Reset porcelain towel rack

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Tradewinds Residential, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Tradewinds Residential

    Tradewinds Residential New Member

    Jacksonville Fl
    I have a customer whose porcelain towel rack has pulled out of the wall (sheetrock). He has asked that I remove the old joint compound and reset the
    rack. Usually I patch the wall and use a screw in after market rack. Anyone reset porcelain racks?
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    If your are talking about a towel rack that was attached to a drywall backing with mastic, and that pulled out.....this is not a good arrangement. Drywall is not a suitable surface to bond a towel rack to. If you patch that back in, you are still putting all the weight of little johnny doing chinups on the towel bar...on the crumbly plaster. Not much strength there. If the whole wall is tiled, I'm not sure how to do this better at this point.
  3. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    New Hampshire
    I have done several, for myself and others.

    There is usually a tapered part on the porcelain bar-holder, with the inside end larger than the dimension at the wall surface. That makes a sort of knob to hold it in place.

    1. Clean out the holes by removing loose material.

    2. If the hole is really large then you will have to insert some pieces of thin material into the hole and attach it with adhesive or drywall screws to make the hole smaller.

    3. Stuff the hole with wadded up newspaper to make a moderately firm base in the hole. The newspaper wad is crushed against the drywall on the other side of the stud cavity.

    4. Mix up a good quantity of plaster of paris. You will be able to judge how much based on the following instructions. You can use a tool but I usually use my hand and sometimes the rubber spatula from the utensil drawer in the kitchen.

    5. Moisten the ceraminc part that is going into the hole (and shake off excess water) and butter a liberal amount of P of P onto the four sides and end of the stem going into the hole. The four sides hold it in; not the end.

    6. Moisten the edges of the hole; then put a large amount of P of P into the hole.

    7. Mash the stem of the bar-holder into the mass of P of P in the hole so it will engage it and grab it. You have to judge how much P of P to use, and the firmness of the wad of newspaper, to get the correct effect.

    8. Work quickly because the P of P sets up quickly. It should hold itself in 5 minutes.

    9. Hold the part firmly against the wall until it sets up. You can tell by when the left-over P of P has set up in the mixing bowl.

    Further Hints:
    1. Don't put any load on it until 12 hours have elapsed.
    2. Use a Stainless, plastic, or glass mixing bowl from the kitchen. It will clean up if you do it right after you let go of the part in the wall.
    3. Be sure the towel bar is in place when you do the second holder.
    4. Don't skimp on the P of P. It reduces in volume when mixed with water and it is inexpensive.
    5. If you have a problem with an installation clean it out immediately and mix a new bowl of P of P.
  4. Tradewinds Residential

    Tradewinds Residential New Member

    Jacksonville Fl
    Thanks to both Jimbo and Bob for your reply. I'm going to try to talk my customer into repairing the mounting holes in the drywall and using a more secure towel rack. If not I'll follow Bobs direction using th PP

    Thanks again!!
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England makes some neat hollow wall anchors. They also sell some designed for tiled walls to anchor safety bars that are very robust (designed for 300# loads - all stainless and structural plastic). The safety bar ones require a very accurately placed set of holes, but if you can do that, they're really solid. I used a pair at my mother's to put up a safety bar after the fact (i.e., no blocking), and it is very solid.
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