installing a shower rail

Art07825November 24, 2013

We are changing out our master bath and have had the plumbers come in for the initial re-plumbing for the new rail and temperature/volume valve. Now on to the sheet rock phase and we just realized today that we forgot to install a beam to support the bottom of the rail. You can install with just anchors but we don't want to do that - not that we will use it as a grab bar but SOMEBODY may down the road, and we don't want it ripping out of the wall. We looked over the instructions again and are confused as to what exactly has to go behind the sheet rock before it is closed in again and tiled. There is nothing that we put behind the sheet rock, either the top or bottom connection point. I know that we are missing something here...
Here are some pictures leading up to where we are now.

I guess we will call Kohler tomorrow but hate to waste today. Anybody know what we need to have behind the wall before we cut in another piece and plaster again?

Here is a link that might be useful: pictures of the project

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Are you saying you want to cut an opening behind the shower wall (opposite room) and wonder what type of backing to use.

If so then I would use a large piece of plywood, maybe 10"x10" and silicone it to the wall in the center of the bottom rail. secure the bottom rail from the front shower area. Once you feel it's secure enough, then patch the opening back up.

If I misunderstood then others can chime in and answer the real question.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 2:12PM
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I will get yelled at because of this, but in many cases you can easily use a sheet of plywood instead of rock.

Here is the big point I'd like to toss out there: backing up sheetrock with wood blocking is just an attempt to give a decorative product (the rock) a structural capability it was never designed to have.

You'd think think that all you need to do to get a good mount for a grab bar (or such) is to lay a flat slab of some sheet wood somewhat between the studs behind the drywall facade. That will anchor the grab bar fasteners better and it will spread the sudden load of a fall better, but it's still weak. Don't expect any real reinforcing strength from cement backer board either, as it is, like drywall, very brittle under impact loads.

So, you could use thicker plywood, thinner backer board, use ply scraps to reinforce the rail mounting areas anyway, and have a wall that won't quit. Here's a test: will you be willing to stand on the thing once it's mounted and bounce on it to test your work? Remember you're perhaps betting someone's life on getting it all built in properly.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 2:37PM
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