I'm having a home constructed, and my rough inspection walk-through is in a couple of weeks. In order to make hanging shelves, towel bars, etc. easier, I would like blocking installed horizontally between studs.

Is there a typical layout to blocking (certain height above sub-floor, particular locations)?

  • 1
    Blocking can also be used where kitchen cabinets are to be hung. You should keep records on locations of blocking including height above the sill or slab, including pictures with a yardstick placed vertically. Jul 2 '19 at 11:34
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    Does anyone actually do this? I know if I put blocking in the wall, with my wife's approval, as soon as the house was done, the towel bars or TV or whatever would be about 2" too high or low and the blocking wouldn't matter.
    – JPhi1618
    Jul 2 '19 at 13:47
  • I am trying to avoid this! I do not like to use drywall anchors, and so i hope to locate correctly and blocking I will need.
    – Britt
    Jul 2 '19 at 13:49
  • 1
    Try some of these. They will get you over your hatred for drywall anchors. They are easy to install and will not come out. I have hated almost all other drywall anchors because they are mostly terrible.
    – JPhi1618
    Jul 2 '19 at 14:50
  • 1
    If you do blocking, and I am a fan of such, a trick for keeping track of it is to walk through with a camera and a tape measure before the drywall goes up. Take pictures of each wall, to keep track of the overall layout, then close-ups of each block with the tape showing its measurements from the floor, corner, etc. Just keep in mind that flooring & drywall will throw the finished measurements off by an inch or so depending on what exactly is done.
    – Rozwel
    Jul 2 '19 at 20:54

The information I have seen is that the ADA recommendations for grab bars in bath and shower are placement 33" to 36" above the floor of the shower or tub. So the expected height of the shower floor or tub must be added when placing blocking during framing.

Be sure the blocking is in the plane of the studs so it does not interfere with drywall placement. And if the blocking would be placed behind the plane of the drywall so that there was an air gap between the drywall and the blocking then subsequent installation of grab bars on a tiled finished wall could bend or crack tiles.

(I had a case like that and where I was careful to gingerly tighten the screws holding the grab bars when installing them in a tiled shower. There was an air gap of several millimeters between the backside of the cement board and the blocking. This came about because the bathroom had been renovated down to the studs and although blocking was installed in the plane of the studs, the cement board was less than 1/2" in thickness and shimming was subsequently placed on the studs but not on the blocking.)

It might be wise to use kiln dried lumber K-D 2x8" for tub/shower blocking to avoid problems from warping.

EDIT Blocking for towel bars might be considered overkill, but in our house the original towel bars loosened and pulled out. What an irritation! I then used a certain type of 24" grab bar for towel bars and screwed them into studs (ours 24" OC). This limits placement.


No, there isn't unless ADA is involved. You should have a copy of your drawings that you can mark up with backing, electrical preferences, and any other concerns.

Its entirely up to you, so you should schedule a walk-through specific to that, and another specific to electrical (fixture and device locations). Make estimations at height based on your preference of hardware and related items (towels, clothing). Oversize somewhat to give flexibility later (12" in height isn't too much). Document well (we'd label heights above and below the blocking with bold marker and take photos).

Jim Stewart offers good advice regarding installation, and that advice applies to all framing. Wall and floor members that aren't flush cause all sorts of problems, especially when hanging doors. Look for that during any rough-in walkthrough.

  • No, +1. We'd have to ask the OP exactly where they want "shelves, towel bars, etc.", which would answer their own question. - You get the entire kitchen with plywood and blocks for curtains on the windows if you're lucky.
    – Mazura
    Jul 3 '19 at 2:14

When I renovated my bathroom I screwed vertical blocks of wood approx. 8" long to the sides of the vertical studs the thickness of some plywood back from the face e.g. 3/4". I then screwed 3/4" plywood to the vertical supports between the studs. This means you can have an 8" high piece of plywood to allow for any miscalculations vertically. I used wood screws through the drywall into the plywood to hung a vertical radiator and large basin unit without problems.

I hope this explanation makes sense.

Is this what the term "blocking" means? Looking on the web blocking is similar to the UK term nogging.

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