Consumer and government reports have stated that the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house! Grab bars are safety devices designed to enable a family member to retain stability and reduce exhaustion while standing in the bath. These bath accessories can hold some of your weight while maneuvering to sit on the toilet and allow you to have something to grab onto in case of a slip or fall on slick bath floors but there is more to these simple devices than meets the eye.

Once considered a luxury or simply a requirement for aging homeowners for tub and shower safety these fittings are now becoming the norm for middle-class households. And while they are commonly installed in locations that contribute to falls they can be placed in any area of the house to greatly increase safety in any home environment.

Bring Style and Security into your Lavatory

As their use has become increasingly popular, interior designers have learned to incorporate these accessories into the bathing facility not only as a safety component but also as a decorative element that sports an elegant style to enhance the space.

Manufactures have also caught on to the popularity of these items and have listened to consumer demand for more interesting railing designs to come out with an assortment of colors, shapes and sizes to meet the specialty and accessibility needs of specific individuals.

Read more: The Bathroom Renovation Contract

Injury Free Future

The most common reason to install grab bars is to increase accessibility and safety for individuals with a variety of disabilities or mobility issues but why wait for a mishap to happen. As common sense will tell you it’s best to have a map before you enter the woods because it will be too late when you get lost. Preparation is key to any successful endeavour. Not only will you not have to install one in the future but you will also be prepared if the unthinkable happens and you or a loved one slips and falls.

Choosing a Model

Researchers have found that the most comfortable thickness to hold on to is one that has a circumference of 1.25 to 1.5 inches that is installed approximately about an inch and a half away from the wall in order to grip the fixture effectively.

When choosing a grab bar model it’s important to select fittings that are durable. While there are various materials out there, a stainless-steel construction that supports up to 250 lbs. will guarantee longevity and sturdy support.

Read more: Factors to Consider When Choosing a Whirlpool or Air-Jet Tub

Increasing Accessibility at Home

Location, location, location, we have all heard how important this is in business, and believe it or not the same rule applies to homeowners. One of the most popular places to install a handrail is above the toilet bowl and on the adjacent wall next to the toilet where individuals using a wheelchair can support themselves while transferring to the toilet seat and back to their mobility device.

When grooming, these rails can also assist homeowners who have trouble sitting down. Another benefit of these handy supports is added stability if you have balance problems while seated or need help rising from a seated position, then a grab bar could effectively assist you with these matters.

Shower and Tub Fittings

The other common place to install handrails is in a shower or bathtub. Grab bars not only help the individual to maintain balance while standing upright or moving around but they can also be used to help in maneuvering in and out of the enclosure to lessen the possibility of injury.

Read more: Where to Place Your Bathtub Plumbing Fixtures

Assisted Living Trends

One of the new developments in assisted living is floor to ceiling grab bars called security poles. These full-length rods can be used in the bathroom or bedroom to help one get out of bed or get up from the toilet. And like most handrails can be used to help support caregivers to lift a person if they need to transfer the individual from one room to another.

If you are installing handrails in a new bathroom reinforce them with blocking. On the other hand, if you are placing them in an existing facility you need to anchor the rails to your wall studs for added support. If only two of the three fasteners can be put on a wall stud due the length and placement of the bar then you can stabilize the remaining hole with toggle bolts.

Creating a Plan

Whether installed vertically, horizontally or diagonally, grab bars are commonly used in combination with other medical devices such as bath-lifts, shower chairs or handheld showers to increase accessibility and safety in the bathroom. While these are great places to mount these rails you should not limit yourself to these locations based upon convention. Grab bars can be placed on any wall or in any room where additional support is warranted, just be sure that the equipment meets ADA guidelines to ensure stability for many years to come.

Look around your home and ask yourself, what can I do to guarantee a safe living environment for myself and my family. I’m sure you’ll agree that these handrails are a step in the right direction to reduce injury at home.

Read more: How to Save Money Renovating a Bathroom