Grab bars may not seem an essential bathroom modification, but it is, especially in specific scenarios. Said occasions include residences with seniors and people with disabilities (PWD). Grab bars will considerably enhance the safety of the bathroom as it provides extra stability. Considering that washrooms always tend to have wet floors, stability is a crucial aspect to have. As such, a properly installed handrail is mandatory in this setting.
Proper installation of the grab bar starts at the height, and most experts agree that it should be around 33 to 36 inches high from the bathroom floor. Of course, the positioning will depend on the bathroom’s layout, but the height should be around that ballpark. Grab bars must also be able to support a weight of at least 250 lbs.
Installing the bathroom handhold will need to consider several factors to plan out how it is installed thoroughly.
Bathroom Grab Bar Buying Guide
The first step is always knowing the correct type of grab bar to get for your bathroom.
Always go for grab bars made from stainless steel, as corrosion will be a significant problem this bathroom modification will need to contend with. In addition, some handrails feature a textured surface which enhances overall grip. Pick these up if you want optimum safety.
Bathroom handrails come in various lengths and can range anywhere from between 9 to 42 inches. The standard grab bar length tends to be between 18 to 24 inches and comes with a 1 ½ inch diameter.
Must Meet the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards
Always check beforehand if the bar features the ADA certification. ADA standards mean that the handrail is designed and manufactured with the optimum safety of the user in mind. Here are the key specifications that are present in ADA certified grab bars:
- Made from heavy-duty stainless steel rod and features a snap-on cover.
- The space between the handrail and wall must be approximately 1 ½ inch.
- The diameter of the bar must be between 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch.
- The bar must be able to support up to 500 lbs. of weight.
It is always in your best intention to pick grab bars that meet these requirements to ensure safety.
Places to Install the Grab Bar
The next step in properly installing the bathroom grab bar is knowing the best location and position to place it in. To help you in this part, here are the most common areas to install a handrail in the bathroom:
Beside the Toilet
This area is where you are most likely to find a grab bar in the bathroom. For seniors and those with disabilities, standing up from the toilet can be difficult and even dangerous. With a handrail close by, users will have stable support to help them stand up.
If possible, the correct positioning of the handrails in this area should be on both sides of the toilet seat. These handrails are best attached approximately 6 inches above the toilet seat in a perpendicular manner. As for the length of the grab bar, we recommend you choose the following:
- 16 to 32-inch handrails for the back wall
- 42 inches for the sidewall.
Whether you have a solo shower stall or one of those shower and bathtub combos, a handrail will be a welcome fixture to have, which will improve overall safety in this setting. In a shower stall, the bar is best installed vertically just inside the shower door. The point of this handrail is to provide stability and balance when moving in and out of the stall.
To further narrow down your options in installing a grab bar, here are some key pointers to keep in mind:
- The vertical grab bar must be as close to the shower door jamb/frame as possible.
- The vertical handrail beside the faucet should be placed nearby the faucet handles.
- The horizontal bar should be about 32 to 36 inches high.
As for the shower/bathtub setup will follow a similar approach to the shower stall installation but with different handrail specifications. For example, the horizontal grab bar should be as long as possible and placed 30 inches above the bathtub floor.
As for the vertical handrail at the entrance, it should always be positioned opposite the faucet wall. This positioning will help maximize a balance in the shower/bathtub stall when using the faucet handle and when going in and out of the tub.