old closet rod

Hi friend! Today we’re going to show you how to install a new closet rod. It’s a project that anyone can do in about an hour! All you need is the right tools and a new closet rod.

  • Active Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Cost: $15 (the cost of the closet rod)
  • Help Needed?: Nope! You can definitely complete this project solo!
  • Difficulty Level: Advanced Beginner (be comfortable using, or learning to use, an impact driver and drill)

If you found us from our Nursery Closet post–awesome sauce! Come back to this link when you’re done, and you can keep on going with the nursery closet!

Our “Before” Closet Rod — Gross

old closet rod

When I was giving our nursery closet a refresh, I knew this old metal rod just had to go. Besides how ugly it was, the circumference was too big for our baby hangers. So, it had to go.

Luckily installing a closet rod is a super easy DIY project. I replaced this closet rod when I was 5 months pregnant, so it’s definitely doable for any beginner with the right tools and our step-by-step guide.

Let’s get started!

Supplies Needed

You really don’t need much to install a closet rod. Here’s what I used:

You may also need:

  • Step stool
  • Stud finder
  • A piece of wood molding cut to the width of your closet (Home Depot will cut molding for you if you bring the measurements, or you can cut it yourself)

Step 1: Decide on Where to Install the Closet Rod

closet with closet rod removed

Hold the rod up to determine the best height and depth for it. We had a line of molding around the closet that the previous rod was installed in, so I used that.

You also want to make sure the rod is at the correct depth, so your hangers fit comfortably.

Once you think you’re at the right spot, just make a mark with the pencil where the rod is, on both sides of the wall. Don’t worry about it being perfect. We’ll find the perfect spot soon.

Step 2: Mark Where You’ll Install the Closet Rod

Now starting with the left side (I just picked a side at random), hold the wall mount end up to the mark you made in Step 1.

Make marks precisely where the screw holes need to be. Put the rod down.

Now, measure the distance between the bottom hole and the ground, and measure between the both holes and the back of the closet wall. Jot the measurements down on a piece of paper.

Now, on the right side of the closet, you want to make marks in the same place as they are on the left side. To do this, use your measurements from the left side.

Measure from the ground to where the bottom screw hole will be, and make a mark.

Now, holding the closet rod wall mount in place over the bottom screw mark, mark where the top screw hole should be.

Check that the mount is in the right place, by measuring between the back wall and both holes–they should be the same width as the left side.

Once you’re confident in your hole marks, you’re ready to install your new closet rod!

Step 3: Molding/Stud Installation

drilling guide holes for new closet rod

If your mounting hardware comes off the rod, take it off the rod. It will make the install easier.

Once you have marks on all the screw holes, take your impact driver and drill guide holes for your screws (guide holes are holes you drill that are slightly smaller than your screws, so your screw can go into the wood easier).

Use a bit that’s slightly smaller than the width of your screw, and drill a hole that’s the same length or slightly shorter than your screw.

And last tip, make sure you drill parallel to the floor (so the screw doesn’t go in crooked).

Once you’ve drilled your holes, mount the closet rod on the left side of the closet. Hold the wall mount up and, using your impact driver, screw in the screws.

Repeat the whole thing on the right side.

mounting hardware installed

How Do I Know If I’m on a Stud?

The easiest way to know if you will be installing your rod on a stud is to use a stud finder. Sure, you can knock on the wall and listen for the change in sound, but a stud finder is much more accurate 🙂 They’re only $25, and you’ll use it for a lot of future DIY projects, or even hanging pictures on the wall, so it’s definitely worth grabbing.

When you’re ready to use it, turn the stud finder on. Run the stud finder along the wall at the height of your mark towards one end of the wall, until you hear the beeping that indicates there’s a stud below. Mark it with a pencil (or hold your finger there), and then run the stud finder from the opposite wall towards where your finger is. If the stud finder beeps at the same space, then you know you’ve found a stud. If the stud finder doesn’t beep over the same mark, start over. It isn’t always perfect.

What If You Don’t Have Studs or Molding Where You Want to Install Your Rod?

I would highly recommend installing a piece of molding along the wall at the height you want to install your closet rod then. For other projects, you could use drywall anchors. But, your closet rod is going to be holding a ton of weight, and the drywall anchors will likely rip out of the walls when you hang all your clothes on it. Then you’re left with no closet rods and giant holes to patch.

To install a piece of molding, you’ll need to cut a piece of wood to the width of the wall, or at least the distance between two studs.

Mark the studs on this wall (this is where you’ll be installing the molding to the wall). Hold your new molding up to the wall at the height you want to install your closet rod, but where you can still see your stud marks.

Using your drill and holding the new molding up against the wall, drill 2 guide holes (top and bottom) into the molding and into the stud below it. Then using your impact driver, screw two screws into the molding and the stud below it. Repeat this step on the second stud.

Now you have a supported wood base to help carry the load of your new closet rod. You can install your closet rod directly into the molding.

Step 4: Install the Closet Rod in the Mounting Hardware

tightening closet rod hardware

Now, you should have both mounts installed and your rod separate.

Place the rod into the mount on one side. Then, lengthen your rod and place it in the mount on the other side.

Lastly–you need to tighten the screws at the top of the mounts to keep the closet rod form moving.

You can do this with a screwdriver.

Step 5: Hang Up Your Clothes & Marvel at Your Amazing Work

new closet rod

You just installed a brand new closet rod–go you!

If your old closet rod was anything like ours, your new one actually makes a big difference in the space (I know, who knew closets could have a style?!)

Did You Get to This Post From Our Nursery Closet Post?

Awesome sauce! Click this link when you’re done installing your closet rod, and you can jump right back into your nursery closet!

Need More Storage Ideas?

Check out our Nursery Closet Update (which you can really use for any closet), How to Install Pot Racks, and How to Install Knife and Spice Racks!

And, follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for even more ideas!

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