If you have a knack for fixing things around the house and know a Phillips from a straight screwdriver you can save yourself a bundle of money by mounting a shower bar, towel bar or whatever on a wall or floor. Porcelain or any other kind of tile or glass can be handled.
I do a lot of my own small house repairs and wanted to mount a safety shower bar on the porcelain tile wall in our bathroom shower. Never drilled through porcelain before. Goggled on line and some sites said it was easy but you could crack a tile if not done correctly. Special bits are needed and must be cooled because porcelain is very hard and the bit gets quite hot while drilling. In addition it should be mounted on a stud for best support. I thought there were to many ways to mess up! So I called two friends who I know do a lot more household repairing on their own than I do. One has never drilled through tile and the other had but said there is a chance of cracking the tile. Would he help? No, he did not want to take a chance on cracking the tile. Sounds like a good decision.
Well to make an even longer story shorter, doing more research online and going to Lowe’s a few times, I decided to try it.
The shower bar I bought was to be screwed to a stud for strongest mounting according to the directions. So I….
- Got my stud finder .
- Found and marked the center of each stud. I did find three studs and they were 16 inches apart. I was fairly sure the stud finder was working since 16 inches is the standard distance between studs.
- After reading the directions I held up the Moen Shower Bar and marked where the holes should be drilled according to the instructions.
- Took the porcelain tile bit from Lowes and mounted it in my cordless drill.The bit was 3/8 inch and the screws were only 1/4 inch in diameter. I had room if the screw went in at an angle thus avoiding cracking the tile. Following the directions on the bit pack I drilled the holes in the tile. My wife sprayed water on the bit with a regular spray bottle. I drilled away and it worked just like the drill bit instructions said! It took about 30 seconds per hole and was quick and easy
- I then drilled pilot holes for the screws into the stud. By putting soap on the screws it was easier to screw into the wood and mount the bar with those screws. I used a 3/16 inch bit for the pilot holes to help them hold tightly.
- Finally, I used bathroom caulk to seal the two covers over the mounting plates at each end to make it impossible for water to leak underneath where there are screws.
Now, here are the outtakes.
One of the holes I drilled in the tile happened to be perfectly centered over a nail! That is not something you can screw into!
So! I selected another spot that was close to the left side of the stud according to stud finder. Nope, no stud. Then I went to the right side and found the stud. Phew!
So, I had drilled two holes I could not use! The shower bar mount covered them. No big deal. I did fill them with silicone caulk to reduce chances of water getting in. Voila — Shower Bar!