Shower safety grab bar

Page 3 of 4  
On Thu, 28 Jul 2016 07:07:55 -0400, slate_leeper

and you fasten to studs - no problemo.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can you get to the other side of the wall? If so, you could open it up enough to get some blocking between the shower enclosure and the studs. You should fasten your grab bar TO the studs. Yes, you'd have to repair the wall you opened, c'est la vie.
You could do the same thing from the shower side but the plastic enclosure would be more difficult to patch neatly.
Still another alternative would be attaching something - could be wood, could be an aluminum plate, etc. - to the shower enclosure after you attach - through bolts - the grab bar to it. The idea is to spread the load from grabbing the grab bar over a larger area of the enclosure. If I were to do this I would want the attachment plate to be at least 12" longer than the grab bar and 12-18" wide. How to attach it would depend on the wall thickness of the enclosure; it is probably too thin for self tapping screws but rivets might work. Regardless, I would also epoxy the attachment plate to the enclosure.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A simple solution is to use mounting screws that are 3/8" longer than what would be needed if the shower wall was tight against the studs. Put the mo unting brackets onto shower wall, and just don't tighten the screws the la st 3/8 inches. That way the same amount of screw is into the studs and ho lding the grab bar mounting material. If the whole area is then caulked or silicone-rubbered, it will still be waterproof and the grab bar should be just as strong as if the screws were fully tightened into the studs. If I were me, I would use the largest diameter screws I could get, assuming that the size would not be so large as to shatter the stud into which it is bei ng screwed. The hardest part of this is to find the center of the studs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 10:14:20 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

mounting brackets onto shower wall, and just don't tighten the screws the last 3/8 inches. That way the same amount of screw is into the studs and holding the grab bar mounting material. If the whole area is then caulked or silicone-rubbered, it will still be waterproof and the grab bar should b e just as strong as if the screws were fully tightened into the studs. If I were me, I would use the largest diameter screws I could get, assuming th at the size would not be so large as to shatter the stud into which it is b eing screwed. The hardest part of this is to find the center of the studs.
Silly question...
Are you suggesting that the grab bar just basically float on the ends of th e screws with nothing more than caulk securing it to a wall that has no solid support behind it?
If the shower wall currently moves inward 3/8" when he pushes on it, don't you think that the grab bar is going to push the shower wall in when any inward force is applied? The screw heads stay stationary, the bracket moves away from them.
Oh, there will never be any inward force, you say? How about the fact that wall around the mounting points will flex when force is applied in *any* direction since there will be nothing solid behind the brackets?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 31 Jul 2016 19:14:16 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

will accurately locate the edges of the stud. When the edges of the stud are properly located, finding the center is childs play. Then to the basics - a screw has virtually no strength in "shear" Not having the handle screwed tight to the back is just begging for the screw to break Also, leaving the handle "loose" and gluing it to the plastic shower liner/tub liner is just begging for the plastic to break around the handle. Just screw it in tight, pulling the plastic back "where it belongs". Finally - using a bigger screw, requiring the holes in the handle bracket to be drilled out MASY weaken the bracket - which added to the stress from not being properly mounted, is liable to crack the bracket in a short time.
I hope your personal liability insurance is adequate and up to date - and if you are a "proffessional" or anyone who ever gives advice for a fee, I hope your "errors and omissions" insurance is also paid up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Please note that I talked/wrote about using 3/8 inch longer screws going in to the studs that were 3/8 inches spaced away from the back wall as describ ed by the OP. The caulk/silicone rubber was to prevent water getting into t he space between the shower wall and the studs so that there would be no wa ter damage. If reasonable sized screws, such as those provided by the grab bar manufacturer, but 3/8 inch longer are used they will not break off if someone grabs the grab bar.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, August 1, 2016 at 11:09:07 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

ibed by the OP. The caulk/silicone rubber was to prevent water getting into the space between the shower wall and the studs so that there would be no water damage. If reasonable sized screws, such as those provided by the gr ab bar manufacturer, but 3/8 inch longer are used they will not break off i f someone grabs the grab bar.
I still don't see how the gasb bar is firmly attracted to anything. For the moment, let's make believe the (flexible) shower wall isn't there, just open studs. Now insert the screws through the mounting bracket and screw them in until 3/8" is left exposed. Isn't th e grab bar loose since it is not pulled flush to the studs? Can't it move in 3/8” and flop side to side when used?
Now, imagine that the flexible shower wall is there. As far as I see it, no t much has changed. The flexible wall is not going to provide any support since there is gap be tween it and the studs. The OP has already said that he can push the wall back to the studs. Therefore the grab bar is still loose.
Please explain what I am missing (if anything).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I am assuming that the mounting brackets for the grab bar have holes thru w hich the screws are used to fasten it loosely to the wall with the 2/8 inch spacing. If a person is falling down and grab for the bar, the screws sho uld be strong enough to keep the grab bar at the initial elevation. If the bar moves or goes down a half inch or so due to the 3/8 inch air spacing it will still prevent a fall.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 12:23:53 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Of course the brackets have holes for the screws. However, they are there to attach the grab bar *firmly* to the wall, not loosely.

What about every day use? Grab bars are not only installed to catch a person that is falling, they are also used to steady a person to limit the possibility of a fall. Every time it moves, it is going to flex the wall, the primary thing the OP is concerned about, and rightly so.
I won't even get into the visual clues and feedback loops that the brain uses to control our bodies. I'll just say that it isn't good if the object the brain wants to use in an emergency situation *moves* upon contact. Have you ever lifted up or pushed something that you thought was really heavy but was actually very light? The brain sure gets fooled when that happens. Imagine what could happen if a person with slow reaction time grabs a support object that moves when they grab it. It might not be pretty.
Let me ask you 2 questions:
1 - If you were climbing into a hotel shower, put your hand on the grab bar for support and discovered that the bar was loose, would you just accept it as a proper installation or would you say to yourself "They really ought to fix that"? Me, I'd be on the phone to the front desk ASAP.
2 - If your Mom/Dad or other elderly relative/friend asked you to install a grab bar, would you be comfortable leaving the screws 3/8" out from the studs so that the bar moved around every time they used used it? Me, no way in hell.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The longer screws are on option I proposed. If it was my house, I would probably figure out something better. But, if I knew that the flexing would occur, I would not be upset when it happened if I took hold of it.
What do yo suggest based on the OP's information?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 10:52:45 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

I see that you did not answer either of my questions. I'll reduce it to one:
Would you install a grab bar in the manner you suggested for an elderly/unsteady loved one?

First off, without seeing the shower wall, I do not know if flexing the wall back to the studs is even an issue. That would be the first thing I would look at. It might not be a problem at all.
The next best solution offered was the insertion of a backer board between the studs and the shower wall. I don't know if that is possible, but if this were my house or if I was doing this for a loved one, I would not hesitate to consider opening a wall and see what other solid means of attachment I could come up with. Maybe opening a wall is not possible...only the OP can tell us that.
Bottom line is that I would never install a safety device that flopped while around in use.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/3/2016 7:23 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 9:49:26 AM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Speak for yourself.

After the 4th kid we chose a more permanent solution. We couldn't be "more satisfied".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ed Pawlowski posted for all of us...

Are they radial reinforced re-vulcanized?
--
Tekkie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 28 Jul 2016 07:07:55 -0400, slate_leeper

Wow. This seems to have ignited some controversy. Thanks for all your suggestions. I think I am going to combine solutions.
1) Use a suction type temporarily. 2) I was considering remodeling the bathroom anyway with this: http://www.tubtoshower.com/
That will definitely solve the problem.
PS: I am 72. No real balance problems but I do have a really bad ankle so slip recovery is pretty iffy.
Thanks again, -dan z-
--
Protect your civil rights!
Let the politicians know how you feel.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 6:58:15 AM UTC-4, slate_leeper wrote:

#2 sounds like a good idea. #1, not so much.
I would be really concerned about the ability of the suction cups to retain their hold on a wall that flexes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/4/2016 7:04 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I went out and bought one of the suction devices from HD for my shower. My wife says hers is real solid for the tub where she uses it. I tried it yesterday. I have no real problem but at 76 don't have the agility of when I was younger. I might hold it to soap a foot and it does appear very solid. Also has the advantage of testing it out where you might want to place it. I had it on what I thought was the best wall but it ended up feeling better on another.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 8:08:36 AM UTC-4, Frank wrote:

It should be clear from my earlier discussion with Mr. Pawlowski that, in general, I am not a fan of suction cup grab bars, but to each his own.
However, the OP has the added issue of a shower wall that apparently flexes when pressure is applied. Since suction cups typically prefer a flat, solid surface to ensure a good seal, I'd be really concerned that the flexing of the wall will create a gap behind the suction cup at the most inopportune time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/4/2016 9:00 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I would agree with you that his shower could be a problem. I was in a hotel a couple of weeks ago in a flexible tub shower and it felt unstable. Mine is ceramic and had to be replaced many years ago as builder had used regular drywall instead of water proof dry wall or cement board. The suction cups appear so solid that I might be afraid of pulling a tile off a wall before suction failed.
My next door neighbor with aged parents had bought the house that had just had bath redone, ripped it out and put in a new one with all the senior bells and whistles. Too bad all showers aren't built with this in mind because all of us become seniors.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 9:24:03 AM UTC-4, Frank wrote:

Soon after moving into my first house 30+ years ago, I was doing some landscaping in my backyard and stepped back to admire my handy work. My joy was short lived as my eyes drifted to the basement window and I saw water dripping down *inside* the window, along the wall directly below the 2nd floor bathroom.
SWMBO was taking a shower so I opened the access panel in the hallway and saw water coming through the side wall of the shower. These were 3/4" thick walls, with a 3/8" gypsum board and 3/8" of plaster, then the tile.
The grout had gone bad in the shower and the water was seeping through to the wall itself. When SWMBO was done with her shower I pushed on the tile and the wall felt like mush. We showered with a plastic drop cloth covering the wall until I was able to rip it out and do it right.

Yet another reason I don't like suction cups. It doesn't matter what fails, the suction cup or the tile. From a safety perspective the result is the same. From a repair perspective, it's never good to rip a tile off of a shower wall. ;-)

I don't disagree with you, but...
Obviously there's the added expense involved for homeowners that don't know if they will grow old in the house. In addition, while some senior issues are consistent, different folks have different needs. You said it yourself:
"I had it on what I thought was the best wall but it ended up feeling better on another."
One size does not fit all.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.