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The Best Places to Install Grab Bars in Your Bath or Shower

Grab Bars in the bathroom are not just for seniors.

Contrary to what many believe, seniors are not the only people who can benefit from using grab bars in the bathroom. When it comes to falls in the shower or bath, children are just as apt to slip as are seniors.

Shower stalls and bathtubs look quite safe, but accidents can happen no matter who is using them. Studies have shown that there are over 230,000 non-fatal bathroom falls each year in people over 15 years of age. Most bathtubs require you to step over the side that is usually about 18 inches high. Most stall showers have a 4-inch to 5-inch-high lip that you must step over. For many people, this is not a problem. However, for those whose balance is not as good, such as children and older adults, this can be quite a problem. Luckily, there is a simple solution to this problem – grab bars.

No matter your age, having something to hold on to in the slippery and wet environment of a shower or bathtub makes good sense.

 

Guidelines for Choosing Grab Bars

Most grab bars are made of stainless steel to resist corrosion. They come in various sizes, but the most common bars are 18 inches long or 24 inches long and are usually 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Texture is added to some bars for additional safety.

  • Choose a bar 18 inches long or longer for vertical placement at the edge of the tub.
  • When mounting at an angle, be sure to locate the studs to fasten the bar to and measure accordingly. Angled bars are usually 24 inches long.
  • Choose a bar 32 inches long or longer for a horizontal bar.
  • Choose bars that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  • Steer clear of bars that leave more than a 1 1/2-inch space between the bar and the wall.

 

How and Where to Install Grab Bars

Grab bars should be installed in the safest and most convenient area of the shower or tub. They must be connected to wall studs. It might be beneficial to eye-ball the correct placement for grab bars by having family members stand inside the bath or shower to ensure that everyone will be able to reach it when needed.

 

Shower Stall Grab Bar Placement

Here are a few rules of thumb for where to place grab bars in your shower.

  • Vertical entrance bar should go close to the shower door jamb.
  • Horizontal bar should go along the side wall, 34-36 inches above the floor.
  • Vertical bar on the faucet end wall should go near the faucet handles.

 

Bathtub/Shower Combination Grab Bar Placement

For placing grab bars in your bath tub or bathtub shower combination, use these tips.

  • Vertical entrance bar should be installed on the wall opposite the faucet.
  • Horizontal bar should be attached to the side wall and should be as long as possible. It should be about 30 inches up from the tub floor.
  • Another vertical bar should be attached to the faucet end wall near the faucet handles.

It is not possible to prevent every accident. However, by installing grab bars in your tub and/or shower, you will greatly reduce the chances that someone in your home will fall and be injured. If this sounds like something you need to do in your home, don’t hesitate to contact us at USA Bath® and let us help you find the best method to increase the safety of your bathtub or shower.

USA Bath currently provides services to homeowners throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada. Contact us today to get started on your next home improvement project!

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