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Copper-Pipe Towel Ladder

A towel ladder made of copper plumbing fittings gives your bathroom the charm of a fancy Parisian hotel suite for the cost of room-service petit déjeuner.

copper-pipe towel ladder in bathroom

Photography: Lennart Weibull

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2019

materials

  • Tube cutter (Pictured: Ridgid #101 Tube Cutter, $21.50; homedepot.com.)

  • 2 pieces copper type-M pipe, each 3/4 inch by 60 inches (Pictured: Mueller Streamline Copper Type-M Pipes, 3/4" by 60", $13 each; homedepot.com.)

  • 3 pieces copper type-M pipe, each 3/4 inch by 2 feet (Pictured: Cerro Copper Type-M Pipes, 3/4" by 2', $7.50 each; homedepot.com.)

  • Acetone

  • 4 brass floor flanges, each 3⁄4 inch (Pictured: Plumbing Supply Now Brass Floor Companion Flanges, $10 each, plumbingsupplynow.com.)

  • Copper metallic spray paint (Pictured: Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic Spray Paint, in Copper, $7, truevalue.com.)

  • 6 copper pressure tees, each 3/4 inch (Pictured: Everbilt Copper Pressure Tees, 3/4", $3.50 each; homedepot.com.)

  • 2 copper 90-degree elbows, each 3/4 inch by 3/4 inch (Pictured: Copper 90-degree Cup x Cup Pressure Elbows, 3/4" by 3/4", $1.50 each; homedepot.com.)

  • 2 copper pressure male adapters, each 3/4 inch (Pictured: Copper Pressure x c MPT Male Adapters, $2.50 each; homedepot.com.)

  • All-purpose adhesive (Pictured: Dap RapidFuse Fast Curing All-Purpose Adhesive, $5.50, homedepot.com.)

  • Electric drill and screws

  • Wall anchors (optional)

  • Copper polish (optional) (Pictured: Mr. Metal Metal Polish, $4 for 8 oz.; homedepot.com.)

steps

  1. Following cutter's instructions, cut 60-inch pipes into four 10-inch pieces; two 18-inch pieces; two 2-inch pieces; and two 1-inch pieces, or have them cut to size at the hardware store. (Keep the three 2-foot pipes intact—they will be used at full length for the horizontal supports.) Clean pipes with acetone on a rag. Polish, if needed.

    copper pipe towel ladder diagram
  2. Spray-paint flanges with copper paint; let dry. Lay out piping on the floor according to diagram at left. Assemble the two vertical sides first, except for male adapters and flanges; as you do, put a small bead of adhesive at each joint (either on pipe or inside tee or elbow), working quickly after application (it dries fast).

  3. Connect vertical sides with horizontal pipes, putting a small bead of adhesive at each joint. After assembling verticals and horizontals, add male adapters and flanges, putting a small bead of adhesive at each joint. Attach top flanges to wall, using screws and wall anchors if needed. Attach bottom flanges to floor, using appropriate method for flooring.

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