Handicap grab bars in existing baths


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Old 12-18-13, 02:49 PM
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Handicap grab bars in existing baths

Anyone ever install grab bars in existing tiled showers/tubs? What about the mounts that say you don't need to find a stud? Do they work? Any recommendations on a specific brand?

New tenant would like at least one for stepping in and out, and I have to admit, there's been times I would like a small one for balance in the MB myself.

Can't remove tiles, but I can cut holes using my Dremel and a diamond bit.
 
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Old 12-18-13, 02:56 PM
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You can usually find good wood to screw into at or around the front of the tub over the dam that is the skirt wall. This is the most logical place to put in an assist bar for getting into and out of the tub. Go with a longer 36" bar so that is can serve as both a in/out and a up/down assist.

A 24" minimum assist bar set at a 45 degree or so angle will be able to capture 2 studs for support if going across the back tub wall. I would not trust not hitting something solid as people will be putting their full weigh on it. You also know not of what the make up of the wall is. Tile on sheetrock will not support. You usually can find studs with a stud finder used above the tile area. You can also do the higher math and take stud measurements in the adjacent room and transfer them to the bath.
 
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Old 12-18-13, 03:38 PM
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I've installed a lot of them. I use plastic anchors. If I happen to hit a stud, then I don't use an anchor on that particular screw. I haven't had any complaints that they have come loose. Center punch the tile for each hole, drill the hole & insert the anchor. It doesn't matter if some are in the grout.
 
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Old 12-18-13, 05:24 PM
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I've installed a lot of them. I use plastic anchors. If I happen to hit a stud, then I don't use an anchor on that particular screw. I haven't had any complaints that they have come loose.

No way. You must find studs at all times if your a landlord.... You can be held liable if the person gets hurt...

Tile will not hold the weight rating...

Stds are hard to find with a stud finder through tile...

IMO go through a back wall and install a proper backer board....
 
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Old 12-18-13, 05:39 PM
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Once you do find a good substrate, be sure to chase the hole with silicone before you drive the fastener in. Makes it leak resistant at that point.
 
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Old 12-18-13, 06:04 PM
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go through a back wall and install a proper backer board
Mike is 100% correct, if all else fails to find good wood, or the you want the bar installed horizontal with no studs available, open up the back wall and install cross blocks.

I would not use plastic anchors and call it a day. Handicap people exert their whole body weight on these assist bars. Plastic anchors are not gonna cut it. Anyone with children who fancy using the towel bar in the bathroom as a chin up bar know what I mean... Drill through the tile and you better see wood shavings during the drill or it is not correct.
 
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Old 12-19-13, 12:57 AM
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This doesn't help with the current issue but when I rebuilt my back bathroom I installed the proper blocking to allow for the installation of grab bars. I'm a big guy and have some medical problems and I need to use the grab bar I installed to pull myself out of the tub. When I get caught up on some of my other projects (I should live so long to actually complete all my projects) I WILL be opening up my walls opposite the front bathroom to properly install blocking for the grab bars. I can't think of much worse than to have a grab bar pull out of the wall when I need it most.
 
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Old 12-19-13, 05:05 AM
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I never planned to use plastic anchors. I was thinking something like Wingit's WingIts' | World's Strongest Fasteners & Fixtures . There are other brands as well, but I think this is the most common.

I've done some research and even saw these used on Ask TOH one time. Appear to be used often in commercial. I can't imagine them taking a liability risk.

Can't open the wall. It would be right into the LR and my walls are all a older style knockdown finish. I'd never be able to match it.

Was just hoping someone on here had used something similar. Going to contact a couple of local remodelers around here if not. Big retirement area and I know plenty of people have had bathrooms retrofitted for elderly folks.

Btw...I'm not a real landlord. I just needed a housemate to help on bills and such since wife and I split. No lease or anything like that. He's a 71 y/o retired guy with more morals than me...lol. He just moved back to this area to be closer to family when he and HIS wife split. Verbal agreement and a handshake. You know, like back in the good old days where that was all it took?

Neither one of us is crippled up or anything, but just having something to hold while washing feet or stepping in or out would be good I think.
 
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Old 12-19-13, 06:06 AM
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Structural Blocking Must Be Used In PLAIN 1/2 DRYWALL When Attempting To Meet Commercial Building Codes

The above statement is included in the installation guidelines for the Wingets connectors. Reminder to point out that most commercial walls are 5/8" fire rated sheet rock which is substantially beefier than regular drywall.
 
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Old 12-19-13, 06:29 AM
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Yeah but its just a giant molly it looks like...

WINGITS | Details

Probably good though for what your needs are Vic............
 
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Old 12-19-13, 06:50 AM
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These would be going into the tile and backerboard. Pretty sure I have cement backerboard, will have to remove an escutcheon to check. Way too solid for sheetrock alone and my tile is actually proud of the painted walls by about 1/2" or so. I almost want to think its sheetrock, backer, then tile. Why? How is it waterproofed? I dunno, but no loose tiles or bad grout..

Man, I have soooo much to do around here. Never realized what a pain it is just to have carpets cleaned. Had to move most of the furniture out of the rooms myself. Either things are getting heavier or I'm getting weaker.
 
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Old 12-19-13, 07:01 AM
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my tile is actually proud of the painted walls by about 1/2" or so.
Tile with mudcap usually sits out 1/2" as you have described. If you have a mud bed wall with wire lath behind, count on the mudbase being at least 1" thick. And...Plenty strong to support your grab bar.
 
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Old 12-19-13, 07:19 AM
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Thanks czizzi,
I'll find out in a few days. Very likely what you describe. Walls are solid as a rock, not like my VA house where they used green board. House built in 1990, and the stucco exterior is just like that.
 
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Old 12-19-13, 03:43 PM
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Now that I think about it, my front bath does have concrete backerboard at least three feet up from the tub rim. and then some kind of drywall above that. I know this because I had to access the stud space from the hall when I added another switch to the hall lights. Still doesn't help where I want to place a combination grab bar and towel rack.

The really hard part is that of the grab bars I have seen the mounting holes will rarely line of for studs on standard 16 inch centers.
 
 

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