|Fiberglass shower install|
Some fiberglass and acrylic tub wall sections are now made with reinforcing already in the walls to stiffen the fixture. If the reinforced fiberglass or acrylic wall is not specifically labeled as built for grab bars and meeting the ANSI load requirements, then additional reinforcing may need to be installed.
One way to attach grab bars to fiberglass is to install solid wood blocking into the cavity between the fiberglass wall and the studs. This would be easy to do if done while the molded fiberglass unit is being installed. This is very rarely done unless the builder is adding grab bars right away. Another way to install the wood blocking is from the back side of the shower walls. This would involve cutting into drywall and then repairing the drywall when done. This adds considerable cost to installing the grab bars.
Solid Mount grab bar anchoring system
|Solid mount pads ready for grab bar|
The tricky part of installing the solid mount system is locating exactly where the studs are behind the fiberglass in order to drill the 2 inch holes. If you are off on this step chances are you will be buying and installing a new shower.
The length of the grab bar and how it's to be mounted depends on how the studs are spaced in the shower area. They are seldom exactly where you would like them to be. In this job I used 16 inch grab bars and mounted one vertical and the other horizontal because of the stud spacing. The bar can also be mounted at an angle.