Wood for Shower Grab Bar - Router Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Default Wood for Shower Grab Bar

I have to install grab bars in our home showers. Practically all of the ones I have seen are metal. But, if practical, I would like to make them out of wood. What wood(s) if any would be suitable?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 09:55 AM
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I'm not going to pretend to know the answer, but I'll venture a guess as to why use metal and not plastic... getting the wood sealed in such a hostile (wet) environment could prove difficult.

That being said, I'm getting ready to make a toilet paper roll holder for the bathroom, and what ever wood is suggested for your grab bars will be on my list of choices.

Instead of seeing things and asking "why", envision things and ask "why not"
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Default Toilet paper roll holder

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I'm not going to pretend to know the answer, but I'll venture a guess as to why use metal and not plastic... getting the wood sealed in such a hostile (wet) environment could prove difficult.

That being said, I'm getting ready to make a toilet paper roll holder for the bathroom, and what ever wood is suggested for your grab bars will be on my list of choices.
I had a Lucite toilet paper roll holder that broke. I made a replacement out of cedar....easy to work and smells nice which is a bonus for the location. You could probably use whatever wood you wanted for your project as it won't be, or shouldn't be, getting wet.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 10:12 AM
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I had a Lucite toilet paper roll holder that broke. I made a replacement out of cedar....easy to work and smells nice which is a bonus for the location. You could probably use whatever wood you wanted for your project as it won't be, or shouldn't be, getting wet.

Thanks Jimmiem. Did you use anything special to coat the cedar?

Got me curios so I started looking around, cypress, redwood and cedar are all good choices, but Teak may be the right one because of the added strength...

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Teak has all of the attributes one could wish for in a wood used for outdoor furnishings. It resists decay, repels water, doesn’t shrink or swell, ages well, and is incredibly strong.

Teak’s secret lies in its tight grain and natural oils. Teak oil is all that is necessary to maintain the wood’s beautiful golden luster.

Once plagued by sustainability issues, due to the misinformation that old growth teak was the most desirable, most teak furniture in the western world now comes from carefully managed plantations. The superiority of teak wood for creating outdoor furniture is reflected in its high price tag.

Instead of seeing things and asking "why", envision things and ask "why not"

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't put any finish on the cedar. Just sanded it smooth. The big strength issue comes when they get attached to drywall or tile without hitting a stud and those flimsy plastic drywall 'anchors' are used. I've had to fix several for friends and I have used mollys or toggles....slight overkill but won't have to do over.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 12:12 PM
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IMHO You will not be happy with wood in the long run,use the metal, SS prefered ,or brass if you like to polish. Wood is even a higher maintenance and gets rough with time, looks shabby quickly,and even gives a few splinters in the ole arse when you bend down. Doesn't feel good to soft wet hands either. Even with epoxy finish the water has a way of getting underneath and causing unsightly black spots and eventually bubbling up the finish, When I was a youngster we had cedar bathtub and many a splinter had to be pick out of my little butt after my monthly bath.LOL

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 12:36 PM
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In addition to what Herb said, grab bars actually have Code standards. They need to be able to withstand a large person's weight if they fall, and grab it.
A 'grab bar' isn't a towel bar; strength and structurally sound mounting are crucial.
I wish I had $10 for every towel bar I've had to replace (for clients) because some jackass installer put them in using those ridiculous plastic screw anchors into drywall (rather than the studs). People do use them for balance, in the bathroom. I know that our towel bar assembly is woefully inadequate...it's come apart just by leaning on it; should never have made it past CSA...oh, right! That's a different thread.

When I gut a bathroom, I put horizontal blocking into the walls everywhere anyone could conceivably want to put a handrail/towel bar/whatever. Problem solved.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Default Grab Bars

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In addition to what Herb said, grab bars actually have Code standards. They need to be able to withstand a large person's weight if they fall, and grab it.
A 'grab bar' isn't a towel bar; strength and structurally sound mounting are crucial.
I wish I had $10 for every towel bar I've had to replace (for clients) because some jackass installer put them in using those ridiculous plastic screw anchors into drywall (rather than the studs). People do use them for balance, in the bathroom. I know that our towel bar assembly is woefully inadequate...it's come apart just by leaning on it; should never have made it past CSA...oh, right! That's a different thread.

When I gut a bathroom, I put horizontal blocking into the walls everywhere anyone could conceivably want to put a handrail/towel bar/whatever. Problem solved.
It would really be nice if all builders put in the horizontal blocking when a house is being built......seems like a quick and easy no-brainer.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Default Grab Bar

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Originally Posted by Herb Stoops View Post
IMHO You will not be happy with wood in the long run,use the metal, SS prefered ,or brass if you like to polish. Wood is even a higher maintenance and gets rough with time, looks shabby quickly,and even gives a few splinters in the ole arse when you bend down. Doesn't feel good to soft wet hands either. Even with epoxy finish the water has a way of getting underneath and causing unsightly black spots and eventually bubbling up the finish, When I was a youngster we had cedar bathtub and many a splinter had to be pick out of my little butt after my monthly bath.LOL

Herb
OK. You have convinced me.....I will use metal. Bet you wish you had that cedar tub today.....make a nice ornament or planter.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2015, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
It would really be nice if all builders put in the horizontal blocking when a house is being built......seems like a quick and easy no-brainer.
takes labor, time and material...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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