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How to Install Handicap Bathroom Rails or Grab Bars

How to Install Handicap Bathroom Rails or Grab Bars

Bathroom safety grab bars and Handicap Bathroom Handrails provide support and added safety in a bathroom. Installing handicap bathroom rails or Grab Bars is not only safety insurance for the aged and handicapped, but for anyone who climbs into a bathtub or shower. Standing on a porcelain finish made even more slippery by soap and shampoo can be a challenge for even the strongest and most healthy. Everyone needs something substantial to grab onto in a bathtub or shower when they become unstable or are about to fall. You owe it to yourself, members of your family, and guests who might use your shower or bathtub to give them this security by building in a secure bathroom handicap rail. Here’s how you can do it:

Handicap Bathroom Rails or Grab Bar photo

Tools and Materials Needed

* Stud finder
* Electric, reversible drill
* Carbide drill bit
* Grab bar
* Silicon caulk
* Non-rusting screws
* Marker

Step 1 – Plan to Install Your Rails in the Right Position

When you are getting in or out of a bathtub or shower, you’ll most likely need something secure to hold onto. To keep yourself from falling in these situations, a horizontal bar or one installed at an angle of 45-degrees will provide the greatest security. As you begin to fall downward and the weight of you body pulls on a grab bar, your hand is more likely to slip downward on a vertically installed bar.

Step 2 – Plan to Install Your Rails at the Right Height

You are more likely to break your fall in a bathtub or shower if are gripping a solid bar and your arm is fully extended before you come in contact with the bottom of the tub or shower. Install your bar an average of 33″ to 35″ higher than the tub floor.

Step 3 – Locating and Attaching to Wall Studs

Wall studs are typically 16″ apart. Most handicap rails are 24″ long. This means you’ll need to slant your rail 45 degrees when you install it. Use your stud finder to locate the two studs you’ll want to anchor your rail to. Hold your rail against the wall, each end positioned at one of these studs. Make other marks in the rails screw holes, showing where you’ll need to insert your screws.

Step 4 – Drilling Your Screw Holes

You may need to drill your holes through porcelain tile. If this is the case, use a small, carbon tip drill bit, smaller in diameter than your mounting screw. Use the reverse setting on your drill as you begin to drill. This will aid in your keeping the bit from skipping. When you have an indention in the tile, change your drill to the forward setting and slowly drill your hole. When you have your holes drilled, change your bit to one large enough that it will hold the screws in place. To avoid cracking your tile as you drill, use a bit that is slightly larger in diameter than your screws.

Step 5 – Attaching Your Bar

Hold your bar ends over the drilled holes and carefully drive in your screws through the bar holes, through the tile, and into the wall studs. Apply grout to your screws before inserting them. This will prevent water from entering the holes. Be careful when you tighten the screws. Turning them too tight may crack your tiles.

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