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Grab Bar Install into Beveled Tile and Wonderboard

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So this might be a dumb set of questions, but wondering how you guys would recommend installing a grab bar that has a beveled tile installed over wonderboard.  I know I need a drill bit capable of drilling through ceramic tile to avoid cracking it.  Also replacing any hardware with stainless to avoid rust spots.

As far as placement...either my stud finder sucks, or it's not easy to pick up studs through tile and wonderboard.  So that's the first part of the equation, as I may not have studs to mount to.  The second part is what type of anchoring will hold well enough with wonderboard or won't it?  And the third part is does the uneven surface of beveled tiles play a role in how you mount it to get a flat/flush finish?  I can try to mount it centered in the tile, but chances are the mounting hardware will overlap and wind up on a recessed edge.  Maybe that's overthinking it and the screws can be tightened as needed to make it level without it feeling shaky/sloppy.

In hingsight, knowing what I know now, I would have had the framer put in blocking to mount to.  Now, I'm pretty much left with poking holes in the grout (small repair) and trying to find a stud with a piece of wire or using something like Wingits to anchor to the wonderboard (or a combination of both).  It is an exterior wall with insulation behind the wonderboard, but enough room to push that out of the way and install an anchor.

What say you experts?

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Been there 1. Drilling can crack tile 2. Mounting over tile can Crack it 3. if U have say 3-4 inch tiles remove the whole tile there are GrabRails that have a Flange to cover the entire area with a bit of grout around the edges for waterproofing. Hopefully, the studs are at standard distances  measure from the corners for approximate  apart 16 the poke method is ok to find them but use the smallest drill possible to fit between the tiles go slow not to chip the edges regrouting the smalls holes no big deal There are Grab Rails that Cement on or grouted in and tear off if you need to grab it most are for show to hang a towel on.  If you have a Tile world nearby they are very helpful. And have just what you need.  Good Luck 

Edited by 1957Buck

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There are aftermarket hollow anchors made just for this application, one of the companies is Bobrick. But they are extremely expensive. Is it an interior or exterior wall? You may want to consider installing blocking from the opposite wall face, i have done this in many applications

 

 

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10 minutes ago, maximus66 said:

There are aftermarket hollow anchors made just for this application, one of the companies is Bobrick. But they are extremely expensive. Is it an interior or exterior wall? You may want to consider installing blocking from the opposite wall face, i have done this in many applications

 

 

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Exterior wall unfortunately.  Yeah blocking is definitely the ticket, wish I knew more back then...or someone on the job told me.  More lessons... :shakehead:

I'll check out Bobrick...

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As maximus had said, blocking in the wall before the tile and board went up is ideal. Installing from other side of wall if interior is second best shot at doing it. Any other method with anchors is temporary as they will let go when most needed after cracking your tile, unless you can catch studs. Catching studs with a couple screws on both ends will work to, just have to be at least one them in top of bracket to stop it from pulling away from wall.

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4 minutes ago, Greg said:

As maximus had said, blocking in the wall before the tile and board went up is ideal. Installing from other side of wall if interior is second best shot at doing it. Any other method with anchors is temporary as they will let go when most needed after cracking your tile, unless you can catch studs. Catching studs with a couple screws on both ends will work to, just have to be at least one them in top of bracket to stop it from pulling away from wall.

Yep that's gonna be the challenge.  I took pictures of the interior framing before it was tiled, so I have a rough idea of where things are at, problem is the stud finder isn't helping me too much.  I can do what 1957Buck said and measure from the corner but it'd be nice to know where the center of the stud is before drilling into tile.  No guarantee the studs are 16" OC.  Maybe I need a better stud finder?  Or some other method?

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If tile only goes midway up wall, possibility if you or your cg is good at patchign is to open wall up above tile work and put blocking down into wall, harder but doable.

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Just now, Greg said:

If tile only goes midway up wall, possibility if you or your cg is good at patchign is to open wall up above tile work and put blocking down into wall, harder but doable.

No such luck, it goes all the way up :)

Hmm I might be able to see the studs from the attic perimeter wall though and measure them out....that's an idea.

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Yep that's gonna be the challenge.  I took pictures of the interior framing before it was tiled, so I have a rough idea of where things are at, problem is the stud finder isn't helping me too much.  I can do what 1957Buck said and measure from the corner but it'd be nice to know where the center of the stud is before drilling into tile.  No guarantee the studs are 16" OC.  Maybe I need a better stud finder?  Or some other method?

You will only catch one if you are lucky anyway, studs 16” OC and most grab bars are 18”,24”,36”42” which won’t allow you to grab two studs. What type of exterior siding? If its vinyl it is a breeze to remove and replace and a sawzall makes short work of sheathing


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1 minute ago, maximus66 said:


You will only catch one if you are lucky anyway, studs 16” OC and most grab bars are 18”,24”,36”42” which won’t allow you to grab two studs. What type of exterior siding? If its vinyl it is a breeze to remove and replace and a sawzall makes short work of sheathing


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Cedar, nailed in...no way to remove it easily.

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You are on an outside wall so your rafters may be bearing on the upper wall plate and there for your ceiling joist are likely sitting directly above the studs

Located the ceiling joist near and you should be able to find the studs

 

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Try the stud finder on the ceiling to locate the joist. It may be the tile screwing it up. If it doesn't work on the ceiling either then it's the insulation . most stud finders measure wall density to locate studs and cheaper models may not be calibrated correctly the distinguish the difference.

Knocking on the ceiling and listening to the hollow verses solid sound will let you locate the joist and a nail will confirm.

If you can access the attic above , and pull the insulation aside to find a wall plate going from the side wall then just measure over to one of the ceiling joists, also confirm if the framing is 16 inches or 24 inches on center.

Measure from wall to joist and transfer to wall...again the studs should be under the ceiling joist or 1 1/2 " to one side or other. Normally the floor joist, studs and ceiling joist all all in line with one another, 

 

Edited by gobblergetter
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Ideally you would be able to find a stud . But like what was posted before you’ll only catch one stud if you install it level. if you install it on a angle you’d be able to catch two studs. Even if you catch a stud most likely  all the screws won’t connect. Typically there is three hole per end. I’ve  installed hundreds  of towel bars, toilet paper holders. Grab bars etc. I would get the biggest toggle bolt that would be covered by the grab bar and install it without any worry of it coming off. Most if not all of the pressure exerted on the bar is shear, and with thee large googles on each end  it isn’t going to come off and with tile on the wall you will never be able to pull it off. On a demo job once I was actually standing on a grab bar in a tile wall and it wouldn’t budge.  Don’t worry about stainless or galvanized just install and silicone behind it before you tighten it fully. Installed this way it will outlive all of us.

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