Sturdy PVC Towel Rack: Easy 8-Step DIY Guide

Use a DIY PVC towel rack to hang those beach towels dry!
Use a DIY PVC towel rack to hang those beach towels dry!

Warm days usually call for a dip in the pool. If you’re a pool owner, you know that this usually results in lots of used towels. Finding a space to hang them dry always seems to be a problem. But there’s a solution to that. And you know what else is good about it? It’s DIY.

This multi-purpose PVC towel rack is made out of PVC plumber’s type. The rack can hold as many towels as you want, depending on the number of bars you put in. Additionally, it can hold floaties and pool noodles, too.

Simple and very easy to assemble, no high-power tools required.
Simple and very easy to assemble, no high-power tools required.

This project is simple and easy to do. It’s like playing with Legos. You just have to get the cutting part right. After that, all you have to do is assemble. Think of “connect the dots” – except there are no dots, just connectors, elbows, and pipes.

Head on to the nearest home improvement store, get the materials, and start working!

Building a PVC Towel Rack


  • 1-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe, 60 feet
  • 1-inch 3-way PVC connectors, 4 pcs
  • 1-inch PVC T-connectors, 16 pcs
  • 1-inch 45-degree PVC connectors, 8 pcs
  • PVC primer
  • PVC cement
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • glue


  • Hacksaw or miter saw


Step 1: Measure and Cut PVC Pipe

  • Measure and mark your 1-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe into the following lengths:
  • For vertical supports and crossbars, determine the desired height and width of your rack to calculate these lengths.
  • Use a hacksaw or miter saw to cut the PVC pipe at your marks. Ensure cuts are straight and clean.

Step 2: Sand Cut Edges

  • Use 100-grit sandpaper to smooth out all the cut edges. This removes any sharp pieces and prepares the surfaces for gluing.
  • Follow with 220-grit sandpaper for a finer finish.

Step 3: Dry Fit the Pieces

  • Before applying any glue, assemble the rack by fitting the pipes into the connectors according to your design. 
  • This step ensures everything fits correctly and allows for adjustments.

Step 4: Mark and Disassemble

  • Once you’re satisfied with the dry fit, lightly mark matching parts with a pencil to remember their orientation.
  • Carefully disassemble the rack.

Step 5: Apply PVC Primer and Cement

  • Apply PVC primer to the ends of the pipes and the inside of the connectors where they will join. The primer prepares the PVC for a stronger bond.
  • After the primer dries (follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time), apply PVC cement to the same areas. Be quick and accurate, as the cement sets fast.

Step 6: Assemble the Rack

  • Working one joint at a time, reassemble the rack according to your markings. Push each connection together firmly and hold for a few seconds to ensure a strong bond.
  • Wipe away any excess cement with a cloth.

Step 7: Let the Cement Cure

  • Allow the assembled rack to sit undisturbed for the time recommended by the PVC cement manufacturer, usually 24 hours, to ensure full curing and maximum strength.

Step 8: Optional Customizations

  • Once cured, you can customize your towel rack. Consider painting it with PVC-friendly paint or adding wheels for mobility.

Benefits of Using a PVC Towel Rack

PVC towel racks offer a practical solution for drying towels, especially in outdoor settings like poolsides and patios. They are a popular choice due to their durability, affordability, and ease of assembly. Here are some benefits of using a PVC towel rack.

Durability and Weather Resistance

PVC towel racks are durable, standing up against the most challenging outdoor conditions. This resilience is crucial for any outdoor accessory, especially for those exposed to elements like intense sunlight, which can fade and damage less sturdy materials. 

Rain is another factor that can deteriorate outdoor furniture, but PVC towel racks handle moisture without a problem. They don’t rust like metal racks or suffer from rot and warping like wood, making them a steadfast solution for drying towels outdoors. Their ability to withstand various weather conditions ensures they remain functional and look good throughout the year, providing a reliable place to hang and dry towels no matter the season.

Lightweight and Portable

The lightweight nature of PVC towel racks is a significant advantage for homeowners who enjoy flexibility in their outdoor spaces. This portability means you can easily move the rack to catch the day’s best drying conditions or to clear space when entertaining. 

It’s perfect for those who frequently adjust their outdoor setup, offering the convenience of rearranging without heavy lifting. Whether you’re following the sun across the yard for quicker drying times or tucking your towel rack away to free up space, its lightweight design simplifies these tasks, making it a practical addition to any outdoor area.


Among all other outdoor accessories, PVC towel racks stand out for their affordability. Compared to alternatives made from materials like metal or wood, PVC racks are notably less expensive. This cost-effectiveness especially appeals to DIY enthusiasts who prefer to create and customize their solutions. 

By building a PVC towel rack, you get a customized piece that fits your specific needs and space and saves on the costs associated with pre-made or professionally installed options. This DIY approach not only cuts expenses but also adds a personal touch to your outdoor decor, making PVC towel racks a budget-friendly choice for keeping your outdoor area organized and functional.

Easy to Assemble and Customize

The simplicity of assembling a PVC towel rack is a key benefit, making it an attractive project for both novices and experienced DIYers. The process requires only basic tools, such as a saw for cutting the PVC and a simple adhesive to secure the connections. This accessibility means anyone can confidently embark on this project, turning it into a fun and rewarding DIY task. Moreover, the customization possibilities with PVC towel racks are nearly endless. 

You can tailor the rack’s dimensions to fit any space, whether you need a compact version for a small patio or a larger one to accommodate multiple towels. Adding extra bars for more drying space or customizing the layout to include hooks for hanging swim goggles and pool toys are just a few ways to personalize your towel rack. 

Additionally, painting the PVC allows you to complement your outdoor decor’s color scheme, transforming a functional item into a decorative feature that enhances your space.

Eco-Friendly Option

Choosing a PVC towel rack can also promote more eco-friendly living. When constructed from recycled PVC, these towel racks help minimize waste by repurposing materials that might otherwise end up in landfills. This approach aligns with sustainable living principles, offering a practical solution supporting environmental conservation. 

The long lifespan of PVC towel racks further contributes to their eco-friendly status. Unlike some materials that need frequent replacement due to wear and tear, PVC’s durability ensures that your towel rack will serve you well for many years. This longevity reduces the need for new materials, contributing to a smaller environmental footprint. 

Opting for a PVC towel rack made from recycled materials provides a sturdy and functional outdoor accessory. It reflects a commitment to environmental stewardship, making it a choice that benefits both your home and the planet.

Incorporating a PVC towel rack into your outdoor area helps keep towels organized and dry and adds to the space’s functionality and aesthetic. With these benefits, it’s easy to see why many choose PVC towel racks for their homes.

Take a look at the gallery for some PVC towel rack inspiration.

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Customization Ideas

Customizing your PVC towel rack is a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your outdoor space while maintaining functionality. With a few creative ideas, you can transform a basic PVC towel rack into a standout piece that complements your decor and meets your specific needs.

Adjustable Size and Layout

Start by considering the size and layout of your towel rack. Depending on your space and the number of towels you need to hang, you can easily modify the dimensions of your PVC towel rack. 

Add more bars for extra drying space or adjust the height and width to fit snugly in a specific area. You can also create different sections within the rack for towels, pool noodles, and other swim accessories, making everything organized and accessible.

Color Coordination

Painting your PVC towel rack is a simple way to match it with outdoor furniture or poolside decor. Use spray paint suitable for plastic surfaces to ensure the paint adheres well and lasts long. 

Choose colors that blend with your outdoor theme or go bold with bright hues to make the towel rack a vibrant accent piece. Remember to prep the PVC surface properly before painting to achieve the best results.

Adding Wheels for Mobility

For added convenience, consider mounting wheels on the base of your PVC towel rack. This modification makes it easy to move the rack around, whether you’re chasing the sun to dry towels quicker or clearing space for outdoor activities. Opt for durable, outdoor-rated casters to ensure smooth movement across surfaces, including grass, patio stones, or decking.

Incorporating Decorative Elements

Beyond functionality, your PVC towel rack can be a decorative element in your outdoor space. Attach decorative caps to the ends of the PVC pipes for a polished look, or use rope and nautical-themed decorations to tie in with a poolside or beach theme. You can also hang solar-powered lanterns or string lights from the upper bars to create a cozy ambiance in the evening.

Safety Precautions

When crafting a PVC towel rack, prioritizing safety is crucial. Working with PVC involves tools and materials that require careful handling to avoid injuries and ensure a smooth construction process. Here are essential safety precautions to consider.

Wear Protective Gear

Always wear the appropriate protective gear when cutting or sanding PVC pipes. Safety goggles protect your eyes from PVC shavings and dust, while gloves shield your hands from sharp edges and the friction of sanding. If you’re using spray paint or adhesive, a mask can help avoid inhaling fumes.

Secure Materials While Cutting

Securing the PVC pipe before cutting is vital to prevent it from moving and causing accidents. Use clamps or a vise to hold the pipe firmly in place on your work surface. This stability makes cutting safer and ensures a straight, clean cut.

Ventilation is Key

Working in a well-ventilated area is crucial, especially when using PVC cement or spray paint. These materials emit strong fumes that can be harmful if inhaled in confined spaces. Outdoor work is ideal, but if you must work indoors, open windows and use fans to circulate fresh air.

Handle Tools With Care

Whether using a hacksaw, miter saw, or any other tool, handle them with care and respect their power. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the tools for their intended purpose. Keep your workspace organized to avoid accidents caused by misplaced tools or materials.

Check for Sharp Edges

After cutting the PVC pipes, it’s common to encounter sharp edges that can cause cuts or scrapes. Use sandpaper to smooth these edges, reducing the risk of injury. This step is crucial for safety and ensuring a clean, professional finish on your PVC towel rack.

Proper Use of Chemicals

When using PVC cement or primer, it’s important to understand their correct application. Apply these chemicals sparingly and precisely, avoiding skin contact. In case of accidental exposure, wash the affected area with soap and water immediately. Understanding and following the product’s safety guidelines can prevent skin irritation or severe chemical injuries.

Safe Assembly Practices

As you assemble your PVC towel rack, ensure all connections are secure to avoid collapse or instability, which could lead to accidents. Double-check that each joint is properly glued and allowed to cure for the recommended time before moving or loading the rack with towels. This careful assembly ensures the rack’s stability and longevity.

Keep the Work Area Clean and Organized

A clean and organized workspace is essential for safety. Keep tools and materials neatly arranged and out of walkways to prevent tripping hazards. Clean up spills, especially from PVC cement or paint, promptly to avoid slips and falls.

Child and Pet Safety

If children or pets are present, keep them from the work area. Small PVC pieces and chemicals can be hazardous if ingested or mishandled. Supervise your workspace closely to prevent curious hands or paws from encountering dangerous materials.

Emergency Preparedness

Finally, be prepared for emergencies by having a first aid kit nearby and knowing how to use it. Knowing the location of the nearest fire extinguisher is also wise when working with flammable materials like PVC cement and spray paint.

Following these safety precautions ensures a safe and enjoyable experience while creating your PVC towel rack. Safety first ensures your DIY project leads to success without unnecessary risks.

Maintenance and Care Tips

Maintaining your PVC towel rack is key to ensuring it stays in top condition, looks great, and functions well for years to come. With proper care, your PVC towel rack can withstand the elements and be a practical addition to your outdoor or pool area. Here are some essential maintenance and care tips.

Regular Cleaning

Keep your PVC towel rack clean by wiping it down regularly with a mild detergent and water. This simple step helps remove chlorine, salt, or any residue that may accumulate from wet towels or outdoor exposure. For tougher stains, a soft-bristled brush can gently scrub the surfaces without scratching the PVC.

Inspect for Damage

Periodically check your PVC towel rack for any signs of damage or wear, such as cracks or loose connections. Early detection allows for quick repairs, preventing further damage. If any part of the rack seems unstable or damaged, address it immediately to ensure the rack’s safety and stability.

UV Protection

Although PVC is resistant to sun damage, prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can lead to color fading over time. If your towel rack is in a particularly sunny spot, consider applying a UV-protectant spray designed for plastics. This can help preserve the color and integrity of the PVC material.

Avoid Overloading

While PVC towel racks are sturdy, it’s important to avoid overloading them with too many towels or heavy items. Distribute weight evenly across the bars to prevent bending or breaking. Following the recommended weight limits ensures the rack’s longevity and keeps it from tipping over.

Storage During Extreme Weather

If you live in an area with extreme winter weather, consider storing your PVC towel rack indoors or in a sheltered area when not in use. This precaution helps protect it from severe cold or snow, which could potentially make the PVC brittle over time.

Refresh the Paint

The paint may fade or chip over time if you’ve painted your PVC towel rack to match your outdoor decor. Refreshing the paint every few years can revive its appearance and allow you to change colors if you redecorate. Use paint specifically formulated for PVC or plastic surfaces for the best adherence and durability.

Tighten Connections

The connectors and joints on your PVC towel rack can loosen over time, especially with frequent use or movement. Regularly check and tighten these connections to ensure the rack remains stable and secure. If any piece becomes significantly loose, it may be necessary to reapply PVC cement to keep the structure intact.

Protect from Sharp Objects

Sharp objects can scratch or puncture the PVC material of your towel rack. Be cautious when hanging items with zippers, hooks, or sharp edges. Placing a small piece of cloth or towel between the rack and these items can prevent damage and maintain the smooth surface of your PVC towel rack.

Spot Treat for Mildew

If your PVC towel rack is frequently wet and in a humid environment, it might develop mildew spots. Treat these areas promptly with a mixture of water, vinegar, or a mildew remover suitable for PVC. This will keep the rack clean and prevent the spread of mildew to towels or other items.

Lubricate Moving Parts

If your PVC towel rack has wheels or adjustable parts, ensure these areas are lubricated periodically. This prevents them from becoming stiff or rusty, making it easier to move or adjust the rack as needed. Use a silicone-based lubricant for the best results, as it won’t degrade the PVC.


Building a PVC towel rack is an excellent way to add functionality and style to your outdoor space. With straightforward materials and tools, anyone can create a durable, weather-resistant rack perfect for drying towels after a swim. This DIY project offers a cost-effective solution to keep towels organized and allows for customization to match any decor.

If you don’t have time for DIY, you can buy readymade, direct from TowelMaid.

For more ways to add functionality to your pool or yard, check out our cable spool garden sink next!



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