The shower can be a very scary place when all those soap suds start to accumulate on the floor of your shower. One way to feel safer in the shower is to install a grab bar to the wall. Here are the tools you will need and directions to properly install a grab bar in your tiled bathroom shower.
Once you have acquired a grab bar you need to collect the tools needed to install it. The following are the tools you will need:
1/8 inch masonry bit or glass and tile bit
Stud finder or a length of wire
Sharp awl or carbide glass and tile drill bit
Wood bit, 1/16 narrower than the size of mounting screws
The first thing that you will need to do to install your grab bar is to locate a wall stud. If you have access to a stud finder this will help greatly. Run the stud finder along the wall until a wall stud is located and mark the spot with a fine point marker. If you do not have an electronic stud finder, no worries, just take a 1/8 masonry bit or glass and tile bit and simply drill a hole into the grout. Then take your length of wire and make a bend in it. Put the wire in the hole and by spinning it left and right you should hit a stud. If you do not locate a stud, the hole that you just drilled can be filled with a slight bit of silicone caulk. Make sure to flatten the dab of silicone caulk so it does not protrude from the grout line, allow the caulk to dry for about three hours. If you have powdered grout handy, mix up a bit and patch the hole. Re-drill another hole until you locate a stud. When you do find a stud, measure 16 inches from that hole and you should be able to drill into another stud.
You will want to mark your stud locations so that you can measure from the base of the tub to determine the placement of your bar. Place your bar so that each end is over a stud and mark the screw holes that are in the mounting bracket.
To drill the mounting holes into tile you will need to make a starting point for the drill bit or else the bit will run across the tile. To make a starting point use a sharp awl or afore mentioned drill bit. Using your hand, twist the instrument on your make to make a slight impression on the tile; this will keep your drill bit from slipping. Do not use a punch or you are likely to crack your tile. Use the glass and tile bit to drill your hole. If using a masonry bit, place tape over the tile and drill slowly to avoid shattering the tile. You don’t want to break your tiles when screwing the mounting brackets on either so use a bit that is 1/32 wider than the size of the mounting screw you will be using. Start drilling the hole slowly and with even pressure so as not to slide off your mark. Use light pressure when drilling to avoid cracking the tile.
Make sure not to drill deeper than the tile and it backing. At this point, you will need to change your bit to the wood bit 1/16 narrower than the screw. This will make a pilot hole in the studs.
The final step is to mount the bar. Silicone caulk will need to be applied to the holes before mounting; this is to protect the wood and backing boards behind the tiles from leaking water. Simply screw the bar to the wall. You will want to use stainless steel screw or they will rust. Tighten the screws firmly making sure to not over tighten them or they will crack the tile.
You should now have your grab bar properly installed. You can now take a peaceful, relaxing shower and feel safer in the process.