Not to be mundane, have you considered that the tile is not there for
support of a grab bar?
When I put up my fathers grab bars I ended up ripping out the plastic tub
surround and attaching backing to the support members to get the bars in the
A diamond bit would be a good start. Be very careful near the edges. Go
slowly and you will be rewarded. A bit of water sprayed on the bit helps as
1/8" is a small bit, but you have the right idea to start smaller and
work up. Try something like this: http://tinyurl.com/azxnz
Use a spray bottle of water to spritz the hole as you drill. I also
use a cup of water to periodically quench the bit. Make sure you hit
the studs if it's a grab bar.
I have done this with a carbide-tipped bit they sell for this purpose,
the business end is shaped like the ace of spades. I think only the
one size was needed.
As others have said, grab bars must be attached to the studs behind the
tile. You can use a stud-sensor tool (electronic gizmo) to find them.
Don't think a stud sensor will find studs behind tile and drywall, to thick.
At least mine won't and I have a good one. You might want to do this on the
opposite side if you can get to it. Locate studs then measure from a
predetermined spot and transfer this measurement to the side you're working
on. Hoping you have better luck with your stud sensor.
"you can lead them to LINUX
but you can\'t make them THINK"
Your bit is about three fourths of the way down the page; a carbide
tipped spear point. You can find these at any good hardware store,
maybe even Wal-Mart, etc.
Cost is $5-8 apiece, depending on size and quality.
You drill the final sized hole; no stepping up. Drill for screw
clearance plus a little for wobble. It is difficult to drill precisely
located holes with these bits.
Buy at least two. They wear fast in some ceramics. Heat from friction
is the biggest cause of failure. Keep the bit cool by dipping it in a
cup of water every few seconds. When it gets dull, throw it away and
use a fresh one. You are probably not equipped to resharpen carbide
Grab bars require drilling through the tile, its backing, and firmly
mounting into studs or solid wood blocking in the wall. I think code in
most places acknowledges this.
Here\'s some of my work:
The ohthers have good tips. Use a carbide tipped drill. To start with you
may want to use a center punch or other sharp harden tipped tool to break
the glaze of the tile. Don't hit too hard or you will crack the tile.
I have drilled porcelain tile with a carbide bit, and it did not ruin
the bit. Once the bit gets started into the hard surface, it goes
Even if the bit is "used" by the hard service, it is cheap to replace if
needed. My carbide bits seem to last forever, and they are the cheap
ones, too. --Phil
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org Youngstown State University
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