Shower wall composition/thickness

I'm getting ready to install a safety grab bar on the wall of my shower, which is lined with ceramic tile. The house dates to the early 1960's. What am I likely to be drilling through between the tile and the wall studs? What thickness is it likely to be?
TIA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Norm Dion wrote:

You should be hitting the studs or you will be installing a towel rack, not a safety grab bar. Some people will tell you that toggle bolts or some such will be adequate, but you'll be compromising safety that way. The only time I would use toggle bolts would be on one of the L-shaped grab bars that wrapped a corner or had a vertical and horizontal leg and you couldn't hit a stud every time.
I'm not sure why manufacturers insist on making 18" grab bars when studs are on 16" centers. Pretty silly.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, I definitely intend to drill into a stud. But my original question was what can I expect to encounter on the way to those studs, and how thick. It's important in helping me locate the studs behind the tiled surface.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Does the ceramic tile top out below the ceiling? I would take a small drill bit and find the studs with a series of holes. The holes can be concealed with a bead of caulk.
No one knows what you have. It can be regular gyp, green MR gyp, cement board, or a full plaster bed. The gyp type products will probably be 1/2" thick. The full portland bed will be thicker and may be so stout you won't necessarily need to find the stud.
Depending on the exact type grab bar you have, you may have to angle the screws to get a good purchase in the stud. Make sure you add a heavy dose of good caulk under the grab bar to keep moisture out of the wall. You can hang the bar straight up and down in the same stud. I have been installing longer ones diagonally across 2 studs, sometimes one high (shower) and one low (bath). The diagonal install seems to work well for most clients.
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Norm Dion wrote:

Sorry. I misread your post. You wrote exactly what you meant and that can be confusing. ;)
If your house is relatively new, say within the last thirty or forty years, the odds are great that there's a half inch substrate with the tile on top of that. Figure 3/4" - 7/8" for that scenario. If your home is older than that, it might be a bit thicker. Figure 1" - 1.5".
How do you intend to locate the studs?
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks much.
Norm

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RicodJour wrote:

Are they intended to be installed at an angle and not level?
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Could be anything. Last weekend I helped a friend renovate his 1950's bathroom. Behind the ceramic tiles, there were one inch thick cement "tiles" cemented on a metallic grid that was stapled to the studs. Since they were roundish and somewhat irregular, there were lots of holes, i.e. the ceramic tiles had backing on about 80% of their area.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.