Grab Bar Placement

Grab Bar Placement

“ Where should my residential grab bars be placed?”

The placement for residential grab bars may vary greatly from the commercial required positions. Residential grab bar positions may be tailored to the individual's needs. There are a number of considerations when taking into account where your safety bars should be installed. Factors such as body proportions (height and weight), medical needs, balance and age may play a factor in deciding on your grab bars position. Common locations for grab bars are the shower, bathtub, toilet and sink areas. It's important to place a grab bar wherever you would benefit from their assistance.

Shower Position

Shower grab bars are commonly 16", 18" and 24"vertical length grab bars. These should be located near the entry and exit of the shower. It's important to not locate these grab bars too far from the shower or tub's outer edge.

Bath Tub Position

As in the shower position detailed above the advantage of the horizontal grab bar is an increased lateral coverage. The horizontal bar should be attached to the side wall and should be as long as possible. It should also be about 30 inches up from the tub floor. As the shower positions noted above the tub should also have vertical grab bars in line at the entry and exit position(s).

Diagonal Bars Position

Like the vertically placed grab bar, the angled grab bar can accommodate large variations in an individual's height. The diagonal grab bar can also help in sitting down and standing up.

Toilet position

Grab bars can be placed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally beside the toilet, and on occasion horizontally or vertically, or directly in front of the commode to provide additional assistance when standing.

Grab Bar Anchoring Positions

Horizontal grab bars that are multiples of 16" ( 16", 32" and 48") will have a better chance of lining up to typically 16" on center framing inside the wall. This approach does not always work though. The framing studs spacing may actually vary from 16" spacing making it difficult to predict their availability for use. Additionally, thin-walled steel studs necessitate consideration of alternate anchoring solutions. Tearing out walls and adding reinforcement for anchoring for most consumers would be cost prohibitive. An economically feasible alternative means of anchoring grab bars are the snap-toggle, flip-toggle, alligators anchors as well as a few other available anchors with stainless steel screws.

 (Above diagrams courtesy of Lowe's)

ADA Grab Bar Requirements


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