Bathroom Remodeling Part 4 [Shower Half Wall support]

Watch Part 5 of the Bathroom Remodel Series:

Read the compete article here:

Carpenter and builder Rob Robillard from offers advice on bathroom remodeling. This video is part 3 of a several part video series being filmed as we remodel a bathroom. This episode deals with adding additional stiffening support to a shower half wall.

View Video #5: Planning steps and coordination needed in a bath remodel
Best Way to Reinforce A Half Wall
Whether you call it a half wall, knee wall or Pony wall the issue is the same. What is the best way to go about reinforcing a half wall? No one likes a wobbly wall or the cracked plaster and tile that result from it.

We typically see half walls separating stair opening and replacing railings and balusters at stairs. We also see them alot in bathrooms; separating a toilet /sink or at a shower that has 1/2 glass partitions. [photo right] Stiffening a Half Wall:
Reinforcing a half wall can be accomplished many different ways. I’ve done many different things over the years from adding 1/2″ plywood to a half wall to inserting threaded rods down into the framing below.

Using Threaded Rod to Stiffen the Half Wall:

The threaded rod method works great when reinforcing a half wall, but is hard to do and super time consuming. It requires using 1/2″ to 5/8″ threaded rod from the top wall plate down to blocking in the structural floor below. The use of upside down joist hangers is reommended to add tensioning strength to the blocking.
Securing the Half Wall Old School:

One method that works extremely well, if the floor joists and half wall line up to install 1/2″ plywood over the wall and down past the subfloor and onto the floor joist.

Another method is to run the half wall 4×4 outer post down into the framing and to bolt it to a joist of similar blocking and use (2) 1/2″ through bolts to attach 4×4 wood posts to the floor system. Similar to a newel post.
The reality is that we dont have all day to futzs with this but we need a strong wall.

Using Simpson DDT2 connectors: An easier way

I treat my half walls similar to deck rail posts attachments but use two Simpson DTT2 Tension Tie connectors to do it. The DTT2 is a safe, cost-effective way to attach half walls to the floor framing below with either bolts [if applicable] or most likely using threaded rod. [note – this is the same system I use on deck framing see short video] In order for this system to work you need to be able to get into the floor below. In the case of a bathroom remodel you should plan on building your half wall before the subfloor goes in or at least plan on leaving that section of the floor open.

Floor joists never line up for me so adding structural blocking is most likely going to be a reality. I use the DDT2 ties to connect the outer most 4×4 wall studs to the framing below.

Visit Rob’s website where he shares his industry training and experience to provide solutions to your problems and to make appropriate PRO recommendations for purchasing products, tools and accessories.

Previous Remodeling A Bathroom Part 3 [ Framing a tub surround, insulation and copper shower pan]
Next Beautiful Gothic Architecture


  1. A Concord Carpenter / ToolBoxBuzz
    May 13, 2013

    Many new bathrooms have alot of glass – often on top of a half wall.  Learn how to reinforce that half wall to eliminate wobbly walls

  2. harold Wray
    May 13, 2013

    You make it look easy. But I'm sure you have a LOT of experience and knowledge doing all these parts of the remodel. Great video.

  3. Jeff Williams
    May 14, 2013

    Great use of time-lapse.

  4. Justin Prewitt
    May 17, 2013

    Another great video with some great info. I did like the pause for thought when drilling for the bolts. It just shows you always have to double think about what your doing to make sure your doing it right.

  5. Steelichi9
    February 27, 2014

    Very nice idea with the HD2A and the threaded rod.  I was wondering about this particular install with the tub surround.  I'm not sure if you fastened the wall to the tub surround or not.  But if you did fasten it to the tub surround, wouldn't that secure the wall and support it from wobble?  Thanks for the vids.  I enjoy learning from your vids.

  6. Peter Brown
    March 8, 2014

    I just finished building a half wall using your technique! It was my first and it is rock solid. Thanks for the great tip!

  7. kristintheartist
    May 6, 2014

    Great video, only the banner ad is in front of the exact place you are working, and i couldn't see all of what you were doing. 

  8. Jeff Guardipee
    June 19, 2014

    Does the threaded rod also work on a 6 foot tall wall?  Originally was going to do a half wall with a shower on the other side, just like in your video, but plans changed to making it into a 6 ft. tall wall.  Nothing else to anchor to as the ceilings are vaulted.

  9. jrainmaker19
    August 18, 2014

    Great video! Would you ever use thread locker to ensure that the bolts securing the hanger and the nuts on the threaded rod so over time they don't come loose?

  10. cnvw974
    September 15, 2014

    How would you secure a half wall if building on top of a cement slab?
    Sure glad I ran across your videos. Like I read another one say….top notch! 😉

  11. Oops
    December 19, 2014

    Thanks for the excellent video!! I am planning to put up a 84" (7 feet) long free standing half wall of 42" (3.5 feet) tall for breakfast bar with 2X4s. I am having following questions

    1. How many Simpson anchors needed to secure this wall (2 or 3 or more?)
    2. unlike the video, My Joists running vertical to the wall. Can I still use a 16" 2X8 between Joists to anchor it (the angle of the anchors would be weird) or just anchor it on the joist itself. 

  12. redwhitentrue
    February 13, 2015

    I can'T seem to find these brackets anywhere. Any Ideas?

  13. Strong Builders LLC
    March 21, 2015

    Blocking in the floor, construction adhesive, and TimberLocs applied to the bottom plate in conjunction w/ sheathing one side of the 1/2 wall w/ 3/4" CDX [glue and screw that as well] works really well also.  A mule could try to kick it sideways and hurt their hoof

  14. Matt Reid
    September 29, 2015

    where do you that device to balance the shower wall threaded rod and bolt it down Simpson hanger.

  15. AddictedFishing1
    September 30, 2015

    with the tub wall tying it back for lateral support, would the knee wall still flex?

  16. Roger Foster
    October 14, 2015

    I liked the strength and stability your half wall demonstrated when you bumped it. I thought, "That threaded rod tie down really works." Then I saw that you had the tub frame work built up against it. How solid will this system be without the bolstering tub frame? I do not have that option in my installation. After seeing your end product I am not confident that your plan solves my problems. Can you raise my confidence?

  17. Rick Focke
    December 5, 2015

    Great video. Can you tell me the height of the half wall? Was it 30"?

  18. craigjcowan
    January 6, 2016

    Hey thanks for the video! I'm working to secure a knee wall that WON'T tie into a tub surround. Hopefully this will work. I set out to find the HD2a hold downs and have determined that they are no longer made and have transitioned to the HDB series. there are several gauges and sizes available. the HD9B matches the HD2A's steel guage but requires 3.5" of thickness to mount – may be tough to modify existing framing to support this. The HD7B is 10 gauge steel uses 7/8" through bolts for fastening and requires only 3" of thickness so a doubled 2×4 should be sufficient. I'll update to let you all know if this works without the extra tub surround support.

    Thanks again, Concord Carpenter for posting.

  19. Simon C
    February 25, 2016

    What would someone do if you had duct work running along your wall beneath the subfloor so no real way to attach a strong tie as you did? This is the predicament I am facing. I would sure appreciate any input. My half wall does butt against my tub surround which also ends flush with my wall which helps provide some stability although this one is 1/3 of the wall in my case which over the height causes issues. So far I have installed a 2×4 on each side of the duct and 2×4 on top of the duct work which I have screwed and glued securely into the 2×4's below. Then put my subfloor on top of that pl glued as well. I was planning on using a flat piece of 1/4" steel with lag screws long enough to securely fasten 4" lag screws down through the base plate of my wall, the subfloor and stud below and attaching a threaded rod to that and then through the top plate… Not sure if that should be sufficient or if you see any better ways. Thanks for the help.

  20. Nearfaded
    May 5, 2016

    physically that bracket is useless, a 2/4 and joist connection is a lot better.

  21. Beverly Blair
    August 4, 2016

    Wish you would remove the lower ad section. I needed to see some things at the bottom and your ad blocks it.

  22. Rick Saffery
    August 22, 2016

    Excellent video with great approaches to a real world issue. My favorite take-away was the use of the inverted joist hangers and cripple block to tie two joists together. What a fantastic idea!

  23. Chris and Becky Cates
    September 15, 2016

    Mine would connect directly into the concrete floor and I just can't get the outer end to stop moving. I'm at 65" In length and 44" high, considering reducing it 10" in length and perhaps 6" height reduction. Any ideas to help stabilize on a concrete floor?

  24. avman2cl
    September 21, 2016

    yeah but you have the tub deck framing there to tie the wall into which in itself will make the wall rock solid.

  25. Brendan Chlebeck
    January 9, 2017

    What do you recommend I do to anchor a 7' long x 44" tall half wall to basement slab? Half wall will be framed out of 2×6"s than wrapped(sheathed) in 1/2" OSB + 1/2" wainscot panels that cabinet maker will install. Half wall will be used as a breakfast bar type island and will get a 7'2" x 20" granite countertop to cover it. Do you think Redhead bolts drilled through a double bottom plate and into concrete slab will be sufficient? My plan is to tile the floor around half wall then leave a 1/2" gap that will get covered with base shoe(to avoid tile cracking if half wall ever moves). THanks in advance!

  26. A Concord Carpenter / ToolBoxBuzz
    January 15, 2017


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  27. Donnelly & Sproul Inc
    January 17, 2017

    A few have asked about a wall not supported by a tub surround. I have about a 4' long wall. will this method provide enough support? I haven't seen an answer to that concern. Thanks!

  28. Neil Makar
    February 16, 2017

    Went through this whole process. $30 worth of hardware, hours of work No effect. He had now need of this hardware since his wall is supported by the tub faming. On a free standing wall like mine, it's no help.

  29. brian flexen
    March 25, 2017

    what method would you use to anchor it rock solid on a concrete slab?

  30. Katrine Miner
    May 8, 2017

    I like the simple idea of attaching a sheet of plywood to the wall and running it through the subfloor to connect to a joist, but our joists run perpendicular to the half wall. Is there a way this could still work?

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