How Long Should Bathroom Grab Bars Be?

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Grab bars are important for people who want to stand up in the shower. They also come in handy if you need to get out of the tub or if you feel like you might lose your balance.

When installing grab bars in the bathroom, one of the most common questions people ask is how long they should be. We’ll be looking at various aspects of the length of bathroom grab bars and other factors to help you understand better.

How Long Should Bathroom Grab Bars Be?


The standard bar size is around 32 inches long or the widest part of the shoulders. That way, when people grab hold, they are standing closer to the wall, which provides them with better stability. Other bars are around 24 inches long, but this size is for smaller bathrooms where space may be limited.

Understanding More on How Long Should Bathroom Grab Bars Be

The length of a grab bar is usually determined based on personal preference. Shorter bars are useful when they are used in a supporting role for balance or to steady yourself while standing in the shower, but longer bars are helpful when transferring from one seat to another in the bathroom, particularly when getting into or out of a bathtub. 

Good grab bar length in a bathroom is typically between 24 and 32 inches long. It should be installed far enough away from the shower to accommodate both grabbing it with an outstretched arm (to brace yourself while resting weight on it) at 6’6″ tall, without hitting your leg when standing inside the shower.

Grab bars should be installed according to your height and the distance from the wall or shower door. A good rule is to place the bar as high as you can comfortably reach while standing in front of it with your arms at your sides without hitting any parts of your body. 

Whatever surface you choose for installation, make sure that it can hold up under repeated pressure from people leaning against or transferring onto it without leaving permanent grooves in the surface over time.

Be sure to check governmental regulations that apply to bathrooms if you are planning on building a new house or doing extensive work to make an existing bathroom more accessible.

How Do You Install Grab Bars?

Grab bars are attached either by adhesive or drilling into walls. It’s best to choose one option and then install them throughout your bathroom for optimal support (rather than mixing and matching).

If you do decide to drill holes into your wall, make sure to use anchors that will keep the screws in place securely over time. Many people find their grab bars useful even after recovering fully from surgery or an illness.

Longer Bathroom Grab Bars Are Best

Grab bars should be as long as possible within your design layout. This option allows for a broader grip and better overall support because you can hold onto them at different angles depending on what you are trying to do. 

For example, if you want to use a grab bar behind your sink for getting from one countertop to another, it is much easier to get out of this area when you have something as far away as the other end of the bathroom to push off from.

Short bars only allow for a balance between two points which could make it easy to lose your footing if there is anything between you and either bar.

Variations for Bathroom Grab Bars

Grab bars come in all shapes and sizes. You may choose between having several shorter bars around your bathroom or just one long bar that spans across an entire wall of the room.

The best choice is typically based on personal preference regarding style preferences and size available within the space. Some common variations include:

-Grab bars that are installed by drilling into a wall and then screwing the bar in place. These tend to be much sturdier than adhesive options (see below) but may not fit every bathroom design.

-Adhesive grab bars can be applied directly to tiles or other clean, smooth surfaces without requiring any type of drilling. This makes them easy to install and move around if necessary.

-Free-standing grab bars can be placed anywhere within your home and used as needed. They do not need to be attached to a wall and can simply provide support for transferring from one surface to another.

Places to Install Grab Bars in the Bathroom

Ideally, grab bars should not just be in one place within a bathroom because it could potentially leave a person stranded if they only have one available spot to hold onto at any given time.

You may install several smaller grab bars in areas where you might need support when standing. Some of these areas are:

  • Near the Toilet – This is a common option and can be installed along one wall near the base of the toilet or on both sides at waist level for support while standing up from or sitting down onto the seat.
  • Near the Shower – Grab bars in this location should be placed at different heights to accommodate users of varying heights. For example, install one bar lower (at 5’6″) and another higher (at 6′). This will make it easy to hold onto one when getting into or out of the shower while steadying yourself with the other when simply standing within the shower itself.
  • In Front of/Behind a Sink – Grab bars in this area should be placed in front or behind a sink so they can be used to steady oneself when standing in front of it and transferring onto the seat or away from it. This will also keep them out of the way during sink usage.
  • Near a Door – To transfer out of a doorway or into a bathroom, install a grab bar at waist level along one side near the opening. This can help support your body’s weight as you lean towards it and brace yourself with the other arm before standing upright again. Installing multiple bars across different parts of your home is not just helpful but may also be required by law if you are planning extensive renovations.

Should Bathroom Grab Bars Be Horizontal, Vertical, or Slanting?

The best variation for bathroom grab bars is usually slanted. This option will help people to transfer onto whatever surface they are facing more easily because it provides a stable grip that is closer to the height of their hands rather than being level with them. 

If you prefer not to have your grab bars slanted, make sure to install one or two vertical bars at different heights around the room so users can choose whichever feels most comfortable.

You can also choose to install horizontal bars at waist level for people to grab onto while standing up from the toilet, transferring off of it, or if they cannot stand on their own at all.

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Grab Bars

There are several factors to consider when you are purchasing bathroom grab bars. An important specification for grab bars is their diameter.

This size will help determine how much strain they can take before potentially breaking, which makes choosing anti-slip options or those made of thick, strong materials like stainless steel an important consideration.

You will also want to consider any additional options, such as bars with built-in soap holders or small ledges for holding your toothbrush or other objects.

It is essential that you choose the best bathroom grab bars to preserve your independence and safety in your own home.

Make sure your installation plan includes more than one of these bars at different heights and distances from each other, as well as the option to secure them using more than just suction cups.

In addition to installing multiple bars, consider purchasing bars that are anti-slip or kid-friendly.

This way, no matter what you need a bar for, it will be available and thoroughly tested to meet your needs.

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