Grab Bars and More

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Drywall-Wood Studs

Grab Bar Installation (Drywall into Stud)

Installing Grab Bars on Drywall into Wood Studs:

This grab bar installation guide will walk you through how to install grab bars on drywall directly into wood studs behind the wall. You will see drywall around residential and commercial toilets and along walkways in bathrooms. Generally, showers and baths have tile, rather than drywall as the surface material. Follow this guide carefully and be sure that you have the proper tools.

⚠️If you aren’t confident in your installation skills, we recommend you hire a grab bar installer. Request professional grab bar installation. ⚠️

Recommended Tools:

  1. Power Drill
  2. 1/8″ Drill Bit
  3. Stud Finder
  4. Screwdriver
  5. Silicone Sealant
  6. Level
  7. Painters Tape

Parts Supplied:

  1. Our grab bars come with a pack of six (6) #10 x 2-1/2 inch wood screws. (If the grab bar has 3 mounting locations, then there will be nine (9) screws supplied).

Safety Cautions:

  1. Grab bars are only as strong as the strength and rigidity of the material to which they are mounted. They must be mounted through the wall and screwed directly to a wood stud.
  2. When drilling into the wall, exercise extreme care to avoid any electrical wiring or plumbing that may be located behind the wall. Older homes may not always fall in line with current housing codes and requirements. Make sure to verify where internal wiring is located in the wall so that no wires will interfere with the installation. Damaged electrical wiring can cause electric shock and fire.
  3. Proper installation is extremely important. If in any doubt, stop and contact a qualified grab bar installation professional.

Before Installing the Grab Bar:

  1. Remove the grab bar (with included screw pack) from the package. The screw pack will be inside the plastic bag with the grab bar.
  2. Move grab bar flange covers away from the holes and tape them to the bar in a position away from the mounting ends.
  3. With a stud finder, locate and pencil mark where the wood studs are located behind the wall. Watch this video on how to use a stud finder.
    • You can use painters tape instead of pencil marks to prevent wall marks.
  4. Determine your preferred grab bar placement location in consideration of the wall stud location and the best ergonometric way to enter, use, and exit the shower, bathtub, or toilet – read our grab bar placement guides.
    • You can place the grab bar vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
    • At least two (2) screws must be mounted directly into each wood stud from each grab bar wall mount. Keep this in mind as it will limit your placement options on the wall.
  5. Based on where you have chosen to place the grab bar, with the loose grab bar in your hand, position the grab bar over the wood stud marks where you intend to install it.
  6. With a pencil in one hand and the grab bar in the other hand, press the grab bar flanges against the wall on your desired mounting location and mark the centers of the mounting holes on the one end. These are the points where you will later drill holes through the tile with the diamond tip drill bit.
    • Be sure to use painters tape before applying the pencil marks. This layer of painters tape will prevent pencil marks and scratches during drilling into the wall surface.

Drilling Into Wood Wall Studs:

  1. Use the power drill and 1/8-inch drill bit to drill pilot holes into the wall and wood wall studs at the marked positions.
  2. Place the grab bar on the wall, aligning mounting holes with the holes in the wall.
  3. Insert the screws provided into one end of the grab bar (one end at a time). Screw into wall and wall stud with a screwdriver. Hand tighten only enough to hold the grab bar in place and prevent the bar from sliding and scratching the wall. Also, this will allow you some wiggle room to move the grab bar when positioning and securing the other opposite end.
  4. Apply a bead of silicone sealant on the back of the mounting flange before inserting and tightening the screws, as it helps prevent water damage behind the wall surface. This is critical when installing grab bars in the shower/bath area,
  5. Repeat prior steps for the opposite end of the grab bar.
    • If mounting horizontally or vertically, use a level to make sure that the grab bar is at the correct degree, level, 90-degree, or 45-degree angle.
  6. Once both ends are secured to the wall, fasten both ends tightly and carefully until both ends of the grab bar are snug against the wall.
  7. Move the flange cover plates over the mounting holes and align the cover’s locking tabs to the slots on the flange, push in towards the wall, and twist approximately 15 degrees clockwise until locked in place.
  8. If being installed in a shower/bath environment, use generous amounts of silicone sealant around the exterior of the flange cover as it is secured to the wall. Leave a tiny bit of the perimeter at the bottom uncovered so that water can drain from behind the cover if it were to be penetrated.
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