We like to escape and take comfort in our own homes. It is a place of refuge where we can get away from the stresses of daily life.
Unfortunately, we often don’t think about the dangers that are present inside our homes. Even though we treat them as safe, the truth is, our homes can present many dangers if we aren’t prepared.
The bathroom, in particular, is one area that injures many people of all ages each year. In order to keep this location truly safe, it’s helpful to think about some easy steps you can take to prevent injury.
Using bathroom grab bars is one effective and affordable means to do just that. Grabbing onto something stable while entering and exiting the shower can help prevent falls and slips.
Read on to learn all about the ins and outs of bathroom grab bars.
The Dangers Inside the Bathroom
While you might not think about it on a daily basis, the bathroom is one place in the common household that can present some common dangers.
These dangers aren’t worth avoiding the bathroom altogether, but it’s important to know what can happen in order to prevent a worst-case scenario.
A physical injury in the bathroom might be more common than you think. 19% or almost one out of five UK adults have admitted to suffering some kind of physical injury in the bathroom. Falls and slips account for almost 80% of these injuries.
The shower alone is one of the most dangerous spots in the bathroom. Water tends to collect and pool on the floor, which can present slippery dangers as you enter and exit.
This danger is something to keep in mind during your daily bathroom use. More importantly, it’s something you can address with various modern products such as shower seats, benches and through the use of bathroom grab bars.
The Basics of Bathroom Grab Bars
A grab bar is a simple device, commonly a piece of extruded metal tubing, attached to the wall. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are generally easy to install.
Here are all the basics you need to know about the different types of bathroom grab bars and how to install them.
Types of Bathroom Grab Bars
Straight Bars – straight bathroom grab bars are a common form of this bathroom aid. They are a simple, straight tube that you can mount horizontally, vertically, or diagonally on most wall surfaces. They offer an unobtrusive look in any bathroom while providing a lot of surface area to hold.
Angled/Wavy Bars – for a little bit of visual variety, you can use an angled or wavy bar instead. These bars feature angled or organic bends in the tubing while still offering a comfortable surface to grab.
Accent Rings – an accent ring is a circular bar that offers a more minimal presence in the bathroom. They are similar to towel rings but bigger with enough usable surface area.
Folding Bars – if you want something that you can push out of the way, the folding bar might be a good option. These bars are usually straight and circular, almost like a trombone slide handle. They’re often used in conjunction with your WC. They fold out and away from the wall when in use, and fold in against the wall for storage.
Placing Bathroom Grab Bars
Where to place a grab bar is an important decision you’ll have to make before installation. You can add several into your bathroom, so you might think about mixing and matching.
The two most important things to think about are the bar’s orientation and height off the floor.
A bar can be placed either horizontally, vertically, or at an angle. Horizontal and vertical bars are perfect for assisting someone who is entering or exiting a shower. They are easy to hold onto and can help people who struggle with standing upright.
Angled bars are typically good for keeping someone upright while showering. A 45° angle puts the hand in a natural, comfortable position.
Most bars are placed at around hand level. This is usually 80 to 90 cm off of the ground.
You will want to make sure that this height is suitable for whoever will use the bar the most. If this bar is for a whole family, you might consider installing additional bathroom grab bars or finding a height that works for everyone.
Installing Bathroom Grab Bars
If you aren’t the handy type, don’t worry. Bathroom grab bars are easy and quick to install. More importantly, you can save money by installing one yourself.
Firstly only install grab bars onto a load bearing wall. That is where the screws can go into a brick or breeze block constructed wall, rather than an internal stud wall. Unless you can align the grab bar with the wooden studs that is.
Place the grab bar onto the wall and with a pencil make a mark through each of the 3 holes in the round fastening plate at either end of the bar. Then, set the bar aside and drill into each hole mark.
Bonus tip. If drilling through tile, place a small piece of masking tape over the mark. This will prevent the drill bit from slipping when you offer it to the tile.
Then you’ll need to gently hammer in the wall plugs. Next put the bar into position and screw in the screws on either end of the bracket. Do them loosely at either end to begin with then tighten all round.
If yours come with decorative cover caps screw those into place. Then you’re done!
Finding the Best Grab Bar
Keeping your bathroom safe doesn’t have to be an expensive or complicated process. Bathroom grab bars are an easy and affordable solution to prevent slips and falls while showering.
In fact, the biggest hurdle is deciding on which grab bar you want in the first place.