To install a grab bar, locate the wall studs, mark the position of the bar, drill the necessary holes, apply caulk to the base, and drill the bar into place. Test the grab bar after installation to ensure it is safe.
- Find the wall studs
Use a stud sensor to locate the studs in the bathroom wall near the target location of the grab bar. Mark the center with a pencil on the wall above the tile. Use a nail to probe inside the wall to locate each edge of the stud.
- Transfer the marks
Use a level to extend the marked location of the studs, and use masking tape to mark the location of the stud.
- Position the grab bar
Depending on the reason for the grab bar, place it either vertically or at a slant. Position a vertical grab bar 32 to 38 inches up from the floor. Position the bottom edge of a diagonal grab bar 6 to 10 inches above the top of the tub at an angle that connects two studs. Mark the position with a grease pencil.
- Drill holes for the grab bar
Use a 1/8-inch glass and tile drill bit to drill holes in the center of each stud. Drill enough holes for the base of either end of the grab bar. If any of the holes miss a stud, insert a plastic anchor.
- Mount the grab bar
Apply caulk to the circumference of the bar's mounting flange. Place the bar in the target position, and use steel pan head screws to attach it to the shower wall.
- Test the grab bar
After the caulking has set, yank on the grab bar as hard as you can to ensure it stays put.