There is nothing quite like a shower at the end of a hard day or as an invigorating start to a new one to help you feel great.
It is often taken for granted, though, that showers can be dangerous places. Particularly when there is a slippery layer of soap suds on the floor.
The best way to counter the inevitable slip and to give yourself more stability and firm footing in the shower, is by installing a grab bar onto the wall.
For the following post we have put together a list of the tools you need and a step-by-step guide for installing a grab bar onto your bathroom wall. We are assuming you have already completed the tiling on top of your bathroom tile board and can begin to install your grab bar.
Obviously, after you have bought a grab bar that you like the look of and compliments your bathroom, you need the following tools:
- Tape measure
- Length of wire or stud finder
- Philips Screwdriver
- Tile drill bit and carbide glass or sharp awl
- Wood bit, 1/16 narrower than your mounting screws
- ⅛-inch tile and glass bit or masonary bit
- Silicone caulk
Locate Wall Studs
Before you do anything else, you need to locate a wall stud. (You may be able to skip this step if your tile backer board is thick enough)
Using a Stud Finder
Do you have a stud finder? This is the easiest and quickest way to find a wall stud. Simply run your stud finder along the bathroom wall you are intending on installing the grab bar onto until you find a wall stud and use a fine point marker to mark that spot.
Using a Length of wire
Alternatively , you can use either a ⅛ inch tile and glass bit or masonry bit and use it to drill into the grout. Take the length of wire noted above and make a small bend in it before putting into the hole.
Now spin it from right to left and you should find a wall stud. If you are still having trouble, use the caulk to fill the hole and then after it has fully dried, patch the hole with some grout.
You need to just repeat this process until you find a stud. When you find one, measure 16-inches from the drilled hole and there should be another wall stud there.
It is important to mark where your studs are, so you can accurately measure the distance from the tub base to figure out the best place to put your bar.
Put the bar against the wall so both ends are covering the studs you have marked and mark the mounting bracket screw holes.
Drilling the Holes for The Mounting Bracket
Before you can start drilling those mounting holes, you need to create a starting point to prevent the bit from sliding across and ruining the whole tile.
Use the sharp awl or appropriate bit mentioned above for this. Twist it in your hand to make a small impression in the tile.
This is all you need to prevent any slippage from occuring when you are drilling.
Now use the tile and glass bit to drill the hole, or if you are using your masonry bit, put a strip of tape across the tile and drill into it slowly to stop it from shattering.
As you obviously want to avoid breaking the tiles when you are screwing your mounting brackets in place, you need to use a bite 1/32 wider than the mounting screws you are using.
Start to drill the hole very slowly, using even amounts of pressure so the drill does not slide.
Do not drill any deeper than the tile and the backing.
Once you have reached this stage, you need to switch to using your wood bit that is 1/16 narrower than your screw, to make the necessary pilot hole in the wall studs.
Mounting The Bar
Finally, you are ready to mount the bar. You need to apply silicone caulk to the drilled holes before you place the mounting on.
This helps protect the backing boards and wood behind your tiles from water leaks. Now, screw the bar onto the wall.
Additional Tips About the Screws
- Make sure you are using stainless-steel screws to avoid corrosion and rust
- Tighten all the screws very firmly, but not too much or you will crack your tiles.
Your grab bar should now be installed properly, allowing you to enjoy relaxing and safe showers.