Q:

How do bathtub safety bars work?

A:

Quick Answer

Bath tub safety bars work by providing a grab place to hold when getting in and out of the bath. They help to prevent slips and falls and give a user added stability and leverage. For a safer entry and exit, a vertical grab bar can be installed inside a shower area 18 to 24 inches from the shower head.

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Full Answer

A smaller grab bar works well for this purpose, although a longer one may be needed when accommodating users of various heights. When installing inside a bath enclosure, the grab bar should be positioned horizontally, about 36 inches from the tub bottom in order to provide a convenient hold place for the user to raise up from a seated position. To step in and out of a bath, a vertical bar can be installed at the edge of the tub to provide a handrail.

If a user lacks grip strength, bars with smaller diameters work best. Bars with a textured finish, rather than one that is glossy, also help to make gripping and holding easier, especially with wet hands. Some grab bars are specifically designed to mount vertically, horizontally or in some cases, both. Before installing, a user should climb in and out of the bath, to get a clear idea of where to place the bars.

Always mount grab bars into a stud that is located behind the wall. If a stud can’t be located, it is necessary to use an anchoring device. Consider purchasing grab bars from retailers that can also provide an installer such as Lowes or Home Depot to ensure that the bar is properly mounted and secure.

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