# 37 How to install a shower rail.
Shower rails can be an excellent safety addition to your home. Whether you have small children, grandparents, or people with disabilities in your home, a shower rail can be a fantastic way to give independence to many different people, providing an added layer of protection from slips and falls.
Choosing the Right Shower Rail
Most shower rails will work in nearly every situation. The location of the shower rail, however, may need to vary depending on the location of the existing shower taps and shower outlet.
When determining if the shower rail you wish to install will work. Imagine that the rail is approx. 700mm long with the top part of the rail 1.9 meters from the floor.
The rail will also be approximately 60mm off-centre, with the showerhead being used as the centre point. Now that you know these measurements, use your tape measure to see if the shower rail you want will work.
If you are still undecided at this point on the style of shower rail you would like, then it is now time to make up your mind.
Generally, there are two types of shower rail;
- Single outlet shower rails and,
- Dual outlet, shower rail and rain head
Shower rails also come in all shapes, colours, and sizes.
Please remember that items which are a little more unique generally have to be ordered in by a supplier and are generally a little more expensive and may have a lead time of a week or more.
Putting the Shower Rail Together
This is the most important part of the process in my eyes because this is where you learn the important measurements relating to the shower rail installation, and become physically involved in the process for the first time.
While you are putting the shower rail together, follow the manufacturer instructions to the letter. This will ensure it is done correctly and will work as it is supposed to once installed.
The key here is to measure, then measure again before you drill any holes. This will ensure holes are drilled in the correct location and the shower rail is installed level.
- Firstly – Mark the centre of the shower – This will be used for the showerhead location.
- Next – Measure from the centre of the showerhead to the shower rail, this will vary between designs but will generally be 60mm.
- Add this measurement or subtract this measurement away from the centre line measurement. This measurement forms your drill line.
- Now, get your shower rail and position it on the wall at the approximate height you would like to install the shower rail. Ideally, the showerhead should be 150mm – 200mm above your head height.
Time to Drill
- Mark where the wall bracket is now positioned. Where this line meets the 60mm offset line is where you drill the first hole.
- The second bracket hole is pretty straight forward. You need to measure the distance between the two shower rail brackets and mark this on the same 60mm offset line. Double-check this measurement before drilling the hole as this is the key measurement.
- A quick note when drilling the hole. Never drill with a hammer drill when breaking through the first layer of tile. This will only increase your chances of chipping the tile. Instead, use a tile drill bit and drill on a slow to medium speed, using a good confident grip and applying good pressure during the drilling process.
- Once the holes are complete, you need to install the shower rail anchor plugs and seal with a blob of kitchen and bathroom silicone. This is critical to ensure waterproofing.
- It is now time to screw the shower rail to the wall. Make sure you set your drill to screw and not to drill. This will decrease your chances of cracking the rail.
- At this point, you can attach the shower rail, hose, and handle to the wall outlet. If you are also installing a new water outlet connection, ensure that you install a good amount of thread tape and silicone around the wall outlet.
Now that the shower rail has been installed, it is time to put it through its paces to make sure it holds up under operation.
Firstly, make sure the showerhead moves up and down on the rail.
Next, turn the water on and test all the functions of the showerhead – during this process, observe the shower connections for leaks.
Finally, ensure the water pressure is good. If the pressure seems a little low, take the head and hose off the outlet and turn the water on slowly. This will flush out any debris before it reaches the showerhead strainers.
If some debris has reached the showerhead strainer, then clean out the showerhead strainers and reattach to the shower rail.
By following these simple tips, you can install a shower rail into your home, giving you and your family members peace of mind.
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