The most important consideration in locating your grab bars is to ensure that they are positioned where they will be best at helping you move laterally and vertically as you perform your daily living activities. Your input into the location of grab bars and other fall prevention devices is very important. You should insist that you have a say in the location of your grab bars.
There are several ways to decide where to locate a grab bar but one of my favorites is to simulate your movements in your house as you perform your daily activities. Have someone with you as you enter your house, move room to room and around each room and perform you daily living activities (DLA).
Ask your helper to take notes and observe your movements and the degree of difficulty. Mark the positions where you would normally reach for something to grab onto. Mark where you want the ends of each grab bar with blue painters’ tape.
For example, with the assistance of your helper, practice getting into or out of the bathtub or shower. Observe where your hands would go for support as you enter the tub or shower and then where your hands would best support you as you stand to take a shower. (We’ll show you the ADA guidelines in another blog – but you should feel secure with the placement of the grab bar)
The general rule of thumb is to mount horizontal grab bars so that their centerline is 34 inches to 36 inches above the floor
The bottom of vertical grab bars is also typically mounted at a height of 34 to 36 inches above the floor
If you are able to lower yourself into the tub, then decide what height to place a horizontal grab bar that would allow you to do so safely
Mark where you want your new grab bars on your walls with painters’ tape and on our printable Floor Plans and use our Order List to keep track of how many grab bars you will need, their size, style, grip, finish.
Grab bars help you support your body as you move laterally or vertically. So you want to use a grab bar or other fall prevention device such as: