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Can I attach a shower curtain rail to my ceiling?

Postby Fox Gemini » Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:32 am

I'm brand new on here so please be gentle with me! I may be posting my question on the wrong forum, in which case, I'd be grateful if you can redirect me to the correct place.

I’m redecorating the bathroom in my flat and I want to replace the flimsy shower curtain rail over the bath with a ceiling mounted one instead. I thought it would be a straightforward fix into the ceiling using wall plugs however when I was trying to locate a ceiling joist (for a more secure mounting) to check the positioning of where the rail would sit over the bath, there was no difference in the sound to indicate the gap between joists.

My flat is on the ground floor of a converted Victorian police station; except for the bedroom, the entire flat is located in the old police cells. While it makes for an interesting talking point, it’s proving quite problematic when it comes to doing any kind of renovation and redecoration.

There is a flat located above me so I can’t ask my neighbour to let me pull up the floorboards in her bedroom to see what’s underneath so I drilled some small holes in the ceiling where a joist should be located (16” from the external wall) and either side to check for the cavity in between. I was somewhat surprised to find that I was drilling through some kind of masonry (grey dust) before hitting something hard, which turned out to be metal.

The man who does the maintenance for the flats assured me the ceiling was plasterboard/drywall: clearly it is not.

After drilling the holes, I pulled out all the stops to try and determine what the ceiling is constructed of so I know whether or not I am able to have a ceiling mounted shower curtain rail. If I can, then what do I use to fix it to the ceiling?

It has been suggested to me that the ceiling might be composite decking due to what appears to be aggregate visible under the skim and in the depth of the drill hole before the metal is seen. I’ve scoured the internet and can’t find anything that suggests that composite decking would have been used in this type of building conversion.

Moreover, apart from the bedroom, I’m 90% sure the rest of flat has the same material in the ceiling so should provide good soundproofing but I can hear my neighbour above walking about in their living room which is directly over mine.

I don’t hear anything from above in my bathroom which leads me to wonder if my upstairs neighbours bathroom was tanked. Tanking might explain the aggregrate in my ceiling perhaps?

The shower curtain rail is the only thing I have left to buy so I need to know whether I can have the ceiling mounted one I want or start looking for a different type.

Thanking everyone is advance.
Comflor 60.jpg
Composite Decking image courtesy of Comflor
Depth of the drill hole (the 2nd line at the 2.3cm point on the tape measure)
Showing the metal at the end of the drill hole
One of my drill holes into the bathroom ceiling/aggregate
Fox Gemini
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