I wasn’t going to work on the house at all this week and just prepare for Christmas. But my mom is coming over to celebrate and I had a safety bar to put in the master bath and I had just ordered one for the family room bath and it arrived today.
The master bath bar had to go into the cement brick wall. That was a real pain. None of my masonry drill bits wanted to drill through the brick. I could drill in the mortar though that was difficult too.
Finally I tried nailing the plate to the wall with the concrete ramset .22 caliber powder hammer. I bought this to attach flashing to the concrete foundation. I got the model with a trigger instead of the hammer activated one.
There are different power .22 shots to control the power and different sized nails. I tried a 2″ nail for concrete and a 22 power shot and it was far too strong. It sent the nail most of the way in but it also bent the metal plate. Then I tried a 15 power shot and a 2″ nail and the nail was only half in. The second time I tried a 22 shot the nail was in the brick and also only went half way in. So I drilled around the nails which was a little easier than drilling without the nail inserted. Then I removed the nails and drilled the holes a little larger to put hollow anchors in their place. I finally tried a 15 power shot and 3/4″ nails and that worked pretty well, although it also chipped the brick on one side. The chip is hard to see because it is under the bar but it appears the bar is sturdily installed into the wall. For each side there are two anchors cut short to fit in shallower holes and one ramset nail.
This bar did not have a decorative cover for the attachment plates but I also bought it at the Restore for $5 so I’m happy with it.
The new bar is not as wide as the older one. I ordered it from Amazon in the antique brass color. I checked out the 2 x 4’s in the bathroom wall using old photos of the wall and determined a 20″ bar would span the studs and attach firmly to the wood. The light switch is spaced away from the door with 2×4’s.
The size was exactly right. Both ends screwed securely to wood. The extensions for the light switch were long enough to put the bar at 40″ high. I leveled it and drilled holes for each screw. I had trouble with one screw and had to replace it with a trusty drywall screw. Many screws that come from China are very weak and easily drill out the phillips head.
This bar has decorative plates that screw onto the anchor plate which gives a cleaner look. We now have safety bars in both bathrooms for the toilets. Mom is in a wheelchair and I have been helping her stand and turn but the bars will make it easier for her. Merry Christmas!