Grab Bars and More

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Grab Bar Installation (Fiberglass Showers/Tubs)

Installing Grab Bars on Fiberglass Showers/Tubs:

This grab bar installation guide will walk you through how to install grab bars on fiberglass showers and bathtubs (fiberglass wall surrounds). Fiberglass walls have no structural or stable support; not only will the fiberglass shower or fiberglass tub walls flex when pushed against, but they also can crack and break over time from continual pushing or pulling. Remember, fiberglass showers have air space between the fiberglass surrounds and the wall studs and are not similar to standard layered walls. Installing grab bars on fiberglass surrounds can be very difficult due to the challenges in mounting the fasteners through the “air space” behind the fiberglass surround directly into a wood wall stud. Follow this guide carefully and be sure that you have the proper tools (such as our solid mount anchor kit – an anchoring device specifically for fiberglass surrounds).

⚠️A grab bar is only as strong as the anchoring devices and the wall on which it is mounted. Fastening directly into wood “stud” blocking is highly recommended. ⚠️

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

Recommended Tools:

  1. Power Drill
  2. Solid Mount Anchoring Device
  3. 2″ Drill Bit
  4. Stud Finder
  5. Screwdriver
  6. Silicone Sealant
  7. Level
  8. 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 wall, excercise 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 fiberglass walls. 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.
  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 Holes Into Fiberglass Wall with 2″ Drill Bit:

  1. Use a power drill with a 2″ inch drill bit to drill holes through the fiberglass wall at the marked positions.
    • If you don’t have a 2″ drill bit or a powder drill capable of holding a bit that large, you can use a smaller drill and just drill multiple times to expand the hole to the 2″ size.

Installing Grab Bar Anchoring Devices into Hollow Fiberglass Wall:

Once the 2″ holes have been drilled through the fiberglass walls, you can begin the process of inserting the solid mount anchoring devices (1 per mounting point, 2 per grab bar).

View our detailed installation instructions with images and videos below:

Installing Grab Bar onto Anchoring Devices:

  1. Place the grab bar on the wall, aligning mounting holes with the solid mount anchoring devices that are installed into the wall.
  2. Apply a bead of silicone sealant on the back of the grab bar flange before securing it to the solid mount anchors, as it helps prevent water damage behind the wall surface. This is crticial when installing grab bars in a shower or bath environment where water can get behind the grab bar flange and create rust.
  3. Insert the screws provided (one end at a time) and tighten until snug against the solid mount anchoring devices.
  4. Repeat prior steps for opposite end of the grab bar.
  5. Once both ends are secured to the wall, fasten both ends tightly and carefully until both ends of the grab bar are tight against the anchoring devices.
  6. Move the flange cover plates over the mounting holes and align the cover’s locking tabs to the slots on the flange, push in twoards the wall, and twist approximatley 15 degrees clockwise until locked in place.
  7. If being installed in a shower/bath environment, use generous amounts of silicone sealant around the 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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