Added Support

Many bathroom designs today are incorporating features that hang from the wall, including cabi­nets, sinks, toilets, bars, and doors. In order to ensure that these wall-mounted items are securely attached, additional wall supports may be necessary.

Keep in mind that when specifying wall-mounted cabinets, toilets, and sinks, not only does the mounting device need to be strong enough to support the weight of the fixture, but it must also be able to support the weight of people. Wall-mounted toilets, logically, must support a person sitting on the toilet, within certain weight limits. Although we usually do not sit on cabinets and sinks, people may have the habit of leaning, or even lightly sitting, on these fixtures and cabinets at times, which means these fixtures may also need to support additional weight.

Grab bars and some hinged shower/bathtub doors also need additional support inside the walls, often referred to as "blocking." Grab bars, usually incorporated to aid people as they move in and out of showers or tubs, or on and off toilets, must be able to support a person in the event they slip and grasp the grab bar as they fall. These grab bars must support 250 pounds (11.34 kilograms) to comply with the standard. In addition to the manner in which the bar is attached to the wall, the necessary support must come from the bar itself. Standard towel bars are not strong enough structurally to hold a person as he or she falls, and they are typically not designed to incorporate the hardware necessary to form a solid connection to the wall. Once again, keep in mind that some people may lean on standard towel bars and even use them for support. It is very important to discuss grab bar needs with your client so that the proper type of bar and mounting are incorpo­rated. Guideline 14 provides specific information on how grab bars should be installed. More information on grab bars is located in chapter 6, "Bathroom Planning," and chapter 8, "Accessibility in Practice."

Some glass door designs for showers or tub/shower combinations have the doors hinged directly to the wall rather than to the shower frame. This application does not typically call for special mounting unless you select doors that are made of extra-heavy plate glass. This type of glass is often used with the frameless glass door style. If your client decides to use this type of glass, it will be necessary to place additional studs on the inside of the wall for support.