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Guide to Toilet Grab Bar Placement (Sizes and Locations)

Guide to Toilet Grab Bar Placement (Sizes and Locations)

Toilet grab bars should be placed across the back of the toilet and along the closest wall to the toilet. The ideal set up is to have grab bars on both sides of the toilet.
Toilet Grab Bar Placement
Toilet Grab Bar Placement
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A safe bathroom for ourselves and our loved ones is necessary. A toilet grab bar is a piece of equipment that can help provide additional stability, balance, and safety in the bathroom, but only if properly installed.

Types of Toilet Grab Bars

There are a few different types of toilet grab bars, but one of the most popular is the U-shaped bar. This type of bar goes around the toilet and provides support from both the front and the back. The close options for multiple places to grip the bar make it a popular choice.

U-shaped bars aren’t the only grab bars available.

There are also L-shaped bars, which only provide support from the back, and straight bars, which can be placed anywhere in the bathroom and aren’t as popular with most, but they offer another safety setup that can be used in a bathroom with challenging space issues.

To learn more, read our guide to the best toilet grab bars for toilets.

The Importance of Proper Grab Bar Installation

The most important thing to remember when installing toilet grab bars is that they must be properly anchored. All types of grab bars must be mounted into a solid backing, ideally into the studs in the wall. This will ensure that the bar can support the weight of whoever uses it.

Failure to properly anchor the grab bar could result in it coming loose and causing an accident, which defeats the purpose of having the grab bars installed in the first place.

There are a few different ways to install toilet grab bars, but the most important thing is to ensure they are secure. If you are unsure about your ability to install a grab bar properly, it is best to consult with a professional.

They will be able to ensure that the bar is installed correctly and will help you choose the right type of bar for your needs.

toilet grab bars be placed ADAPin
The ADA guidelines exist to ensure maximum safety and support for the elderly or disabled.

ADA Guidelines for Installing Grab Bars

There are specific guidelines from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that must be followed when installing grab bars in a bathroom. These guidelines ensure that the grab bars are correctly placed and can provide the necessary support.

The first guideline is that there must be a grab bar on both sides of the toilet. This supports someone who may need to use the toilet from either side. The grab bars must be placed 33-36 inches above the floor, and they should be at least 42 inches long when they are next to the toilet.

These guidelines exist because careful testing has been done to ensure maximum safety and support for the elderly or disabled. Following these guidelines is crucial to ensure you get the most out of the grab bars creating safety within the bathroom.

Grab bars are a vital part of making a bathroom safe for everyone. By following the ADA guidelines, you can be sure that the grab bars in your bathroom are correctly installed and will provide the additional support, balance, and safety that is necessary.

So how long should a grab bar be next to a toilet?

So how long should a grab bar be next to a toilet?

According to the American Disabilities Act, for a grab bar in a bathroom to be the appropriate length, it should be at least 42 inches long, and there should be one on each side of the toilet.

Now, this focuses on public buildings and disability-friendly bathrooms found in buildings out in public. There are plenty of old apartments or houses where finding the space for a 42-inch long grab bar is not viable. What should a person do in this situation?

It is important to look for the best possible setup in whatever bathroom you are looking at where toilet grab bars should be placed. Ideally, this means finding a section both to the right and the left of the toilet where putting in some type of a grab bar is a viable option.

If these two areas can be relatively even, and both grab bars can be about the same length, that’s ideal. Having longer grab bars is also an excellent idea to give people the most area to grab. But, don’t put your grab bars more that 12 inches from the edge of the toilet.

Based on arm or shoulder stiffness, sometimes a person might want to grab high, while some days they might not want to stretch so much to support themselves.

how long grab bar next to a toilet longerPin
Long and circular grab bars are a good choice.

Longer Grab Bars Are Better

Even if the 42-inches recommended by ADA guidelines for public buildings and bathrooms are not viable at home, looking for longer grab bars is still a good idea.

If 36-inches is the length that can work in a cramped old bathroom, then that’s the one to choose.

Make sure the grab bar is circular. Remember, these aren’t towel racks. If you want the full support these are supposed to offer, that includes having a safe grip. That means long grab bars that are circular and on both sides of the toilet.

Within those parameters, you might be limited by things beyond your control or the unique challenges that some houses can create (like rural houses built in the late 1800s before indoor plumbing) but work with what you have.

Even in very cramped bathrooms, there should be space for 24-inch grab bars, though you may have to get creative with how to an

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Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

With over 20 years of experience and certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® and Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®, Scott Grant provides reliable recommendations to help seniors maintain independence through informed product and service choices for safe, comfortable living.

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