How to attach grab bar to tiled wall?

I need to attach a grab bar for a bathroom wall that is tiled from floor to ceiling. It is not inside a shower.
It is an exterior concrete block wall, then about 1/2" or less space (with insulation or furring strips) then the 5/8" drywall, then the ceramic tiles.
I would like to find the furring strip and use that, but using a stud finder over tiles are not reliable, and where I think I have them, it's not in the right place anyways, plus furring strip may not be strong enough anyways.
So I need to go to the concrete block. Can use Tapcon. However my previous experience with Tapcon is not good. I have a box that comes with the masonry bit. I will use it then drill, and when I am done I will screw in the screws and normally I will get to the end and it will still be spinning easily. I have a hard time getting a tight turn at the end.
When I used it last to hang drapery rod fittings I had a real hard time. Someone told me may be I ended up hitting "weak" spots of the concrete or the joints. But I found more weak spots than I found good spots. I am using the right tool (hammer drill) with right screws and bit. For the windows in the bed rooms if I messed up I can easily patch up the hole and repaint later. For a tiled wall if I make a mistake it is not so forgiving. Plus I wonder if the Tapcon screw having a section of empty space and drywall and tile, it will need a lot of depth inside the concrete to bite into it enough, or else I might mess up the tiles.
I was thinking toggle bolts between the tile and sheetrock, but for grab bar this will not be strong enough? Plus I don't think there is enough room between sheet rock and concrete block to fit a toggle without drilling into it anyways.
MC
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I have tapcons that don't tighten either. Ever tried to pull one out?

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I cannot pull it out, but I can almost unscrew it (turn countercloskwise) it by hand. or I can sometimes remove it by some jiggling. Don't like it when that happens.
MC
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Drill the hole deep, backfill with epoxy (the kind used to put bolts in foundations) insert a long screw and wait for it to harden.
If you want it removable, epoxy a threaded insert like the tapcon or similar and wait for it to harden then assemble. You could also leave a little stub of threaded rod sticking out and use a cap-nut to fasten the bar to the wall. (is it a covered screw version)
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similar
stub
Do you think the space behind the sheet rock and block wall (currently stuffed with insulation) will affect the stability of the grab bar?
Also, if use the epoxy approach, is there a specific epoxy? How is it applied? with a syringe? I need to get that behind the tile, behind the sheet rock under the tile, through the insulation space, and deep into the block wall.
Thanks,
MC
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I'm not sure what the Tapcon folks envisioned with their product but to me, even though it turns, it doesn't come out which satisfies your need. You could always put just a touch of epoxy under the bolt head, tighten it down and let it set. That way it can't come unscrewed by itself. The other idea of using epoxy in the hole itself is probably the best idea for a very solid, long term solution. Cheers, cc
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MiamiCuse wrote:

Sounds like 4" toggle bolts and hold your mouth right.
There is also some 2 part poxy resins that will hold that sucka! sand the wall and the rack feet... stick it and forget it!
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wrote:

<snip>
Grab bars need to be very securely attached. I think you are asking for trouble if you try to attach it through the tile, through possibly air space behind, and then to the block wall. You won't be able to really tighten the bars down solidly because the wall will deflect into the air space, either right away or gradually over time.
If it were me, I would remove one tile at each end where you want the bar to attach, cut out most of the drywall, leaving perhaps 1/2 inch around the edge, and then fasten solid wood (pressure treated would be best) blocking to the wall with flat head tapcons. Size the blocking so the front face is flush with the front surface of the drywall. Reinstall the tile, fastening it to the lip of drywall and the front of the blocking, and then fasten the grab bar through the tile to the blocking, or through the blocking to the wall.
A lot more work, I admit, but it will last.
HTH,
Paul
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I have a feeling you are right, but I want to avoid the work. I think I will try to epoxy solution first, and see if the grab bar when done will hold my weight, and if it does not, I will rip it out and do it your way. I hate to crack out the tiles...wish there is something I can inject behind the sheet rock after I drilled the holes that will harden and serve the same purpose as the wood blocking you suggested.
Thanks,
MC
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Use the Tapcons, but do not use a hammer drill - they tend to chip out the hole, making it too big for the screw to grip properly.
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If not in hammer drill mode, that bit does not advance! I tried. I also think the hammer drill was doing too much damage, but the way it is, no hammer drill no movement, with hammer drill it chews through like knife through butter and probably weakened the hole.
Thanks,
MC
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I assume the grab bar has some sortof flanged attache point on each end.
Your CMU exterior wall is not grouted so it has hollow sections, correct.
Any kind of mechanical anchor is sub-optimal for CMU (esp non-grouted)
Hilt makes a product esp for hollow CMU, it has a screen device that does intot he drilled & and acts as a substrate for the epoxy to nest in.
You can take a look at
http://www.us.hilti.com/holus/modules/prcat/prca_navigation.jsp?OID=-12305
In a pinch I have "fudged" the concept with screening material.
SIKA makes an awesome extremely fast setting (~5 miin ge time) epoxy that can be dispensed from a standard caulking gun. The stuff is avavialbe at HD (at least in Tustin, CA)
I suggest doing the screen dance with the SIKA Sikadur AnchorFix
cheers Bob
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