Choosing the Right Grab Bar

Choosing the Right Grab Bar

With so many grab bar choices available, it can be difficult to pick the best one for your home. Aside from style, it’s important to consider how you will be using your grab bar to ensure have the right grab bar for you.

Determine where and how your grab bar will be used

To determine which grab bar will work best for you, first determine where adding a grab bar would be most beneficial. Some common locations are in the shower, by the shower, and by the toilet, but the best way to figure out where a grab bar would help the most is to pay attention to where you find yourself looking for support.

Some common places to need support are while getting into and out of the shower, in the shower, and by the toilet. Some of the features that should be considered when selecting a grab bar are length, diameter and grip surface, and how the bar will be installed.

Orientation and length

Most grab bars can be installed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. There are advantages and disadvantages to each installation.

For example, vertical installations are easy to grip and are helpful for stabilizing your balance in specific areas such as while getting into and out of the shower. However, support is limited to a specific place along the wall.

Horizontal grab bars cover a wider area along the wall, allowing you more support over a greater area, but can cause more strain on your wrists which could be difficult for those with joint issues.

Installing a grab bar diagonally offers more support at different heights without focusing on a specific area, and provides a more natural angle to grip. It is a great option for areas where you need extra assistance standing up, such as from the toilet or a shower chair. 

When installing grab bars, they should be mounted into the studs of your walls to provide the best support. When selecting a grab bar, consider where the bar will be installed and the orientation to align the length with the studs.

Space Considerations

If you have limited wall space, it’s worth considering 2-in1 options. If you don’t have a lot of space around the toilet, but need extra support, a 2-in-1 grab bar that functions as a toilet paper roll holder as well as a grab bar might be the solution.

Toilet roll holder

Additionally, if you have limited space and find yourself reaching for your towel rack for support, consider replacing the towel rack with a 2-in-1 grab bar. Using a towel rack for a grab bar can lead to disaster, ripping the towel bar out of the wall and resulting in a hard fall. With a 2-in-1 grab bar, you have the support of a grab bar without losing a place to hang towels.

Diameter and Grip Surface

Grab bars are usually available in 2 diameters – 1 ¼ inch and 1 ½ inch. If you have joint issues or smaller hands, a grab bar with a smaller diameter may be easier to grip. Otherwise, 1 ½” is standard, and what is most often encountered in public areas with grab bars.

If you have difficulty gripping things, or you’ve chosen to install your grab bar diagonally, grab bars with safety grip are also good option to consider.

While there are many elements to consider, adding a grab bar can improve the safety of your bathroom and reduce the risk of a fall significantly. With so many options available, it’s easy to find a grab bar that suits you needs and your style.