Can You Install Grab Bars in a Fiberglass Shower? (It’s Possible!)

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

Yes! You can install grab bars in a fiberglass shower, but it is a bit trickier than some installations and not for the faint of heart! Here are the details.

Install Grab Bars in a Fiberglass Shower
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As individuals get older, injuries from falls can be severe. Additional safety steps like installing grab bars are essential steps to help improve in-bathroom safety. 

However, a good question arises: can you install grab bars in a fiberglass shower? 

The great news is Yes! You can install grab bars securely on fiberglass showers. This is 100% a viable option, although it will take some special consideration.

Shower grab bars are one of the best safety features for any bathroom, but especially for those who are elderly or have limited mobility. They provide safety and stability when getting in and out of the shower and can help prevent falls.

Installing Grab Bars in a Fiberglass Shower

The first thing to remember is that grab bars must be anchored correctly to provide the necessary support.

The bars need to be attached to studs in the wall or another strong support. But that is a challenge when dealing with fiberglass rather than a conventional tiled shower, ceramic, or wood studs.

Solution 1: Use Compatible Mounting Brackets

The good news is that many compatible mounting brackets are designed specifically for use with fiberglass. The trademarked “The Solid Mount” is one option.

Still, many mounting brackets will work with fiberglass to give a solid support base where grab bars can attach without damaging the fiberglass or causing other issues.

install grab bars in a fiberglass shower drilling brackets
Have a professional work on drilling into fiberglass.

Solution 2: Drilling Brackets into the Fiberglass

Fiberglass can be tricky, so this may not be a DIY task. While some direct drilling can be done for brackets, use compatible mounting brackets that work with fiberglass instead of actual drilling to set up a conventional anchor for more traditional brackets.

If you decide to drill into fiberglass, have a professional do the work, as drilling into fiberglass can be extremely tricky and cause problems if done incorrectly.

Solution 3: Extra Powerful Suction Cup System

There are suction cup systems designed to work with fiberglass and be a permanent or semi-permanent placement. Suction cup grab bars can be a viable option.

But, this is the least popular option because suction cup grab bars cannot support a person’s full weight. Pressing your weight down onto one causes a high chance of failure compared to a permanently attached grab bar. 

This risk of failure is unacceptable when it comes to the health and safety of our loved ones, right? They could be a temporary measure for seniors who need minimal help just to steady themselves while you have a better solution installed. 

RELATED: What is the Best Material for Shower Grab Bars?

Important Grab Bar Installation Considerations

Most brackets rely on wall strength, but this doesn’t work with fiberglass. However, fiberglass anchors are available, which will make it possible to attach the grab bars. 

The most challenging part of the installation will be adequately sealing the grab bars to prevent water damage.

You must seal the holes where the bars attach to the fiberglass shower properly to prevent water from getting behind the shower.

Water penetration leads to mold, mildew, and even rotting of the wooden studs and floors behind the shower wall.

There are various ways to seal grab bars, including caulk or epoxy.

A Better Safer Shower

Installing grab bars properly into a fiberglass shower does take extra consideration, but it is viable and will provide better bathroom safety.

Sources:

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.

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