grab bar problem

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  #1  
Old 09-20-14, 07:56 PM
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grab bar problem

Hi all-

I'm trying to install a grab bar in a shower that was constructed around 50 years ago. It has 4.25" tiles with concrete and wire lath that is 2.5-3" thick. Studs would not work with this bar length so I began an install using Moen Secure Mount anchors. After boring through the wall I realized it is both too thick for the mounts, and the wire lath prevents the anchor from mounting flush.

I now have no idea how to mount this bar. I assume that I can drill into the concrete but what kind of fasteners can I use so the screws hold (kit came with 2.5" wood screws for mounting into stud)?

The other problem I have is that I have 1.25" diameter holes that were for the Moen anchors. If I use the original screws in the concrete, I'm guessing these big 1.25" holes will effect the strength of the bar. Should I fill the holes with concrete filler first before I drill new holes to mount the bar?

I should have tested things first instead of drilling blindly but can't undo that now. I realize the bar will cover the hole in the tile/concrete so I'm more worried about stability. Now that I think of it I should be concerned with waterproofing as well.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for the help!
 
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Old 09-21-14, 05:43 AM
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The concrete you are referring to I think is just a concrete based plaster...is this so?
If it is I don't think attaching a grab bar to this would be that secure.

I would suggest using a toggle bolt if there is a space behind the plaster.
I have been using a type of toggle bolt that has a plastic retainer that allows you to carefully remove the bolt without the wings falling into the wall cavity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC1ZuxuZ2PU&feature=player_detailpage There are several makes of these so shop around.
 
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Old 09-21-14, 08:31 AM
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Greg-

Thanks for the reply.

I'm trying the Moen Secure Mount anchor, which is a toggle bolt. I think the problem is it's not made to work with a wall that is so thick. The bolts that came with the kit aren't long enough to work with the wall thickness. The other problem is the backside of the wall there is the wire lath which is really sticking out and not allowing the toggle bolt to seat (it sits irregularly on the lath). My concern is if the toggle can't seat comfortably against the wall because of the lath and will be unstable. Is this a valid concern or should I just find one that I can really torque down on to get it to seat on the lath?

Sorry this is so lengthy, just trying to give as much info as possible.

Thanks again for the help!
 
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Old 09-21-14, 08:37 AM
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Longer screws, bolts are at any hardware store. If you can get toggle in and flush enough to start bolt should not be a problem as long as wall is strong .
 
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Old 09-21-14, 09:01 AM
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Make sure the longer screw is rust proof or stainless. You may also want to pack the hole with thinset or some other type of cement to prevent the unit from sliding around during use. I would feed the bolt through a straw so that the thinset does not prevent the bolt from removal down the road. There should be a seal on the moen bracket that helps with the waterproofing. But the large hole, small screw and unsteady back side has me concerned about the stability of the grab bar. Poor design for thick wall installations as the screw will want to move in the void without something to steady it. Would work super in a thin wall set up.
 
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Old 09-21-14, 09:17 AM
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not allowing the toggle bolt to seat
Couple of things. It's a shame you can't use these bolts, they are the strongest toggles I have ever seen.

1) Are you able to insert back plate and get it vertical?

2) Once you get it vertical for a test fit, are you able to remove it?

3) The anchor is only designed for walls 1 -1/4" deep. But if you are able to get it in and out, I would do this:

Replace existing M6 x 50mm bolts with M6 x ~90mm.

Before final insertion, try to mash down wire lath by inserting a cats paw or other tool in hole and pulling on it. Back plate should do the rest. Like I said, this thing is so strong it should compress the lath.

Key is being able to remove back plate.

Edit: As Czizzi said, use stainless steel bolts/machine screws.
 

Last edited by Handyone; 09-21-14 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 09-21-14, 10:53 AM
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Most have it but make sure that the toggle bolt you select has a flexible nut.
The nut should be able to swivel to allow a certain amount of irregularity to the inside surface of the wall.
 
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Old 09-21-14, 11:02 PM
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Thanks so much to everyone who has responded, this is a HUGE help. Greatly appreciated. I'll post a follow up to let you know how things work out. MANY THANKS!!!
 
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Old 09-21-14, 11:07 PM
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Couple of things. It's a shame you can't use these bolts, they are the strongest toggles I have ever seen.

1) Are you able to insert back plate and get it vertical?

2) Once you get it vertical for a test fit, are you able to remove it?

3) The anchor is only designed for walls 1 -1/4" deep. But if you are able to get it in and out, I would do this:

Replace existing M6 x 50mm bolts with M6 x ~90mm.

Before final insertion, try to mash down wire lath by inserting a cats paw or other tool in hole and pulling on it. Back plate should do the rest. Like I said, this thing is so strong it should compress the lath.

Key is being able to remove back plate.

Edit: As Czizzi said, use stainless steel bolts/machine screws.
I can get it in there vertical but I can't get it out. Haven't tried real hard to get it out but that is coming up soon. I'll try to mash the lath down, and see where that leaves me. If I can't remove the back plate
I guess I'm going to have to figure something else out. It's all so frustrating because knowing what I know now I'd have tried something different. But you never know till you drill that hole in the wall....Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 09-22-14, 07:26 AM
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If you can't get the back plate out just leave it in. Get the longer bolts.
I think you can really torque it down and compress lath.
Bolts are very strong and back plate is very strong.
 
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Old 09-28-14, 10:14 AM
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Thanks to all with the suggestions and ideas on how to get this bar mounted. Because everything was in place, I tried longer bolts and just torqued down on them pretty good. It seems to have done the job and everything is holding well and strong. Couldn't get a cat's paw back in there but I'm hoping it wasn't needed. I had lots of back up options thanks to the forum, I appreciate all the help and ideas.

Many thanks!
 
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Old 09-28-14, 10:24 AM
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Good Job!

It's better you used the original backing plate. There's no toggle bolt you would find stronger than that one.
 
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