Pricewise: Chrome Towel Bars
Are these two towel holders the same or not? After doing a double take, we cast a keen eye on these not-quite-identical twins and why they cost what they cost
Travel down a bath accessories aisle and you'll find a dozen towel bars, many similar in style yet wildy different in price. Even if you eliminate the top-of-the-line models—and the very bottom ones—you'll still be left wondering why one midpriced bar costs about $65 and another about $31. Here, a look at two classic hotel-style models proves that while both can give a bath the pop of polished chrome (or a look-alike), more goes into them than just good looks.
The post swivels on its base, so you can easily line up the hole and rod during installation. Invisible mounting plates attach to the wall with ¾-inch stainless-steel screws.
A brass bar between stainless-steel posts.
Pieces are plated with copper, then nickel, and given a long-lasting chrome finish.
The parts have a nice weight, and the bar rotates silently in its sockets.
Moen 24-inch Madison Towel Bar
Is it for you?
If you're fine with a less ornate post and want more space between bar and wall.
Weight: 1.25 pounds
Depth: 3 7/8"
About $31, Moen
The one-piece post offers no play during installation but extends out a bit more and has a slightly larger base. Invisible mounting plates come with 1 1/8-inch stainless-steel screws.
An aluminum bar between zinc posts.
Parts are bathed in an
acid to create a shiny, corrosion-resistant finish that looks like chrome.
The parts feel lighter than they look, and the bar
fits so tightly it can squeak.
With hardware, more detail generally means more expense.
The high-end bar's post is smaller but more ornate, with a raised cap, a ribbed ring, and more banding.
The budget bar's post, while slightly larger, has smoother, simpler lines.