Tub safety rails

I need some advice on installing safety rails in a tub area that has ceramic tile on the walls.
-Is there a trick to drilling ceramic tile without cracking/shattering it?
-Using an 18 or 24 inch horizontal bar on 16 inch spaced studs means one end will not screw into a stud. What type anchor would be best to use, assuming the smallest hole possible for the trim plate to cover up?
-Anything else I might be overlooking?
Thanks.
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E Z Anchor makes a type of toggle bolt that is less evasive than your typical toggle bolt. (sold in Home Depot and Lowes)
I don't know if you would want to put full weight on any thing short of screwing directly into a stud or a backup plate in the wall as a bolt can pull through the sheet rock and rip the tile off the wall.
In new construction a "ground" or plate as attached to the studs to accept the tub bar before the sheetrock or wonderboard is installed.
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I installed a safety bar in both bathrooms. The most tedious part was patching up the wall in the other room, but after doing so it is not noticable at all (patching, sanding, sanding, priming, applying three coats). I backed the fiberglass shower/tub surround with scrap wood which allowed the rails to be secured with 3" stainless steel screws. Not that I'd ever need it but the rails can hold up to 500 pounds. How I wish I had a tub/shower rail after my knee surgery! I look at saftey rails as a necessity and nobody really knows when they will need one. Cheap insurance.
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Mount the bar at a convenient angle. screwed solidly into a stud at both ends.
-- Don Phillipson Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada) dphillipson[at]trytel.com
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A grab bar mounted at an angle, as suggested, and depending upon the capability of the person trying to get out of the tub, will usually be a lot better than one mounted vertically. It will be easier for some people to grab and pull compared with reaching for a vertical bar. We have experience with both types. With a 24" bar mounted between adjacent studs on 16" centers, the high end will be closest to the person and fastened about 18" higher. The average height of the bar would be best determined by measuring the reach of the person(s) who will use it .

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On 19 Jul 2003 11:17:15 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (tiger x) wrote:

There are special tile/glass drills. Their tips look like arrow heads:
http://www.screwfix.com/sfd/i/cat/40/4054_l.jpg
I've drilled small (1/4" or less) holes using masonry bits.
The trick it to use a punch to break the glaze on the tile at the point you want the hole to keep the bit from skating. This can be a little anxiety producing because you don't want to crack the tile.

This subject comes up here now and again. It is my opinion one should not try to install grab bars with drywall fasteners (eg toggle bolts). One should use good sized screws into studs.
Even a toggle bolt (probably the strongest drywall fastener) is just attached to the wall covered with tile -- not a strong arrangement. Especially if water seeps through the tile and wets the drywall.
More specifically, water can leak through the mounting hole and reach the drywall. Once the drywall gets wet, it looses its strength, and the chances become high that the grab bar will come down. This is not hypothetical. I've seen more than one anecdote of people finding this situation when tearing out a shower to re-tile.
People come to depend on these things to an extent that it creates a significant hazard when they fail. This becomes extremely important if you have elderly visitors (or they buy your house). For them falls can be devastating. We've had two octogenarians who never got out to bed again after such falls.
An 18" bar can be tilted/angled to attach to 16" OC studs. The bar can be mounted vertical with both ends attached to the same stud.
The harder way is to remove the drywall on the outside of the bath wall and add blocking between the studs to attach the bar anywhere one chooses.
jim ___ Have a home upkeep question? Try my help page. It's sort of an alt.home.repair FAQ. http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair
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An exception might be if you *know* your tile was put up on a mortar bed or maybe cement backerboard over wallboard.
jim ___ Have a home upkeep question? Try my help page. It's sort of an alt.home.repair FAQ. http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair
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On 19 Jul 2003, jim evans wrote:

I say stick with your original advice. I would still be concerned with a person putting their full weight on the bar and ripping out the toggles.
--
TP

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According to this Federal publication http://www.huduser.org/publications/pdf/kitchen.pdf , "grab bars can be added only where there are studs or if there is known blocking. When these options are not clear or not in the right location, a solid piece of wood (2x4 or 2x6) can be attached to the studs, and the grab bars attach to the solid wood."
The publication also refers to the WingIt fasteners another poster mentioned as an alternative. It appears they require a 1 1/4" hole. This will require something like a carbide tipped hole saw instead of a drill.
jim ___ Have a home upkeep question? Try my help page. It's sort of an alt.home.repair FAQ. http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair
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Just an idea, but how about making a brushed stainless backer plate, at least 1/4" thick, wide enough to land over the studs? Grab bar could be bolted or welded to that. Round the corners and edges, and use silicone along with lag screws to anchor to the studs. It'll cost a few bucks at local machine shop, but should easily be strong enough. For that matter, if local supply house or med equip company doesn't have bars the right length, a good metal shop should be able to make up custom ones pretty cheap. The end plates are probably off the shelf, and they have stainless thickwall tubing in stock if they are a full service shop. This isn't rocket science, just competent blacksmithing.
aem sends....
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On 20 Jul 2003, ameijers wrote:

You sure? lol Sorry, but it's a lot closer to "rocket science" than it is to buying a ready made unit and mounting it on an angle. That's not rocket science either, just using a stud finder.
--
TP

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glass cutting bits work best for ceramic tile.

use Wingit fasteners if you can't screw into a stud. Wingit fasteners surpass the American with Disability Act (ADA) and all building code requirements for grab bars.
http://www.grabbarsonline.com/Installation/mounting_kits.asp
DO NOT USE TOGGLES (they will fail).
M.C. somewhere in Ca.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (tiger x) wrote in message

Finished the project yesterday & it looks good and is solid. And best of all, drilled 12 holes through the tiles without breaking any. Left the masking tape on the wall that had my hole locations marked, took a Dremel diamond point burr bit and cut through the tape & tile glaze. The tape kept the bit from running. Then finished drilling with a standard masonry bit.
BTW, the diamond tipped bits from Dremel run $10-$12 each. Found a set of 20 diamond tips in assorted shapes & sizes at Harbor Freight for $6.99 for the WHOLE set. Great deal & the quality was good. -Tiger
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