Grab bar

lindalpOctober 23, 2013

Planning on installing a "just in case", 18" to 24" grab bar for entering and exiting bath tub/ shower. Any suggestions for a grab bar that is less utilitarian looking, but functional if and when it may be needed?
TIA

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Babka NorCal 9b

Anybody can slip climbing into a bathtub, not just old people. Where you have water and soap and smooth surfaces... There are designer ones (Google for them) available that look like nice towel bars. We put in a (ugly)12" suction cup one in our guest bath just to see how one would work. They are not just for grabbing in an emergency, but can be simply a welcome touch place for balance, like the handrail on an escalator.

-Babka

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 3:51PM
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sjhockeyfan325

We're putting a small (12") one in each bathroom - the one we got is Kohler Purist -- it's a little more modern and less ugly than some of the utilitarian ones.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kohler Purist grab bar

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 3:54PM
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gabbythecat

I just received our grab bars - they're Moen, from Faucets Direct. One of them is 16 inch, with a small removable shelf. It looks nice - very non institutional, but sturdy and practical (who can't use more shelf space?). We have a tp holder/grab bar that is also practical and useful at the same time. Then, we have 2 24 inch grab bars (one for the shower and one for the "throne") that are just grab bars, but don't shriek "hospital". They are all ORB and will look very nice in our new MB. Our carpenters are installing the special studs for them right now.

Faucets Direct has another line of grab bars - the Ultima, I think. They look even *less* institutional (if possible), but they cost a lot more.

I am a firm believer in grab rails in at least one of the bathrooms in a house. You don't have to be elderly to break a leg or blow out a knee, and grab rails make a huge difference if you're on crutches and in a lot of pain. You also don't want to be hustling around after an injury trying to get *something* that will work... or worse yet tearing your other hardware (towel bar?) off the wall when you lean on it in desperation!

This post was edited by gladys1924 on Wed, Oct 23, 13 at 18:21

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 4:50PM
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enduring

I love the purist grab bars! But they are more expensive. Kohler has several that are still modern looking (but not as cool as the Purist) They are polished stainless so they will not rust. I have the "transitional" (I think is the name) in my first remodel. I have the "contemporary" for my current remodel.

I will have a 18" vertical bar placed at the entryway to the shower. Then a very long horizontal bar at the long side.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Smedbo bars are beautiful! We have the "air" installed. Love it.

-Babka

Here is a link that might be useful: Smedbo grab bars

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 8:57PM
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gabbythecat

Yeah, I would've done a vertical bar at the entry to our shower - I think it'd be very helpful to have one there. Except our side shower walls only go to 40 inches off the floor. Above that it's glass. A vertical bar that only goes to 39 inches or so doesn't seem like it would be helpful. :-(

I was thinking just now that if I *had* to get institutional looking bars - couldn't find "nice" ones, I'd still get the institutional ones. I think they're *that* important.

This post was edited by gladys1924 on Wed, Oct 23, 13 at 21:13

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 9:00PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Gladys1924- ANYTHING to hold onto, even under 40" from the floor (unless you are very, very tall), is helpful. Even a knob. I will agree with you that something to hold on to is VERY important, vertical or horizontal, long or short. These grabbing things do not have to look like they belong in nursing homes. They just need to be something that is WELL anchored to the surface. It is so easy to put blocking in the walls for the future when you are doing a gut remodel. It should be mandatory, IMHO.

-Babka

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 10:55PM
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writersblock

In addition to what Babka said, most entry grab bars are very short:

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 11:03PM
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gabbythecat

Nope. We've tried the vertical ones. At 38 inches down to 26 inches (for a 12 inch bar) - I'm not going to lean down that low when I step into the shower. Not going to happen. Dh and I are not short people, either. Of course, we are designing this bathroom to be "crutch/walker" accessible only. If either of us winds up in a w/c, then we'll go to a rehab home. We don't have the space for a w/c accessible MB. Our horizontal bar, which is inside the shower, and *fairly* close to the entry will have to work. Or use crutches until we get to the bar and the shower head (removable/on a slider) and bench.

I've actually talked to the PTs at my PT clinic about this issue. Also my sports medicine doc. My doc has been helping his aging parents retrofit their home to allow for the health issues they now face - not easy, far better if they would've planned their home as dh and I are doing. We are also planning for Essential Tremor, which I have and dh is at risk of developing.

This is very real life for me b/c I have seriously trashed knees and am headed for a knee replacement after we are in our house...I need grab bars NOW, actually.

Today I was in our shower - now that the pony walls are in place (yeah!), mentally taking a shower and thinking where the bars should go. Then I left the shower and went to "test" the toilet area (raised, ADA toilet there) for grab bar placement. I felt like I'd hit the luxury jackpot with our crutch/walker friendly bathroom. Once it's finished, I may never want to leave that room!

Yes, I agree that new construction/remodels should include the structural support for grab rails as a matter of routine. Better to plan ahead a bit. If you wind up needing those devices, you'll be glad for even "ugly" ones! It beats having to take sponge baths for 8 weeks, as I did once when we didn't have an accessible shower...

This post was edited by gladys1924 on Thu, Oct 24, 13 at 0:15

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 11:58PM
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writersblock

What about mounting one horizontally?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 12:41AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

I'm very sorry for your situation, Gladys. I hope you will be able to figure out something that works for you. :-)

I think the OP is looking for a "just in case", and I am just saying that a grab bar is useful all the time, not just in case. Horizontal, vertical, or slanted, whether or not you are abled or disabled.

-Babka

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 12:50AM
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M_N_A

i ordered these from homedepot. with 10% lowes matching and discounted gift card, they are really inexpensive

they are the MOEN Home Care Designer series


    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 3:50PM
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gabbythecat

Yup. One of the ones I got is the upper one - the one with a shelf. It looks very nice, the shelf is easily removable, but should still be very solid. We will have a built in, tiled shelf in our walk in shower, but extra shelf space in showers is always nice. Might be worth comparing prices at HD/Lowes and Faucet's Direct - I'm not sure which is the better deal.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 4:22PM
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annkathryn

I got this grab bar at Signature Hardware. I like that it's practical. From Downstairs Bath

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 8:09PM
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Katy60

We used two of the Moen grab/towel bars in the shower

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 8:15PM
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