Hanging a basin on a crumbling wall!

30 Mar 2015
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United Kingdom
I have a 55cm basin that I wanted to fit in the bathroom. It’s become the job from hell!

Initially, I used the basin fittings and screwed into the wall to realise that they were hardly gripping. I then removed a tile and cut the plasterboard to see that there was a void of 2” behind the plasterboard. I then cut the section where the basin will fit and tried fitting a 4x2 batten - to which I intended to fit the basin. When screwing the basin to the wall, it was hit and miss as a couple of the screws gripped well and others succumbed to the brittle blocks into which I was screwing.

End result, the basin is starting to pull the batten away from the wall.

I did consider putting a pedestal under this basin (to take some of the weight) but the waste goes through the wall, outside the house and then into the manhole. It’s a Victorian house. A basin would mean that the waste pipe (exiting the external wall) is higher than where the basin ends up. Hence, I decided to hang the basin to the wall without the pedestal.

I am at a loss on how to solve this and would really appreciate your thoughts on this.
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The batten needs a good fixing. It Might be better exposing more of the wall, and trying to either stud out or ply board it?
Is the benefit of that that you have a bigger area to get fixings on to wall?

I could expose a larger area.
Usually, and spreads the weight a little. Failing that, are you able to get a cloakroom pedestal?

Edit: or a vanity unit?
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You say there are blocks behind the plasterboard? What colour?

What sort of drill are you using that makes it crumble? Does it leave a crater? Or an oversized, loose hole?

How old do you think the wall is?

I think you will be able to drill and plug it with the right technique.

Can you see the studs or battens that the plasterboard is nailed to?

Post some photos please.
It's a Victorian house and I think the blocks are grey.
My dilemma in answering your questions @JohnD: I lined up the wooden batten and drilled through the wood and wall behind it using my SDS and masonry bit. I then tapped through the rawlplug using a screw (tapped in with hammer) and then screwed it home. Some gripped and some didn't.
The basin fixings are screwed into this batten and I would need to remove basin and batten to answer your questions on state of wall and holes.
pale grey or dark grey? I dont recall seeing grey blocks in victorian houses. if your blocks are crumbly they might be breeze (dark grey or black} or modern lightweight concrete (light
grey, or you might be drilling into thick lime plaster, (creamy, where a builder has put drywall and tiled an old plastered wall.
your photos will help
Use fixing resin. Drill an oversized hole, ensure the drilling dust is gone (very important, use a blower/compressed air). Insert the gunk, insert a fitting, let it set. Smooth it out a little before it has set, it is very tough to sand down manually.

Combine this with a batten which spreads the leverage of the sink across more fittings, and job is done.

I noticed a basin in a restaurant toilet today which has a wooden frame underneath it (made from 4x2 timbers I think) and was cladded with white UPVC. I thought it looked quite neat.

Do people recommend this approach to address my issue?
I would fit a basin on a cabinet ,and run a new waste pipe out at a lower level.
If I punch a new hole outside for a waste pipe, it’s probably easiest to get a pedestal installed?
You will still need a solid fixing for the basin. But a cabinet is pretty much self standing ,with the basin " stuck " on top of it. And it looks neater ,hides the pipes ,easier to clean ,provides storage space. All good !!
Photos would really help!
I have some ideas but need to see what you're up against.
I noticed a basin in a restaurant toilet today which has a wooden frame underneath it (made from 4x2 timbers I think) and was cladded with white UPVC. I thought it looked quite neat.

Do people recommend this approach to address my issue?
Yes, Over the years Ive always made my own by cladding timber frame with various paneling and kitchen cabinet doors. On my latest projects Ive modified kitchen wall units topped with granite .

6701D718-B9EE-4D5D-A801-537903A7EA26.jpeg 69CC54F9-5A4D-4679-8947-AACC8A800D76.jpeg

Edit, Ive fitted cut down base cabinet legs to adjust to nice height, to stand it on to take weight and keep above spilled water.

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