If you have a stall shower, for example 36″ x 36″, then I would suggest that you use a 18″ or 24″ grab bar at the entry point of the shower, hung vertically. In addition, use a 24″ grab bar hung horizontally on the back wall. By doing this you will ensure that you will be safe and maintain your balance. I would also suggest that you have your towel bars replaced with ADA Towel Grab Bars or a grab bar so they will be safe when stepping out of the showe.
For your bathtub I would suggest that you use a 18″ grab bar at the entry point of the tub, hung vertically. In addition, use a 24″, 30″ or 36″ grab bar hung horizontally on the back wall. I also suggest that you have your towel bars replaced with ADA Towel Grab Bars or a moen peened grab bar. Using towel grab bars in all of your bathrooms will reduce the chance of injury for that first slippery step.
How Do We Install Grab Bars?
We use several of the following methods to securely mount your grab bars to your walls, depending on your situation and wall material that we are mounting to.
Toggler Brand Snaptogglers
TOGGLER brand SNAPTOGGLE toggle bolts replace old-fashioned toggle wings. They are the strongest toggle bolts and require the smallest hole. The anchor can be pre-installed without using a bolt and won’t fall behind the wall when the bolt is removed. The solid metal channel centers the bolt, which cannot sag. These anchors will not damage or break through the wall, even under vibration.
We use Hilti TOGGLER Bolts, the folding fasteners commonly used on tile walls, cement block & drywall… is an acceptable alternative for one or both ends. Two 3/16″ Togglers per side (top and bottom holes) is more than adequate for most installations. If you can locate the studs (sometimes difficult through ceramic tile, hevy plaster pack, wire wall mesh, even with a “stud finder”). We attach at least one end of the grab bar to a stud.
(NOTE: Though TOGGLER can hold hundreds of pounds, they obviously are not as strong as mounting the bar into solid wood. However, mounting in wood might require extensive carpentry and tile work, in some situations, to add the necessary supports within the wall. The expected use of the grab bar is critical in determining whether such an installation is necessary.For example, if this grab bar must support the full weight of a heavy person over and over again and act as a critical safety device, toggles might not be adequate. Also, for commercial and medical situations, there are building code regulations that may apply.
Grab Bar Expansion Anchors
An Expansion anchor is a fastener that can attach one object to another in situations where screws, nails, adhesives or other simple fasteners are either impractical or ineffective. Two common surfaces where anchors are useful are 1) on extremely hard surfaces such as concrete, tile and 2) on hollow surfaces such as walls and doors especially where there is no convenient wood stud or beam behind the surface. This Is not recommended for mounting Grab Bars on Dry Wall…
Expansion anchors are used in thick, solid materials… concrete, brick, mortar, tile, metals or even wood. They work by expanding when a screw or bolt is threaded into them.
We apply silicone to the mounting brackets on both sides to help keep out all moisture and as an adhesive. We also seal the screw cover caps with silicone to prevent any moisture from ever getting to the mount screws.For most tile showers we use a combination of 1 Toggler Bolt, 2 Expansion Anchors and Silicone on the back for each side of the grab bar. The final touch is to silicone the screw cover plates on to prevent any moisture form ever getting to the mount screws.