Installing grab bar over tile+Hardyboard

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Old 12-22-20, 10:57 AM
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Question Installing grab bar over tile+Hardyboard

There have been numerous posts about this in the past, but since most date back more than 3 years I'm hoping there are some new ideas. I have a floor to ceiling tiled shower with Hardiebacker underlay. To further complicate the picture, the wall I want to use is a secondary wall inside the wall with the adjacent room and there is no way to locate the studs by measurement or a stud finder. The MOEN anchors are appealing, but that presents the problem of trying to locate points between the studs without cutting a misplaced hole in the process.

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12-23-20, 04:17 PM
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If it was a nursing home (or one of my jobs) there would already have been backing in the wall.

I'm not the one who doesn't want to use the toggle... Or who won't open up the wall and put backing in. That's the op. He asked for other options... That's what I gave him.
 
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Old 12-22-20, 11:03 AM
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Kerdi-fix will securely stick a grab bar to the wall. You would likely pull the tile off before you pull the grab bar off of the tile. You would just need to brace it to the opposite wall with some lumber, and not yank on it for a week or so to be sure that its cured. Just apply a heavy bead around the perimeter and wipe off anything that squeezes out.

its about your only option if you aren't going to open up the wall and put in solid blocking.
 
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Old 12-22-20, 11:52 AM
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Thanks. That could be done but it would be rather complicated because the opposite shower wall is free-standing glass! I might be able to stand a plank against the face of each attachment and brace to the curb below the glass and then again over the top of the glass to a wall ~10' away. I'll keep it in mind.

Regarding the strength of the Kerdi-fix bonding to tile: The bond would likely be strong, but what are the chances a tile 12"x12" would be worked loose?
 
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Old 12-22-20, 12:02 PM
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If it was tiled correctly, zero. And you can certainly temporarily brace against glass. The brace is just snug. Brace the opposite side of the glass to the wall if you need to.
 
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Old 12-22-20, 03:19 PM
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I used the Moen anchors and a diamond hole saw to install the grab bars for my Mom, I was very pleased with the solid mounting point!
 
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Old 12-22-20, 09:02 PM
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But again, how did you luck out to not drill over a stud on one end or the other, or could you locate the studs first?
 
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Old 12-22-20, 09:13 PM
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how did you luck out to not drill over a stud
I'm not following. Finding a stud is a good thing.
Anticipate using two hollow wall fasteners and if you hit a stud.... that's a jackpot.

Moen makes a great mount. I've used Wingits too.
 
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Old 12-23-20, 12:16 AM
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how did you luck out to not drill over a stud
In my case I was able to locate them on the opposite side of the wall.

In a small shower the chances of finding a stud exactly where you want the bar are extremely remote, you want the bar in very specific locations so odds are slim a stud will be where you want it!
 
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Old 12-23-20, 09:10 AM
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Maybe I'm overthinking this. If I drill the 1-1/2" hole through the tile and wind up on half a stud, the tab doesn't have room to flip and there won't be sufficient reveal to properly attach the base plate with screws to the stud and still be able to cover the hole with the escutcheon.
 
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Old 12-23-20, 12:26 PM
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Not to argue with XSLPR, but I would never trust a tile bonding to hold a grab bar. If I was slip and fall in the shower and had to grab the soap dish handle there is no doubt that it would detach from the wall.

Using the toggle bolts is the way to go. Even if it goes against a stud it will just turn until the wing is parallel to the stud.
 
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Old 12-23-20, 03:12 PM
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Think about it this way norm. A soap dish is small... maybe 4x4 and if you hung on it, all the force is on a 4" area that extends from the wall 4". You could represent the shape as a right triangle (45/45/90) with equal sides that might be 4" or so. And yes, maybe a heavy guy would break that off if he hung on it. What usually fails is the drywall behind the soap dish. The hypotenuse of that triangle represents the direction that your weight is being transferred back to the base of the soap dish. At roughly a 45 degree angle. If the soap dish sticks out 8" (which they don't, but for the sake of argument...) then the downward force would be greater, and it would rip off more easily.

A vertical grab bar has 2 attachment points, separated by the length of the bar. The longer the bar, the less force there will be. Because if you picture that shape as a triangle, it is just the opposite of a 8" long soap dish. Let's say its 24" long. It only extends 4"... so that would be a very long isosoles triangle, with very little tendency to pull away from the wall.

A horizontal grab bar also has 2 attachment points, and because of that it is like putting your weight on 2 soap dishes, not 1.

And the tile he is attaching it to is 12x12, which won't even come off in one piece if you were using a jackhammer to remove it. Nothing like prying on a 4x4 soap dish.

Sure, if you can use a screw, use a screw. If you can use an anchor, use an anchor. But if you've ever used kerdi-fix to attach grab bars, you'd know it's quite secure.
 
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Old 12-23-20, 04:07 PM
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X, The math looks good, BUT, with all the math aside, would your method be to code in a nursing home? And as a contractor would you be willing to risk your reputation and possible law suit just relying on tile glue (be 6" squares or larger)? Not for my well being. And if for any reason the wallboard be it hardiboard or not, if it ever got wet or damaged?
 
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Old 12-23-20, 04:17 PM
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If it was a nursing home (or one of my jobs) there would already have been backing in the wall.

I'm not the one who doesn't want to use the toggle... Or who won't open up the wall and put backing in. That's the op. He asked for other options... That's what I gave him.
 
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