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Installing a safety grab bar in a tiled shower stall

Installing a safety grab bar in a tiled shower stall


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Old 01-24-15, 06:03 AM
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Installing a safety grab bar in a tiled shower stall

I would like to mount safety grab bars in a tiled shower stall directly through the tile into the studs. How can I locate the studs? Will a stud finder give me a reading through tile? What kind of bit is used to drill through ceramic tile?
 
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Old 01-24-15, 06:31 AM
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Do the tiles go all the way to the ceiling? If yes then you can use a stud finder above the tile and then a level to mark the point directly below where you found the studs above.

You can also locate the studs on the back sides of the walls. Then note their location and transfer the dimensions to the shower side of the wall. How exactly you do it will depend on your layout but it's easiest if your shower has short peninsular walls on either side or if there is a doorway or other good landmark close by.
 
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Old 01-24-15, 06:39 AM
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You will find that most, if not all grab bar lengths, are incompatible with stud spacing (16" oc). They come in 24, 36 and 48" lengths. What you will have to do is angle the bars so the ends will hit over studs. That is the beauty of pre installing 2x10's laterally when a shower is built at a height needed for the bars. Unless you have deep scan on your stud finder, it may not detect through the tile and cbu to the stud. Is there space above the shower stall that is just sheetrock? You can find the studs there and use a level to determine their location where you need them.

As far as bits, I use the "snake" head bits on ceramic or porcelain tile Bosch Glass and Tile Set (8-Piece)-GT3000 - The Home Depot, but concrete bits will work, only slower. Do not use an impact driver or hammer drill as it will tend to crack the tiles. Keep plenty of water flowing over the bit via spray bottle, as heat will kill the bits attachment to the shaft.
 
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Old 01-24-15, 07:00 AM
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I have used both methods, stud finder through the tile and transferring from the wall behind the shower, but generally prefer the latter, working from both ends when possible, just to be sure. Once you know about where the studs are, you can put masking tape on the wall to make your marks, then leave it in place when you start to drill, as it helps to keep the drill bit from walking. As mentioned, the lengths, particularly of ones that you will find in stock at your local big box or wherever, are not always consistent with standard stud spacing, makes no sense to me, but, if you have time, you might find some that would work better on the Moen Homecare or other website.
 
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Old 01-24-15, 07:49 AM
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Do the tiles go all the way to the ceiling? If yes then you can use a stud finder above the tile and then a level to mark the point directly below where you found the studs above.

Actually the entire shower stall is tiled, including the ceiling, so there is no way to use a stud finder above the tile. Also the area above the shower stall is inaccessible. From what I can determine the only way to locate the studs is with a stud finder through the tile.

Is it necessary to secure the bar into studs or is there any type of hardware designed to mount them through just the tile and backing board material?
 
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Old 01-24-15, 08:04 AM
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You probably won't believe this but when I tried to locate the studs from the opposite side of the shower wall I realized that there are no studs because it is an outside wall constructed of concrete block and stucco.....duh? How stupid do I feel now!

Based on my discovery I assume I will need to use some type of wall anchor in the block. Any suggestions????
 
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Old 01-24-15, 08:17 AM
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This is going to sound really cheesy, but here goes.

You need a good tile bit (or 2) to drill through your tiles and not crack them. Don't just use a hammer drill and masonry bit. The tile bits with 4 cutters (+) are better than the spade style (-).

Use a molly style anchor: http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pro...e27a14_400.jpg

Also butter the back side of the grab bar plates with PC-11 epoxy when you go to attach it, just in case, then insert the mollys. The epoxy will also help seal up the holes you drilled so that water doesn't infiltrate.

http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pro...48d17b_400.jpg
 
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Old 01-24-15, 08:20 AM
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I will need to use some type of wall anchor in the block.
Maybe... you still have some type of framing on the block.

I've only used these once before and they worked pretty well. You may have to drill a test hole at the location where you are putting the bar to see what's behind it. Use a masonry bit to go thru grout seam.

WingIts Studless Install Grab Bar Fastener-TB-WINGIT-RES - The Home Depot
 
 

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