Handicap Bars / August 5, 2018 / MillicentChaloux
ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant bars are the only ones to use and are available most anywhere and are fairly simple to install when following the instructions provided with no shortcuts to ensure a proper installation. When installed properly they are rated to withstand a 500 lbs. pull. Most bars come in various lengths from 12 to 48 inches for the straight ones to ones that have right angles and even ones that can be custom made if you have an unusual or specific install situation. Diameters are 1 1/2 (commercial) and 1 1/4 inch with 1 1/2 inch clearance between bar and surface. The 1 1/4 inch diameter is ample for any residential use.
With the bars installed in the bathroom they can offer some degree of safety measure for protection against accidents like falls on a wet and slippery floor. The installation of the shower bars needs some consideration as one needs to identify the places where they should be installed. There are two basic types of shower grab bars available in the market. The first is the traditional one whereas the other is the portable one. The traditional grab bars are screwed permanently in one area. They are usually installed in places where the handicapped will most likely to need it most such as the bath tub the shower and toilet areas. The portable style one comes with suction that allows the person using it to take it anywhere for support.
Some safety bars are fold away in function particularly ones meant for use around toilets which then gives the option for either use depending upon who needs the bar or not and there are smaller more temporary installations that clamp on the side of a bathtub to assist with getting in and out. The most important rule to follow in a permanent installation is that any safety grab bar must be attached to a wood wall stud or a pre-placed interior wall block 2 x 6 or 8. Common wall anchors or molly bolts are not acceptable and could just be a problem and or worse yet an injury later. After saying all that I know there is a wall anchor out there that meets mounting standards and is called Toggler I have personally never used any of these but they are supposed to be acceptable for mounting grab bars when no stud in the wall is available in the position needed.