5 Things to Know About Mounted Safety Grab Bars

5 Things to Know About Mounted Safety Grab Bars

 

 According to the CDC, each year 3 million older people are treated in the emergency room for fall injuries. The CDC says falls can help be prevented by adding grab bars to your home.

 

Making sure you or your loved one is prepared to prevent any falls is a priority. 

 

Mounted safety grab bars can greatly reduce the risk for falls and help maintain balance. We put together a guide to share 5 things you should know about mounted safety grab bars.

 

Types of Fixed Mount Safety Grab Bars

 

Most safety grab bars have a standard 1.5 inch diameter, although smaller diameters may be helpful for people with poor hand strength.

 

Smooth surfaces may look clean and attractive but textured surfaces are recommended to help maintain the grip on grab bars. 

 

Knurled finishes are shallow diamond patterns cut into the surface of metal grab bars that allow better grip than smooth surfaces. Stainless steel will resist corrosion, especially in humid bathroom environments.  

 

Color contrast between the grab bar and wall is often helpful for people with poor vision.  Rotating flanges allow grab bars to be installed at any angle relative to the mounting screws. 

 

Most fixed mount safety grab bars have a weight capacity of 250 pounds but some heavy duty bars will support up to 500 pounds. 

 

grab bar options

 

Installation of Safety Grab Bars

 

Mounted safety grab bars should be installed by professionals, as serious injury could occur if they fall away from the wall during use. 

 

Grab bars must always be screwed into wall studs to ensure that they are securely anchored.   Special caution is needed when mounting grab bars to walls with fiberglass or ceramic tile. 

 

They should not be mounted on acrylic tubs or shower surrounds.  Installers should firmly yank on the grab bar after it is installed to ensure that it is secure for use. 

Grab Bar Leveler

 

Where to Mount the Safety Grab Bars

 

Mounted safety grab bars are most helpful if they are installed in the right place and they cannot be moved after they are fixed to the wall.

 

Common locations include shower stalls, bathtubs, toilet areas, hallways, and entry doors from attached garages.  

 

Building codes and ADA guidelines should always be checked before mounted grab bars are installed.  Occupational and physical therapists can provide valuable guidance about where grab bars should be mounted to be most effective for users.  

Mounted Grab Bar in Shower

Grab Bar Positioning

 

Safety grab bars can be installed vertically, horizontally or diagonally.  Horizontal bars provide leverage when getting in and out of the bathtub and rising to a standing position. 

 

Vertical bars are excellent for narrow spaces and are suitable for users of various heights.  

 

Mounting a vertical bar just outside the shower will help prevent users from reaching for towel bars or sliding glass shower doors for support. 

 

Vertical bars may also be mounted next to the bathtub and shower controls to provide support when adjusting the water temperature.  

 

Angled bars provide solid support at various heights and place less strain on wrists than horizontal bars. The leverage provided by angled bars is particularly helpful for sitting and standing from toilets and shower seats. 

 

Person holding a grab bar

 

Sizing

 

Most studs are located 16” apart on center, making 16” and 32” inch grab bars ideal for horizontal mounting.

 

24” grab bars may be installed at a 45 degree angle with 16” spacing between studs.  12” and 18” grab bars are well suited for vertical placement by toilets and in bathtubs or showers.  

 

Grab Bar options

 

 Final Thoughts

 

At HomeCare Hospital Beds, we always want you to feel informed before you make a purchase.  If you are in need of grab bar installation, we have a service network of professionals that can help. Consulting a professional can ensure your grab bars are mounted properly. 

 

Even if you choose to install the bars yourself, you will at least have a professional opinion.  Click here to contact us!

 

If you have any doubts on which product is the best fit for you, please contact HomeCare Hospital Beds team, so we can help you make the right choice.

 

Call us today toll free at 877-414-0002 or email us at info@homecarehospitalbeds.com.

 

Learn more about Hospital Bed Safety here.

Read our latest Hospital Bed Buying Guide .

Resource: ADA Guidelines for Safety Grab Bars

 

https://www.ada-compliance.com/ada-compliance/609-grab-bars

https://www.ada.gov/reg3a.html#Anchor-11185 

 

5 Things to Know About Suction Cup Grab Bars

Are Suction Cup Grab Bars Safe?

 

If you are modifying a bathroom for a loved one, safety is a top concern.  A simple addition to make your bathroom safer is to place suction cup grab bars near your shower or bath tub.

Here is a list of five things you should know about suction cup grab bars.

1. Indications

Suction cup grab bars can be placed in the bathroom to help loved ones maintain balance, especially when getting in and out of the shower or tub.  Suction-mounted grab bars help provide stability and help balance after injury or minor surgery. 

They may be placed vertically, inclined, or horizontally depending on the available space.  Suction-mounted safety grab bars are easily removed and repositioned, allowing loved ones and caregivers to determine which location works best. 

This makes them well suited for travel and apartments where grab bars may not be mounted permanently onto the wall. 

suction cup grab bar

2. Precautions

Improper use of safety grab bars could lead to serious injury to loved ones and caregivers.  Suction-mounted grab bars are not intended to support full body weight and should not be used as leverage for standing up from a seated position.  

Fixed-mount grab bars should be mounted into wall studs if a loved one needs support to prevent falling after losing their balance.   Suction cup grab bars should be used as a balance assist only.

suction cup grab bar on wall

 

3. Installation

Suction-mounted grab bars require no tools and leave no marks on walls after removal.  Caution must be taken to apply them only to clean, dry, flat, non-porous surfaces.  

They cannot be used on textured tile, drywall or painted surfaces.  Wall tiles must be at least 4” x 4” to avoid placing suction cups over the grout lines.  

Once the vacuum lever on the grab bar has been engaged, the safety indicator will show that a strong suction hold has been achieved.  The grab bar must not be used unless it is securely attached to the wall. 

suction cup grab bar indicator

4. Inspection

Suction-mounted grab bars should be checked before every use as the suction grip can weaken over time.

The grab bar must be removed and reattached if it becomes loose. 

Serious injury could occur if the grab bar comes away from the wall during use.  Suction-mounted grab bars will need to be replaced if a secure, airtight seal cannot be maintained. 

suction cup grab bar

5. Maintenance

Caregivers must be sure to keep the suction cups free of oil and dust so that the grab bar will attach securely to the wall.  Suction cups may be cleaned with soap and water as needed and dried thoroughly before use. 

Prolonged exposure to sunlight and freezing temperatures will cause suction cups to lose their elasticity. 

The grab bar must be replaced immediately if the suction cups show any signs of damage or deterioration. 

 

suction cup grab bar close up

 

Final thoughts

Bathroom safety is very important to look out for with you or your loved ones.  Suction cup grab bars are useful for helping assist balance in the bathroom with easy installation. 

At HomeCare Hospital Beds we want to help you make an informed decision.  

If you have any doubts on which safety bar is fit for you, please contact our HomeCare Hospital Beds team, so we can help you make the right choice.

Call us today toll free at 877-414-0002 or email us at info@homecarehospitalbeds.com.

Learn more about Hospital Bed Safety here.

Read our latest Hospital Bed Buying Guide .