Grab Rail into Plaster Board

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Sass, Nov 29, 2019 at 10:20 AM.

  1. Sass

    Sass New Member

    Hi there

    I can see there have been discussions about this before, but I'm not clear whether a grab rail can be installed directly into plaster board.

    The grab rail we're wanting to install is intended to help lift a heavy person up and out of a deep, soaker bath. It's a new bathroom and a false wall has been installed and tiles are now applied. Assuming we could confidently find the studs, they may not be in the right place in terms of height forr the person reaching up, so as to help lift themselves out of the bath. Therefore, do you think we could install a grab rail directly into plasterboard (not cement/hardi-backer board)? The tiles which have been installed onto the drywall are natural stone and are large at about 1.5 feet by 1.25 feet. I wondered whether this fact would help, given the surface coverage of these tiles.

    If you don't think the above would work, can you recommend some retro-fix solutions that would work without having to wreck the existing wall, please?
     
  2. Wayners

    Wayners Well-Known Member

    Grab rail an after thought? Need to get tiles off and fit some timber in the stud wall to fit grab rail to. No other way imo...
     
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  3. Sass

    Sass New Member

    Yes; it was, I'm afraid.
     
  4. Wayners

    Wayners Well-Known Member

    Oh. Happens. Tiies off I'm afraid.
    Plasterboard is the best and worst invention
     
  5. Sass

    Sass New Member

    Wayners - how would that work, please? If the tiles were removed, and we cut through the plastered false wall and then applied timber to the stud walls, is the process thereafter to then to re-apply new plaster and then tile again or could the tiles be applied directly to the newly installed wood?
     
  6. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Bath hoist/lift,if person is elderly/disabled there are grants available for this.
     
  7. Sass

    Sass New Member

    Hi KIAB - no, there's no disability; just getting older and creakier and is heavy. The grab rail is a future-proofing thing (which it seems, we should have thought about beforehand :-()
     
  8. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Got same problem here,have grab rails on wall & on bath,but it's getting harder to get in/out of bath,so decided to go for wet room.
     
  9. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member


    What is the wall adjacent to the length of the bath comprised of?
     
  10. Sass

    Sass New Member

    Hi Jord86 - that's the problem. The bath is all-bar up to sitting against and is parallel with a false wall which was installed to house the various electrics and piping and was then tiled. So, the grab rail would be placed on this same wall for the person to reach up for whilst getting out of the bath. The adjacent wall to the bath is too far to be of any use.
     
  11. Sass

    Sass New Member

    So the wall is comprised then, of studs, plasterboard and tiling.
     
  12. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member


    Unfortunately the only surefire way is as Wayners suggested, remove tiles and plasterboard and fix 3/4” ply in between the studs throughout then board and tile again. You could try spring toggles which would clamp the back of the plasterboard once a hole is drilled through but you’ll always have the uncertainty and risk of it giving way over time and causing injury, not a gamble worth taking in my opinion.
     
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  13. Sass

    Sass New Member

    Yeah... logic told me that working with what we've got was a risk and not good enough, but I I figured I'd ask you experts, so as to be certain. Thank you to you all for your responses useful responses; I guess I need to get the trades in again.
     
  14. Sass

    Sass New Member

    All - I had one further thought for your consideration:

    The wall 'behind' the false wall is a brick wall (is that what you were asking me, Jord86?). The approximate distance from where the grab rail would be located, through to where the brick wall behind the false wall begins is 4-5 inches. Is there a doo-hickey (I don't know what it would be called, other than some kind of screw/hilti-bolt) that would be long enough to latch into the brick wall and be capable of coupling with the grab rail on the internal wall?
     
  15. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    You could try using 8” frame fixings or Wayners absolute favourite, threaded bar and chemical anchor ;), in both cases you’d have to drill out the holes in the grab rail wider to allow the fixings to pass through, and in the threaded bar scenario it would look horrific, but, it’s a possibility it would work.
     
  16. Grange Handyman

    Grange Handyman New Member

    Is it not possible to pick out the stud nails in the false wall (strong magnet method for example) and attach a nicely trimmed wooden strap on the tiles and through to the studs that way?

    Obviously you would need to protect from water and probably silicone the edges.........but given the situation, my guess is that utility rather than attractiveness is the goal?

    You can then attach the grab rail and have a degree of certainty that it will stay attached and not wreck the tiles. I broke a tile recently removing a shower screen, and the forces doing that would be a lot less than a heavy person holding a grab rail.
     
  17. Grange Handyman

    Grange Handyman New Member

    Agreed on the looking horrific - but also, if the gap is 4-5 inches, while the 8" fixing might catch the external wall by a couple of inches, once installed and in use the forces on the grab bar when the heavyweight person hauls themselves up is liable to wreck the plasterboard / tile or both.
     
  18. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Well-Known Member

    Is there some floor or ceiling mounted solution (or both) that would work? If you can find a nearby ceiling joist for instance....
     
  19. CGN

    CGN Well-Known Member

    Multi tool around the edges of the tile and cut straight through grout and plaster board. Remove the tile/PB sandwich. Install noggins for grab rail and stick some material behind cut edges and glue tiles back in place, then re-grout.
     
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  20. nigel willson

    nigel willson Well-Known Member

    What’s on other side of bathroom wall. Could be less disruptive to go that side if poss
     
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