Backer board for shower grab bar (fiberglass surround)

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by penobscotman, May 9, 2013.

  1. penobscotman

    penobscotman Member

    Mar 18, 2013
    Buffalo NY
    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. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Jan 5, 2008
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Land of Cheese
    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.
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    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 I've used them on a tiled wall with great success.
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