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Fitting Towel Rail to plasterboard wall

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Schmill, 11 Jan 2011.

  1. Schmill

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    Please excuse me if this is an obvious question / answer but I have not been living in the house for long, and my previous house had brick wall everywhere.

    My main bathroom has recently been refitted with ceramic tiles on plasterboard base. I now need to attach my towel rail to the wall, but I'm not sure what to use.

    I've looked at this page; (http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/fixingtoplasterboard.htm) but most of the fixings on their seem to want to 'bite' into the wall (ie. have barbs on the bit that would be IN the bathroom)

    e.g.
    [​IMG] or [​IMG]

    I have seen some 'toggle' type of fixings too, but they all seem to come with really long screws and I'm not convinced that the screws won't be greater than the wall depth.

    Just wondering what is generally being used?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. electronicsuk

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    Definitely do not use the fitting pictured on the left - not that you'd really be able to with tiles anyway. The type pictured on the right work well, but I'd be careful about hanging anything from the plasterboard. It will have a fair old weight on it already from the tiles, and if anyone leans on the radiator causing it to try and pull away from the wall, the plasterboard underneath could flex and cause cracked grout or worse.

    Of course, the sensible thing to do would have been to install a wooden batten inside the wall before you had it tiled. If you have access to the other side of the wall then you may be able to measure the position of the studs using a detector and pushing in a bradawl/small screwdriver to check for their presence. If you get lucky, you might be able to get enough adjustment in the radiator brackets to attach direct to these studs. Failing that, you could remove a section of plasterboard from the opposite side of the wall and add horizontal battens as necessary.
     
  3. Schmill

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    Cheers for the reply.
    The problem with the wall is that it is a honeycomb/egg-box type wall, with a sheet of plasterboard on both sides, so would not have really been able to fit battens into it.
    I guess if I HAVE to then I could cut in from the room on the otherside, cut out some of the honeycomb and fit the battens from that side, but obviously want to avoid that if possible.
    I can't remember now what the old radiator was fitted to the wall with, but I think it was jsut rawlplugs, (as I certainly don't remember removing any anchors or anything).

    The towel rail is 1150x450mm;
    [​IMG]

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Hufty

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    Agreed the best thing to do is to put battens into the wall before tiling, but FWIW I've done plenty of towel rails using umbrella style cavity fixings through tiles and nobody's swum to the phone to complain. The weak point with most cheapo towel rails is the plastic mounting arms, especially if held in place with a lovely soft metal grub screw. If you put enough force on the rail I imagine the arms will go rather than anything else especially with new tiling.

    With umbrella fixings I usually do them up then undo them again before they go into the wall, to get the bends in the middle a bit more flexy. You can flatten out the barbs if they're not going to dig in to anything and with a bit of care use a pair of pliers or grips to stop the initial rotation of the body whilst you tighten the screw. Or there are setting tools you can get for about a fiver but I've never used one so don't know if they would help.

    Rubber rawlnuts might also be worth a look but they don't spread the load over such a wide area.
     
  5. Hufty

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    Sorry should have said to do this without the thing you're fixing to the wall in the way! Once the cavity fixing goes tight you can remove the screw, then put it through your bracket, then tighten it all down properly.
     

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