Is it possible to secure grab rails without wall studs?

Is it possible to secure grab rails without wall studs?

  • 12 March, 2024
  • Frederick Tomblin

Securing grab bars without studs can be challenging because wall studs provide the necessary structural support for a secure installation. However, if you are unable to locate studs in the desired location or if the studs are not conveniently located, there are alternative methods to secure grab bars:

  1. Wall Anchors:
    • Plastic or metal wall anchors can be used in conjunction with screws to secure grab bars to the wall. These anchors spread the load and provide additional support.
    • Ensure that the wall anchors are appropriate for the wall material (drywall, tile, etc.) and weight capacity requirements.
  2. Backer Boards:
    • If you have access to the wall from behind (e.g., in a renovation), you can install a horizontal blocking or backer board between the studs. Mount the grab bars to this additional support.
    • Boards should be securely screwed or bolted to the studs to ensure stability.
  3. Adhesive Mounting:
    • Some grab bars come with adhesive mounting options. However, this method is typically not as secure as attaching to studs or using anchors, and it may not be suitable for all wall materials.
  4. Professional Installation:
    • If you are unsure about alternative methods or concerned about the strength and stability of the installation, you should consult a professional handyman or contractor. They may be able to assess the situation and recommend the best approach.

It's important to note that alternative methods may not provide the same level of strength and reliability as installing grab bars into studs. Fred Mill recommends that users only install grab rails directly into wall studs for maximum safety.

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