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Grab bar on outside wall

smitch's picture

Grab bar on outside wall  (post #207468)

The old towel bar with  porcelain supports became a grab bar for my mother until it broke. I was asked by her caregivers to put up a grab bar.  The supports were cemented in and after removal I found they were "near" studs. To hide the giant holes removal made and make use of the studs, I presume I would use a backing board, say of 3/4 inch oak and screw that to the studs and the grab bar to it. As I began looking into this approach, I found the wall was curved to the point where to put up a 24 inch grab bar, the wall is concave by about 1/8 of an inch. Very visible when you put a plank against the wall like this. I wonder what is the solution for this (maybe some kind of moulding?) - or would someone say I'm going about it all wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Most would say.......... (post #207468, reply #1 of 13)

and eighth?  don't worry about it.

You mention porc. towel bar------on tile? or plastered wall?

Either one-put up your oak, seal it and caulk the gap.


Look at the oak board a bit closer-does it have the curve or the wall?   If it has a bit of bow, flip it over.  When fastened, it should pull (now both ends away) up tight to the wall.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Grab bar on outside wall (post #207468, reply #2 of 13)

The wall is actually drywall. They made some sort of trough to cement the supports onto. I just didn't want to make a mess fixing the gap as the drywall has a glossy wallpaper over it. I'll try your suggestions. Looks possible. I'll also have to notch out this wood for some of the window sill as one support was very close to it. I want to cover the tear-out from the removal process (did the best I could but still some wallpaper damage). I was hoping I wouldn't have to use caulk. What kind would you recommend?

smitch (post #207468, reply #3 of 13)

I use Phenoseal adhesive caulk quite a bit-if white works for you -  there is translucent also.

It's a Dap owned product, so whereever that's sold.

There are colored caulks from Titebond that are good-exterior-Weathermaster-you might find a color to match the paper.............

But do try to find a board with a dip to it and use it so the dip nestles in the gap .

or, plane the ends of what you got so it fits in the dip.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Thanks a lot for all your (post #207468, reply #4 of 13)

Thanks a lot for all your help. No job is as simple as it seems at the start.

smitch (post #207468, reply #5 of 13)

Now that's not the way to look at it.

All the jobs are damn hard-the trick is to make it easier.


But really, for the safety of your mother and moderate concerns for pleasing look, I think you're doing this right.

Be great if you find that pc of oak with a little whoop to it.   Usually you're looking for straight, and can't find it.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Confirmed - it's actually the (post #207468, reply #8 of 13)

Confirmed - it's actually the drywall that's curved. If I could find some curved wood that might be a great solution. I'll actually give that a try.

Have you considered just (post #207468, reply #6 of 13)

Have you considered just using a couple of "medalions"?

Or perhaps one of the Wingits fasteners would work for you.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

After removing the ends to (post #207468, reply #7 of 13)

After removing the ends to the old towel bar, I have to cover the existing damage. I just didn't know that I could "trust" anything but the security of a stud. I have heard these fasteners can hold up to 300 lbs. Just didn't want to trust my first use of these with my mother. Figure studs are for sure. Given this, I plan on using a board about 33 inches long or so. 

grab bar (post #207468, reply #9 of 13)

In your post I  you said, "the old towel bar used as a grab bar".   I hope for for your mom's sake, your planing to use a real grab bar.  The instructions that come with the grab bar may help answering some of your mounting questions. Good luck.

Used inappropriately as such. (post #207468, reply #10 of 13)

Used inappropriately as such. Yes the replacement will be a "real" grab bar.

One more thing.... (post #207468, reply #11 of 13)

I'm going to screw a 1 X 5 1/2 red oak board to studs. Would you say two screws are sufficient or would you  say divide the 5 1/2 inch dim in fourths and use three. I then plan to use #12 stainless steel screws to fasten the grab bar to the oak board.

Thanks for all your help again. 

Smitch (post #207468, reply #12 of 13)

I'd probably use 4-  in two pairs-top/bottom area of the 5-1/2" board.



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A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Great - thanks very much.  (post #207468, reply #13 of 13)

Great - thanks very much.