when the set is up on the wall. Thus, do not grind down the bar an inch into the bar, that is unnecessary. 3/8" to up to 1/2" is more than enough. Do a little, and do a little more if needed.

Or just stick with the clear bar....

Black ceramic towel bar posts with black baWhen a towel is hanging on your towel bar, how much of the bar do you really see? The clear bars are fine. But if you want the black bar with this set, anticipate that you might have to file down the corners a spec. Here is a close up of the post opening and the bar we modified. You can clearly see how the opening naturally has rounded corners. But do you see the glaze build up in the opening. See how the deeper inside corners become even smaller.

So this little trick of just filing the corners off the sharpness of the bar can work on many towel bar sets, not just this brand. Sometimes molds change and the square holes become a little smaller. And sometimes Globby Glaze strikes.

We want you to have a great product. And it seems like 99% of the towel bars we ship out are fine. But some problem childs do sneak through. When it happens, tell us. If it happens on the AC625-C5 and you opted to get the black bar which we are letting you know here that it is about 1/32" larger than the clear bar, get out your file, sandpaper, or your Dremel tool. You may have some altering to do.

Notice too, in our picture showing the bars seated in the posts, you cannot tell which is the modified black bar. That little roughness that we ground down, is not seen when done neatly.

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