Monday, March 20, 2017

Glacier Bay 18-inch Concealed Grab Bar Review

The Glacier Bay 18-inch Grab Bar with concealed mounting screws is ultimately a good product, once installed.  However, it is poorly designed for mounting.

As the instructions say, "Studs are usually 16 in apart." However, the grab bar is 18 inches long, which means that the only mounting holes that will align over a pair of 16 inch apart studs are the two underneath the bar, making it difficult to get a screwdriver in.

Worse, the instructions SAY to position the bar over the studs and mark the mounting holes, but the drawing shows pencils marking mounting holes at 18 inches, not 16. And the unlabeled ruler designed to  help you install the bar shows 18 tick marks between the marked mounting holes, not 16.

So I marked the actual stud locations for both ends of the grab bar and drilled 1/8-inch pilot holes as the instructions indicated. But when I used my drill-driver to put in the screws, the screw heads were chewed out when the going got a little bit tough. I tried sinking three screws, using lots of pressure on the drill to prevent cam out, but the screws just chewed up. I had to back out the screws (which were half to an inch left to screw in) with a pair of  slip joint pliers. After that, I used some two-inch drywall screws, and they went in easily. So why is this company including cheap screws?

And why doesn't Glacier Bay make a 16-inch grab bar instead  of an 18-inch?

The bar, once installed correctly, is sturdy, attractive, and handy. The 1.25 inch diameter of the bar makes a nice fit for the hands.

P.S. On the outside of the mounting ring, where there was no stud under the mounting holes, I inserted a 50-pound-load nylon wall anchor into the drywall and then put in a two-inch screw. So the installation is very solid.

Of the ten models listed on the installation instructions, exactly none of them are 16, or 32 inches, which would meet stud needs.

So, I think I will continue shopping for another brand.

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