Installing a Grab Bar

grab-bar Whether due to age or injury, it may be required to have something to aid us from getting out of the tub or just to grab onto if we feel ourselves falling in the shower. Grab bars should be fastened to something solid and not just anchored into the tile and partially into the substrate. Grab bars should be fastened into your studs with fasteners provided by the manufacturer.

A good idea to think about when remodeling your shower or bath is to include blocking around the perimeter of your shower or tub to later accommodate a grab bar. 2’ x 8’ blocking 34 – 42 inches on average should be installed 3 feet from the shower floor. (Remember to make a schematic for future reference when installing a bar.) If you have this done at the time of remodeling your bathroom it will save time and expense in the future when you may decide to install the grab bar in the shower or bath area.

Many people do not like the appearance of grab bars in their showers, but there are companies that make them in a variety of finishes and designs. You can often purchase a grab bar that will match other fixtures in your bathroom or coordinate with the tile or stone that is on your bathroom wall or shower stall wall. They can be mounted vertically as well as horizontally in the shower or tub area.

At one time companies sold a combination grab bar/soap dish. These had a thick backing that could be deeply embedded into the brown coat of a mud job. But as these were continually installed incorrectly, many injuries occurred resulting in the discontinued manufacturing of a grab bar/ soap dish combination.

When choosing a grab bar you must also make sure the finish and fasteners are rust resistant. Otherwise you could have rust bleed on your ceramic tile or stone surface. Before installing your screws to fasten the grab bar be sure to apply silicone caulk to the screw threads to seal the head of the screw.