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Where to Install Grab Bars For Aging In Place

September 1, 2019

Aging in place is the idea that as an individual ages, they will remodel their home to provide the safety they need instead of selling their home and moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility.  While installing grab bars are the first thing people think of when referring to aging in place, grab bars can help prevent slips & falls no matter who's using them.  Below we outline where you can install grab bars in your home to provide the added safety and security you need no matter what age you are.

Less Is More

When considering the location of where to place grab bars throughout your bathroom, remember the concept of less is more.  You'll want to strategically place grab bars near areas in the bathroom that you use often.  Two of the most common areas for grab bars are inside the shower and next to the toilet.  You can also place a grab bar next to the sink to provide extra support.

Bathtubs vs. shower stalls

The rule of thumb for installing grab bars in bathtubs as compared to shower stalls is simple:


  • Vertical bar on the faucet end wall should go near the faucet handles.

  • Horizontal bar should go along the side wall, 34-36 inches above the floor.

  • Vertical entrance bar should go close to the shower door jamb.

Shower Stalls:

  • Horizontal bar should be attached to the side wall and should be as long as possible. It should be about 30 inches up from the finished

  • Another vertical bar should be attached to the faucet end wall near the faucet handles.

  • Vertical entrance bar should be installed on the wall opposite the faucet.

Water Closets

For a water closet to be ADA compliant, there must be a grab bar along the side and back walls.  For the back wall, or wall behind the toilet, a minimum 36 inch grab bar must be installed with at least 12 inches extending from the centerline of the water closet to the side wall.  The side wall requirement is a 42 inch grab bar with 12 inches of space between the back wall and end of the grab bar.  Toilet paper dispensers should always be installed below the grab bars located on side walls. 

The main thing to note with installing grab bars in water closets are the varying height requirements.  Grab bars should be installed between 33 and 36 inches above the finished floor for adults and for homes or locations serving children ages 3 through 12:

For ages 3-4, the grab bar height should be 18-20 inches.

For ages 5-8, the grab bar height should be 20-25 inches.

For ages 9-12, the grab bar height should be 25-27 inches.

Not just for the bathroom

That's right, grab bars have use outside the bathroom as well.  Some homeowners think outside the box and use our stylish teak grab bars as handrails to match their wooden stairs.  The multi-functional use of grab bars also extends to being used as towel racks in the bathroom or can even be used as toilet paper holders.

To learn more about where to install grab bars and to see the other grab bar styles available to you, contact Great Grabz today.

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