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Bathroom Safety Grab Bars




Bathroom Grab Bars

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Safety with Bathroom Grab Bars

The bathroom safety grab bar is essential for safety in a bathroom remodel. But don’t overlook the usefulness of grab bars in the rest of the house.

Grab bars are no longer the ugly-looking utility items you find in institutions. They now come in colors and designs to satisfy any decor. And then, with Universal Design as well as aging in place in mind, why is it that only seniors should benefit from these important safety items?

After all, a person who is young and fit can slip on the soap in the shower and be very glad to have a grab bar handy to prevent a bad fall.

Bathroom Grab Bars

Nonetheless, when it comes to the bathroom, it is mainly seniors we have in mind here. Slippery conditions in bathrooms threaten seniors with falls. These result in broken bones and even life-threatening head injuries.

The addition of grab bars is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to provide a large measure of safety. It also provides a feeling of confidence and independence in the bathroom. And this all enhances the quality of life. 

Make sure your contractor puts plenty of blocking in the wall framing behind the tub or shower so that the grab bars can be securely mounted. Otherwise, the grab bar will pull away from the wall under load with potentially disastrous consequences.

Types of Grab Bar

  • Double-ended wall bars: these are attached to the wall at both ends and are very stable. They can be mounted horizontally, vertically, or diagonally according to preference.
  • Hinge-attached wall bars: these are hinged with the hinge end attached to the wall such that, when not in use, they fold against the wall out of the way.
  • Floor-mounted grab bars: these are typically installed by the toilet and can actually wrap around it to look like armrests. Other floor-mounted grab bars can go from floor to ceiling.
  • Dual-purpose grab bars: these can hold toilet paper, soap, or towels.

Grab Bar Code

Grab bars are an important feature of accessible bathrooms and are addressed by the International Code Council on Building Safety (ICC).

Of course, in a private setting not governed by ADA rules, all of this is highly recommended. But it may not be mandatory unless your own local building codes dictate otherwise.

However, it is useful information and it would be hard to go wrong following it. Here is a summary of the ICC requirements and recommendations:

Toilets: vertical bar in front and horizontal bars adjacent and behind.

Roll-in Shower (a shower big enough for a wheelchair plus caregiver and having a floor flush with the bathroom floor): Horizontal grab bars on at least two walls)

Transfer Shower (a shower that can support a standing user who can transfer from a walker or wheelchair to a seat in the shower):  Horizontal grab bars on at least two walls plus a vertical bar on the shower head wall

Grab Bar Height: The standard shower grab bar height is for the tops of horizontal bars to be 33 to 36 inches from the floor. The bottom of the vertical bar should be 3 to 6 inches above the horizontal bar on that wall. It is good practice for the installer to aim for the middle of the given range

Grab Bar Length: Some ICC changes in 2009 caused some confusion here. It is best to use a 54-inch bar rather than a 48-inch bar. And some situations require a shorter bar because the code prohibits a grab bar from extending over the shower seat.

Grab Bar Specs

  • Proper installation: grab bars must be securely anchored to the wall or floor. They need to be able to handle 350 pounds. Get them installed professionally.
  • Textured surface: the surface of the grab bars should have a textured finish for a non-slip grip.
  • Diameter: 1¼ inches to 1½ inches diameter makes for a secure grip.

Assistive Suction Grab Bars

These are the types of grab bars that attach to a smooth, non-porous surface via suction cups, especially in a shower enclosure. These are supportive only. 

These grab bars are not designed to support full body weight. But they are perfect for maintaining balance and orientation when maneuvering around the shower, especially for the elderly. And they are easy to install and inexpensive.

Grab Bars for the Rest of the House

Do not neglect to position grab bars strategically in the rest of the house. Obvious places are staircases and other changes of level. In these areas, one would install handrails, which serve pretty much the same function.

And we really like the floor-to-ceiling vertical grab bar for places like the kitchen and changes in level in, say, a hallway.

Grab Bars on Amazon

12-inch Grab Bars for Bathtubs and Showers

  • Strong Hold Suction Cup Handle,
  • Bathroom Grab Bar for Seniors, Elderly, Handicap

Anti-slip Grab Bars

  • Grab Bars for Showers
  • Safety Bath & Shower Grab Bar for Seniors

Floor to Ceiling Vertical Grab Bar

  • Adjustable Floor to Ceiling Safety Pole
  • Security Support Handle for Fall Prevention

Tub & Shower Safety Rail

  • Tub and Shower Handle
  • Bathtub Grab Bar, Safety Rail

Angled Grab Bar

  • Stud Mount with Knurled Grip
  • Bathroom Mobility Aid

Fold Away Grab Bar

  • Bathtub Accessory for the Elderly
  • Toilet Safety Rail

Handicap Grab Bar

  • Foldable Stainless Toilet Grab Bar
  • Flip Up Toilet Safety Rails with Leg for Elderly

Handicap Grab Bar

  • Toilet Handrails 
  • Handrails for Seniors, Elderly, Disabled

Flip-up Grab Bar

  • Bathroom Grab Bar
  • Toilet Grab Bar Handle Safety Rail

Curve Grab Bar

  • Toilet, Shower, and Bathtub Aid
  • Rotating Safety Handle, Wall Mounted Swing Grab Bar

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