We finally did it! We have a rock-climbing wall in our house now.
My husband is a very active person and he enjoys moving his body. He enjoys working out, mountain biking, hiking, training martial arts, etc… and also he used to enjoy rock-climbing a lot (before our life got too busy with work and kids).
Even before I got pregnant, he used to talk about all the activities and outdoor experiences that he wants to do with our children. Ever since we purchased our home, he had been talking about how he is going to make a rock climbing wall. And after I found out I was pregnant, he was more enthusiastic about this idea because he understands how fun rock-climbing can be for little kids and also how good it is for your brain, not just your body coordination. My husband enjoys the process of figuring out the route and planing how to move each limb of the body. If our boys are like my husband, they will be like little monkeys! Fair enough, they are trying to climb onto EVERYTHING now in the house, the baby gates, dresser, bar stools, bathroom sink, etc… We need to put that energy into something that they are supposed to climb haha!
Outside, under our deck, we have a storage room with unfinished walls. Since we decided to make our garage into more of a storage space, we turned our storage room into a work out room / “home gym” if you want to call it a fancy name.
The previous owner used the room as a shed so it has bare walls, which actually was perfect for this project.
In order to have a strong enough wall to hold the rock climbing grips and people’s weight, you must attach plywood sheets that are thick enough to take the weight of whoever will be using the wall. If we had drywall there to start, then my husband would have had to remove the drywall, and then replace it with plywood. We did not want to go through the trouble of finding the specific beams underneath the drywall in order to install the solid wood wall, we thought it was easier to put the climbing wall downstairs, even though we did consider having the wall in their room.
Here is the list of things we used to make this rock climbing wall.
- 2 sheets of 4 x 8 plywood
- ~ 100 T-nuts
- enough hand / foot grips for your liking (~1-2 grips every square foot)
- screws (to fasten wood to wall)
- bolts/screws for the grips (come with grips)
- 2 horses
We just bought two solid plywood sheets. Very solid and sturdy, but not the best quality in terms of the pattern of the wood, but it works. My husband measured about 50 dots per board evenly throughout the board and marked them with a pencil, and started drilling small holes. He chose to stagger the holes in the rows/columns (at 12 inches apart, but staggered per row) so that there are many holes available to vary grip locations once the wall is up. *This is shown better in a later picture.
Once all the holes were drilled, he installed T-nuts into the back of every hole. T-nuts are hammered into each hole and each nut stays in place to allow for easy grip changes. (See in the picture below)
The grips can be moved to different spots anytime, considering that will be necessary according to our boys’ growth. That is why he placed the T-nut holes all over the board.
This is how the wall looks like with the grips randomly placed throughout the board. You can also see the staggering of the holes a little easier in this picture.
When we let our boys try, we bring bigger grips closer to each other so that they can find their holds much easier.
We bought the grips from M.E.C., and they shipped them within a week. The grips usually come with the bolts that are needed for attaching them.
They are still not that interested in this wall but I am sure they will start to like it. Even though this room has thick foam mats all over, I am a nervous mommy so I think I will go buy helmets for them!
I am so excited that my husband was able to finish this project in a few days just by himself and it will be there securely for the whole family and friends to enjoy now. The first time I saw it I have to admit, I played on it too!
It was actually much easier and more straightforward than I imagined it would be. (My husband’s opinion might be different lol) Once we finally bought the rock-climbing holds, it went up fast.
I hope this post inspires someone to try this project.
Thank you so much for reading.
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