I need to install a safety grab bar in a shower that has ceramic tile.
The house was built about 40 years ago. I assume I must drill thru the
tiles and bolt the rail supports to studs behind the wall. If this is
necessary, how does one locate studs behind ceramic tile?
It is not always easy. You could try looking for the studs on the other
side of the wall in a room that is behind the bath. You could also measure
16" from the corner and hope that each stud is on center (Risky). If the
tile does not go up the entire wall to the ceiling, you could try looking
above the tile.
As an electrician I usually look at the wall receptacles and switches first.
When the house was built the outlet boxes were mounted on the exposed studs.
I remove the cover plate and push the edge of the box with a screwdriver to
see which side is fastened and which side is loose. Once you find one, the
others are usually 16" in each direction. Of course I wouldn't expect you
to have outlets or switches in your bath tub.
I need to do the same thing and I happen to catch an episode of "Ask this old
house". they showed a new product called Wingits. I found them on the
internet at www.wingits.com. Basically you drill a hold in a place where there
is no stud. As long as the wall is sound they claim it will hold up to 400lbs.
I just used them in my house and they worked great. They are kind of pricey
I just did that and got lucky, sort of. I have a window
above the tub, and used the jack studs below the sides
fo the window. If you have a window then there are
studs just to the sides of the window and a pair of
short "jack" studs sistered to them to support the
window sill. That made it easy to find the studs, just
drop down from the edge of the window. I also got
lucky, because the window was a 36" window, so a 36"
grab bar fit just right between those studs.
Of course if you don't have a window, you are just about
out of luck there.
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