Installing grab bars around your house is a great way to make your home safer. In particular, installing grab bars in your bathroom is a good way to prevent injuries. Every year, thousands of people are treated for nonfatal bathroom accidents. Grab bars help decrease the likelihood of an injury occurring to you or your loved one. But before you go out and have grab bars installed, here are some things you should know.
Mount to Wall Studs, Not Sheetrock
Grab bars are meant to support a person weighing up to 250 pounds. Sheetrock, also known as drywall, is a thin board sheet not meant to support a lot of weight. Your house’s wall studs are what support your walls and can withstand the weight of a person leaning on it. Grab bars should always be mounted to wall studs so that they’re able to withstand the weight but on them by the users.
Grab bars are used to help users maneuver difficult spaces and help prevent sliding. For this reason, grab bars should always be installed in small rooms and rooms that are filled with obstacles. A bathroom is a good example of this. But don’t install grab bars just anywhere in the bathroom. Install them in places like:
- Side and back wall of showers
- On the side rims of freestanding tubs
- Backside and sidewall of toilet
Grab Bars Come in Different Lengths and Sizes
When it comes to grab bars, there’s not a one size fits all. They come in a variety of lengths ranging from 9 to 42 inches. They also come in a variety of shapes. That means that if you have a narrow bathroom and are wondering if a grab bar can fit into it, there’s probably a size that can. For those who are concerned about how a grab bar will look in their bathroom, you’re sure to find a grab bar design that can fit your bathroom’s aesthetic.
Most Grab Bars Meet or Exceed ADA Standards
While grab bars don’t have to be ADA compliant to be put on the market, it’s usually recommended to install grab bars that are compliant. Ones that are ADA compliant will usually have a label and will comply with these specifications:
- Made of 18-gauge brushed satin stainless steel
- Have a diameter width of 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch
- Is capable of supporting 500 lbs
- Flanges are manufactured according to the ADA standard
Ready to Install Grab Bars in Your Home?
When you’re ready to have grab bars installed in your home, Freedom Mobility will be here to guide you. Our certified Assistive Technology Professionals and Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists have the experience needed to make recommendations on grab bars that will work best for you. Call us to make an appointment to visit our Maryland mobility store or click here to request an in-home consultation.