Handicap Grab Bars: Types and Placement for Bathroom Safety
Use this basic guide to help you select some of the most important safety handicap bathroom accessories for your disabled bathroom at home.
Whether you are disabled, elderly, or simply safety-conscious, you may be considering having handicap grab bars installed in your bathroom. Before you make this move, you should learn the basics about this kind of safety product. Then you can start shopping for the best grab bars for your own particular needs.
Types of Grab Bars
The type of grab bar that is best for you depends on where you plan to put it, as your bathroom’s layout has a lot to do with the kind you can use. One of the most common types is the wall-mounted kind, which is best when the handicap toilet or tub is inches away from a wall. If you do not have any walls close enough, you can get a vertical grab bar attached to the ground and ceiling, or even both the ground and the tub or toilet. There are swing away bars as well as stationary bars. It all depends on the setup of your bathroom, as well as your preferences or needs.
One of the most common types of safety bars is a straight cylinder type that is attached to the wall, though L-shaped bars are also commonly affixed to walls. The L-shaped grab bars are generally best when you need to keep your balance while changing hand positions. Some grab bars are attached to shower chairs so that you can easily sit down and stand up without fear of slipping. Though the typical grab bar is made of stainless steel, you can opt for one made of brass or chrome so that it matches your bathroom’s décor. There are also plastic coated portable grab barsthat can be relocated at will and are exceptionally handy for disabled bathrooms or for when traveling. In fact, you do not have to stick with plain grab bars, as you can choose stylish, unique products that come in a various colors and shapes.
Placement of Handicap Grab Bars
Grab bars can be placed in various parts of the bathroom, where ever you actually need them. For example, lowering yourself into the bathtub, as well as getting out of the tub without slipping, usually requires at least one grab bar. You should also put a grab bar next to the toilet so you can safely lower and raise yourself onto the seat without slipping.
You may have noticed safety bars installed inside handicap bathroom stalls in public places. If you have ever had to use them while out in public, it is a good idea to get them installed in your own bathroom, too.
In fact, ADA bathroom requirement state that there should be at least one bar installed near a toilet, two near a shower, and three near a tub. To get the best results, make sure the diameter, height, and space between bars and the wall all adhere to the ADA guidelines.
Additional Buying Tips
You should note that a simple towel bar is not safe enough to use, since they are not usually anchored to the wall to support the necessary weight and can easily detach from the wall with a little pressure.
To prevent falls, it is necessary to install handicap grab bars that support your weight and that are located in the proper areas of your bathroom. In addition, a diagonal safety bar does not usually work well since it is easy for your hand to slide down as you grab it which, could result in a fall.
Make sure you know the proper placement for handicap grab bars and how many you need to make your disabled bathroom safety and practical. Also, unless you are a competent construction expert or handyman, you may need to secure the services of a bathroom remodeling contractor who specializes in retrofitting or building accessible bathrooms.
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Example: bathroom grab bar placement
Example: swing away & straight grab bars