What is the Best Material for a Shower Grab Bar? (Lots of Options!)

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Updated:

Stainless steel is the most popular - and best - material for shower grab bars because it is strong, durable, and resistant to rust and corrosion. But there are other choices to consider too.

Best Material for a Shower Grab Bar
Share Post: | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn | Email

Income Disclosure: Product recommendations are based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. Learn More.

Shower grab bars can make all the difference regarding balance and safety in the bathroom.

But, you want to make sure you choose the best shower grab bars that are made from materials that hold up to moisture, don’t rust, and will continue to look good over years of extended use.

Best Materials for Building Shower Grab Bars

So, what are the best materials for building shower grab bars?

Here is a list of the most popular materials, their benefits, and their drawbacks.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the most popular material for shower grab bars, and generally speaking, it’s the best overall material for a shower grab bar. It is strong, durable, and resistant to rust and corrosion.

The main drawback of stainless steel is that it can be cold to the touch and sometimes feel slippery, though most manufacturers of stainless steel grab bars either treat the stainless steel or add small rivets or grip-friendly designs to help counter that potential issue.

Zinc-plated steel is an off-shoot, which also solves this problem by adding zinc plating over the top of the shower grab bar. Zinc is a niche option, but it’s a material combination that can work very well.

best material for a shower grab bar chrome
Chrome is a material that is durable and resistant to rust.

Chrome

Chrome is another popular material for shower grab bars. Like stainless steel, it is strong, durable, and resistant to rust and corrosion.

The main drawback of chrome is that it can also be cold to the touch and feel slippery, and for some people, it’s a bit “too bright” and can clash with everyday bathroom aesthetics.

Brushed Nickel

Brushed nickel is a material that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It has a warm, satin-like finish that is less likely to feel cold or slippery and looks warm from a design standpoint.

The main drawback of brushed nickel is that it is not as durable as stainless steel or chrome and can show fingerprints and smudges more easily, which isn’t great from a visual point of view. Still, a brushed nickel shower grab bar is a great way to go when it comes to pure functionality.

Brass

Brass grab bars aren’t nearly as common, but they offer a very interesting option regarding grab bar material. Brass is a warm, traditional material that has been used for centuries.

Most people have moved away from it because stainless steel and chrome are much more durable than brass, especially when bringing in water, moisture, humidity, etc.

If you choose brass because of the beautiful old-school aesthetic, keep in mind you might need to replace it every so many years to keep up the appearance.

best material for a shower grab bar plastic
Plastic grab bars are more affordable than metal grab bars.

Plastic

Plastic is a less popular material for shower grab bars, but it has its benefits. Plastic is often less expensive than metal grab bars, and it is also lighter weight. The main drawback of plastic is that it is not as strong or durable as metal, and it can become brittle over time.

It’s not nearly as reliable an option as the other materials mentioned earlier.

RELATED: Can You Install Grab Bars in a Fiberglass Shower?

What Material is Best for a Shower Grab Bar?

So, what is the best material for a shower grab bar? The answer depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for a grab bar that is strong and durable, then stainless steel or chrome is a good choice.

Brushed nickel is a good choice if you are looking for a grab bar with a warm, satin-like finish. And if you are looking for a grab bar that is less expensive and lighter weight, then plastic is a good choice.

Ultimately, the best material for a shower grab bar will vary from bathroom to bathroom, but many interesting material options are available.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

Join Our Crew!

Enter your email address to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to get updates on new guides for seniors and the elderly and savings on senior-friendly products. And, of course, we will never sell or share your email address!

Leave a Comment