Proper Shower Grab Bar Placement Keeps Your Family Safe

Jul 30, 2021

Sifting through your options for shower grab bar placement? Let us give you a hand!

As one of the most popular bath and shower accessories, grab bars are being recognized not just for their role in bathroom safety, but as stylish accents to complement your bath design. With numerous on-trend styles and finishes to choose from, adding grab bars for an element of bathroom safety to your remodel is an easy and smart decision.

Why smart? Because using grab bars for bathroom safety isn’t just for older homeowners or people with chronic mobility issues. Children, pregnant women, and anyone dealing with temporary health issues or recovering from an injury can put bath and shower safety bars to good use. Every bather, and every family, is likely to have a slip-in-the-shower scare at some point. Grab bars can help prevent them.

Bathroom & Shower Grab Bar Placement Tips

Where should grab bars go? The short answer is: Wherever you need them! But there are bath and shower grab bar placement guidelines to follow. Exact grab bar length and ADA grab bar height requirements are dictated by code, so be sure to check requirements in your area if you’re designing an ADA-complaint bathroom.

Here are some general tips to remember when choosing your bathroom and shower grab bar placement:

Consider bathroom safety Needs

Grab bars can be placed anywhere you feel you need stability. Consider adding them inside the shower space and along the bathtub, as well as beside the toilet area. Vertical, horizontal, and diagonal orientations are all grab bar placement options you can use to your advantage.

  • Vertical grab bar placement is helpful near the outside edge of a shower or forward of a toilet area to offer balance and leverage.
  • Horizontal grab bars work well alongside toilet spaces and on the longer wall of a bathtub or shower.
  • L-shaped grab bars, or straight grab bars installed on a diagonal give users the opportunity for stability and leverage at multiple heights. This orientation is often used in conjunction with shower seats.

Additional Bracing May Be Required

The most secure grab bar installations for bathroom safety use grab bars that screw into wall framing. Depending on the length of your grab bars, which can range from 12 to 24 inches, you may need to have additional framing called “blocking” properly installed between the studs so the grab bars can be installed securely. An Improveit bathroom remodel always takes your walls down to the studs, making it easy to add this blocking exactly where you need it for bath and shower grab bar placement. We also use grab bars with SecureMount anchors for the best combination of placement flexibility and secure installation.

“We wanted a walk-in shower for the master bedroom. They removed the old tub, shower door, faucet, surround, and installed new drywall where needed. The walk-in shower is great. It has a 4-inch height so water getting past the base won’t happen. The special glass on the doors doesn’t spot. The new fixtures and grab bars are great. The look of the walls and window kit is such a wonderful improvement. Thanks!”

Russ R. – Cincinnati, OH

Never Substitute Towel Bars for Grab Bars

Towel bars and soap dishes are not designed to bear weight and should never be used as a substitute for bath and shower safety bars. If you or a loved one are currently using a towel bar or a soap dish to gain stability while getting in and out of the bathtub or shower, Improveit can help you make the bathroom safety and convenience updates you need.

Shower Safety Bars

“All we had was a little soap dish to hang onto and we didn’t feel safe at all. Sometimes I would bring my walker into the shower with me just to have something else to hold onto. We feel safe now and we recommended Improveit to our neighbor across the street who’s also thinking of putting in a new shower. We’re very happy!”

Josephine W. – Marion, OH

ADA Grab Bar Height & Placement Requirements

Always be sure to follow ADA guidelines and other local and state codes when installing grab bars.

  • Horizontal grab bars should be placed 33 to 36 inches up from the floor
  • The bottom of a vertical grab bar should be located 39 to 41 inches up from the floor.

Watch for obstructions like toilet tanks or window sills. Codes require a minimum of 1.5 inches of clearance below a grab bar, and 12 inches above.

Let's Plan Your Grab Bar Placement

Customizing your grab bar placement is easy with a little planning. By adding proper blocking behind your walls, using grab bars with SecureMount anchors, and following codes and guidelines, your bath and shower grab bar placement will meet your needs exactly!

For additional assistance, request a free consultation with an Improveit bath design expert. Our team is happy to visit your home to discuss your bath and shower needs, and help you achieve better bathroom safety and a beautiful low-maintenance design all at once.

“I hadn’t been feeling very safe in our master bathroom. We previously just had a towel bar. Now we have grab bars and a bench seat! I have osteoarthritis in both of my knees, and I don’t want to be afraid to take a shower. Now I don’t have that fear anymore!”

Melody M. – Etna, OH

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