10-Minute Tech: Hang-Tight Shower Bar

Grab Bar
Illustration by William Tipton

Lowe’s stocks 1- x 4-inch and 1- x 6-inch PVC lumber, which makes me a very happy camper. My first project was building a mount for a full-size grab bar in my trailer’s shower. I bolted the bar to the PVC board with 1/4- x 3/4-inch stainless-steel bolts, countersinking the back of the board 3/4- x 3/16-inch deep to receive a 7/16-inch socket for the nuts. I used a light touch with a Speedbor bit, and PVC lumber can be cut through like warm butter.

I found two studs in the shower that I could screw the board into, again using stainless-steel hardware and countersinking for the screw heads. Prior to mounting on the wall, do a dry run just to make sure the studs are really where you think they are. Then use a generous bead of silicone caulk around the perimeter of the back of the board and screw it to the studs. Follow up by caulking the outside of the board where it meets the wall, over the screws and around the escutcheons to prevent leakage into the wall.

This bar is solid as a rock!

Mark Jewell | Cedar Creek, Texas



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