We get a lot of requests for information about grab bars.

What size do I need? Where do I put them? Do they need to be at an angle or straight? What should they look like?  Do they all look so institutional or are there prettier options?

We’re going to do a bigger segment on overall bathroom safety in the future, for now we are going to talk a little bit about grab bars, specifically.


Size is generally dictated by the use. If you’re just using it as a grip to steady yourself as you step in the shower or tub, you don’t really need a very long grab bar.  You just really need a handgrip, essentially.  Twelve-to-sixteen inches are the smaller sized bars we use for vertical placement in the previously mentioned conditions.

Shower head grab bar

For those grab bars that go more horizontally in a space, these typically will be installed on the longer back wall. In terms of the length, standard dimensions are between 24” and 36”.

Shower grab bar

Straight vs angled installations:

Often times in showers, the grab bar is installed straight across and in a tub they are installed at an angle.

Different installations for different functionality.  Straight install is used more so to brace yourself as you stand, or as a spot to grab if you may be slipping.  The angled installations are meant for grip to help pull oneself up.  Imagine needing leverage to raise yourself out of a tub or possibly out of a seated position at a bench.

Bathtub grab bar

Options to linear grab bars:

There are also grab bars that have multi-function uses, such as a shampoo shelf, that also doubles as a grab bar or a wheel shape bar that goes around the shower valve trim set.  This is a way to camouflage these a bit more so they aren’t as dominantly visible as a traditional grab bar.

Shower valve grab barShampoo shelf grab bar

To install or not to install…that is the question!:

Customers often say that they are not ready for grab bars at the current moment but they want to consider them for the near future.  They’re concerned that it must be done now. Fortunately, there are a lot of new mounting systems that allow you to retrofit these grab bars in at a later date.

We hope this information was helpful to answer some of your questions about grab bars.

Please reach out to us at 800-ONE-WEEK to see how we may help with your remodel!