Choosing Bathroom Safety Bars & Rails For Seniors

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If you’re starting to get a little older you may not be quite as steady on your feet as you used to be. Many elderly people need a lot of help getting around the bathroom. Maybe just every once in a while they have a stumble. To overcome this, we often add safety features such as non-slip mats, roll-in showers, raise toilet seats, and add many other bathroom safety products.

Either way, getting safety grab bars and rails in your bathroom can be an excellent idea to keep you safe, just in case. Finding the right bars, however, isn’t as easy as just walking into the store (though you might think it is). For a start, they come under many guises, including bathroom grab bars, grab rails, toilet safety rails, bathtub grab bars, shower grab bars, support rails… the name list is endless. However, even though they ultimately mean the same thing, you also need to look at a variety of factors of the bathtub or shower rails to ensure total in-home care.

#1 Do You Want Permanent or Non-Permanent?

bathroom The first thing to consider is whether or not your bars or grab rails need to be permanently attached to the bathroom wall or if you’re not going to need them for long.

If you’ve just had a surgery, for example, or if you live in a rented building where you can’t install anything permanent, you may want to consider temporary bars that are easy to remove from the wall. These will often attach by suction cups and pressure but still provide a sturdy surface.

If you can install permanent bars, however, these are going to be even more sturdy and will keep you safer still, though you need to be able to find a stud or use strong bolts that will create a firm attachment. If your bars aren’t permanent you won’t want to put all of your weight on them at any time as the suction cups may fail, but a permanent bar should be able to hold your weight if necessary.

#2 Material

bath MaterialThe material that your bars are made with is very important. Plastic bars are not going to be as strong as others, though they aren’t going to rust and may not have as much wear on them.

They can look nice, though stainless steel is generally going to provide you with the sleekest option for looks and style. Grab bars do not have to look any certain way and can have different shapes, widths, lengths, and a whole lot more, so you can get some style to go along with the exact material that you choose.

Ideally, you’ll want stainless steel or another type of metal that isn’t going to rust. These will provide you with more durability and they’re going to look better in your bathroom as well, maybe even passing as a towel bar or other decorative element that you’ve added.

#3 Shape and Size

washroomThe specific shape and size of the bars is yet another important characteristic. You’ll want to make sure it’s large enough that you can get from one area to the next such as the door to the bathtub.

You can put more than one bar in to get across a longer distance as too long of a bar without supports can make it a problem if you need to put a lot of weight on the bar. You’ll also want to look at different shapes as a safety bar doesn’t have to be just a straight bar.

There are all different styles of bars and different ways that you can install them as well. You can put them at an angle, get curved bars, straight bars and a whole lot more, so you’ll definitely want to consider that when you’re shopping around.

#4 Quantity

bathroom tubeThe number of bars that you want is another important aspect to consider. Make sure you have enough bars that you can easily get around your bathroom, but not so many that it just looks overloaded. If you have a set number of bars that you need that’s probably enough.

You don’t need to stack bars on top of each other around the room if you’re going to be able to comfortably and easily get there with half that many. Instead, just make sure you have what’s going to make you feel safe and secure.

Bathroom bars can always be added if you find that you need even more of them. Maybe you are doing fine getting from the door to the tub but just need a bar to help you get out and in a few months you may need to add something else. That’s definitely fine and it will keep you safe.

#5 Installation

bathMake sure that when you do get your safety bars installed you’re getting it all done professionally. You don’t want to buy a bunch of bars and put them in only to find out that something is wrong and they’re not actually going to help you or support you when you really need them.

Having bars installed professionally can keep you from getting hurt when you were trusting those bars to keep you safe and protect you from slips and falls.

A professional is going to know how and where to find the studs and is also going to make sure that you have the bars at the right height and distance from each other. They’ll also be able to make some recommendations on the type of bars that you want and even the amount of weight that they’ll be able to hold so you can be better prepared.

There’s no reason not to get professional installation because it’s definitely going to be worth the cost and it’s going to allow you to get through your house and your bathroom without needing someone else there to help you, which is going to help you keep your independence.


Take a little time to ask yourself these important questions and consider the options before you start installing bars around your house. After all, you don’t want to have a bunch of them up when you don’t need them at all, right? But, you also don’t want them to be ill-suited to the trouble you have. You need bars that are going to be comfortable for you and also make sure that you can rely on them when you need to. Each of these options will help you decide what that is going to be.

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