Feel safer in your bathroom by installing grab bars on your shower wall.

The shower can be a very scary place when soap suds start to accumulate on the floor. One way to feel safer is by installing a grab bar on the wall. Here are the tools you will need and directions to properly install a grab bar in your tiled bathroom shower.

Once you have acquired a grab bar, collect the tools needed to install it. The following are the tools you will need:

- Philips-head screwdriver
- Drill
- 1/8 inch masonry bit or glass and tile bit
- Stud finder or a length of wire
- Tape measure
- Silicone caulk
- Sharp awl or carbide glass and tile drill bit
- Wood bit, 1/16 narrower than the size of mounting screws

The first thing you need to do to install your grab bar is locate a wall stud. If you have access to a stud finder, this will greatly help. Run the stud finder along the wall until you locate a wall stud, then mark the spot with a fine point marker. If you do not have an electronic stud finder, don't worry. Just take a 1/8 masonry bit or glass and tile bit and drill a hole into the grout. Then take your length of wire and make a bend in it. Put the wire in the hole and by spinning it left and right, you should hit a stud. If you do not locate a stud, fill the hole with a slight bit of silicone caulk. Make sure to flatten the dab of silicone caulk so it does not protrude from the grout line, and allow the caulk to dry for about three hours. If you have powdered grout handy, mix up a bit and patch the hole. Re-drill another hole until you locate a stud. When you do find a stud, measure 16 inches from that hole and you should be able to drill into another stud.

Mark your stud locations so that you can measure from the base of the tub to determine the placement of your bar. Place your bar so that each end is over a stud and mark the screw holes in the mounting bracket.

To drill the mounting holes into tile, you need to make a starting point for the drill bit, otherwise the bit will run across the tile. Use a sharp awl or the aforementioned drill bit to make a slight impression on the tile with your hand. This will keep your drill bit from slipping. Do not use a punch or you are likely to crack your tile. Use the glass and tile bit to drill your hole. If using a masonry bit, place tape over the tile and drill slowly to avoid shattering the tile. You don't want to break your tiles when screwing the mounting brackets on either, so use a bit that is 1/32 wider than the size of the mounting screw you will be using. Start drilling the hole slowly and with even pressure so as not to slide off your mark. Use light pressure when drilling to avoid cracking the tile.

Make sure not to drill deeper than the tile and its backing. At this point, you will need to change your bit to the wood bit, 1/16 narrower than the screw. This will make a pilot hole in the studs.

The final step is to mount the bar. Apply silicone caulk to the holes before mounting to protect the wood and backing boards behind the tiles from leaking water. Screw the bar to the wall using stainless steel screws to avoid rusting. Tighten the screws firmly, making sure not to over tighten them or they will crack the tile.

Your grab bar should now be properly installed. You can now take a peaceful, relaxing shower and feel safer in the process.
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