275

Accessible Home Design: Grab Bars



These grab bars are retrofitted by installing them on a wood board that is, in turn, secured through the wall finish to the stud framing.
These grab bars are retrofitted by installing them on a wood board that is, in turn, secured through the wall finish to the stud framing.

There are no hard-and-fast rules regarding optimum grab bar installations. The best location is determined by the bar’s intended use and the individual user’s body size and capacities. A child’s grab bar, for example, is installed much lower than one for an adult. Similarly, a grab bar for a standing bather would be mounted higher than one intended for a seated bather.

Grab bars are available in different sizes, finish materials, and colors. Most grab bars have a diameter of either 1 inch, 1 1/4 inches, 1 1/2inches. Before purchasing grab bars, test the


The mounting board length should be adjusted to span horizontally between the existing vertical studs in the location that you have selected. The retrofitted grab bar is then attached securely to the mounting board that is, in turn, screwed to the wall at each stud that it crosses. (Click to Enlarge)
The mounting board length should be adjusted to span horizontally between the existing vertical studs in the location that you have selected. The retrofitted grab bar is then attached securely to the mounting board that is, in turn, screwed to the wall at each stud that it crosses. (Click to Enlarge)

diameter to make sure that it is comfortable for your grip. Commercial grab bars are usually installed 1 1/2 inches away from the adjacent wall. This distance is wide enough to grip the bar, but narrow enough to prevent your hand from inadvertently slipping between the bar and the wall. Standard grab bars that project farther from the wall and fold up when not in use are also available.

Grab bars are made of materials that will not rust, such as chrome-plated or stainless steel, polished brass, and plastic. There are no functional differences among these option so choices are usually based on aesthetics and cost.


Copyright Paralyzed Veterans of America





For more in-depth information on making your home accessible, follow this link to purchase the PVA’s second edition of Accessible Home Design: Architectural Solutions for the Wheelchair Users or buy it directly from Amazon.