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Thread: Backer board for shower grab bar (fiberglass surround)

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member penobscotman's Avatar
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    Default Backer board for shower grab bar (fiberglass surround)

    The Kohler/Sterling website keeps talking about "backer boards" for attaching grab bars to their Vikrell surrounds. It's a bit vague, but I once found a page on their site which "sort of" explained it. Now I can't find the page and the company doesn't seem to to understand my query. My memory is that you glue, with silicone, a board to the outside of the surround. This stiffens the surround in the area of the grab bar and give the screws something to bite into. The best practice, of course, is to attach blocking to the framing but I want to add a grab bar in a spot where it will be difficult to block. I do have access to the point.

    Has anyone done this? Is silicone the best adhesive for this? What about construction adhesive?

  2. #2
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    There are specific locations on SOME Kohler/Sterling units for mounting grab bars. Some of their surrounds can be ordered with the backer boards in place. Silicone would work fine for holding the board in place. Because the walls can flex a little, I would not use anything that hardens like construction adhesive.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    An ADA qualified safety bar must support at least 300#. Depending on the strength of the surround, It will take some pretty good support to meet those requirements. Personally, I'd want some solid blocking attached to the studwalls I could screw into, with enough so that when the bar was anchored, it didn't flex the surround. I do not know if they have a fastener for this application, but you may want to look at stuff from www.wingits.com. I've used them on a tiled wall with great success.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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