How to Find Wall Studs Behind Bathroom Wall Tile

To find the location of wall studs behind a tile wall in a bathroom:

  • Use a standard stud finder above the tile, and plumb down from it.
  • Use a special deep sensor stud finder than can go through tile.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information


Antwon asks: I’m putting a grab bar in my parent’s ceramic tile shower. Is there an easy way to locate the studs without tearing out the tile?

Danny Lipford: It is fairly easy to find the wall stud in a wall, even behind ceramic tile like this, especially if the tile doesn’t go quite to the ceiling. You can use a stud finder like this, locate exactly where the stud is, level down, and you’ll know exactly where to attach your grab bar into that stud.

Now, if your ceramic tile goes all the way to the ceiling. Well, you can buy an enhanced stud finder, called a deep sensor type, that’ll go through the density of the ceramic and locate those wall studs. Now, make sure you use a long enough screw, so that you’re going through the tile and at least an inch and a half into the wall stud.

Now, a lot of times you’ll find a stud on one end of the grab bar and not be able to find it on the other end. That’s where you need a hollow wall anchor, like this, to secure the other end of the grab bar. That way the grab bar will be there for you when you need it.


  1. Danny, I also wanted to install a grab bar in a tile/cement board bath. I own a multi LED stud finder and did not trust the output. It was inconsistent and confusing although it had worked perfectly over plasterboard walls.
    I finally epoxied the edge of a 3/8″ x 1/8″ super magnet disc to 2′ of thin thread and moved the magnet over the wall from about 1/2″ away. I started where the stud finder seemed to indicate the location of a stud and struck out. When I expanded my search area, I quickly found a spot where the magnet stuck to the wall. Moving vertically I found other spots and moving 16″ horizontally I located more spots. Now I not only know where the studs are but also know exactly where the nails are so that I can plan my installation with precision.

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content, William. Please feel free to share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content.


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