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A Bar, Is a Bar, is a Bar … Or Is It?

By Hampton, Jane; Access Press,
Publication Date: September 10, 2006

Column offers advice in selecting and installing grab bars for a shower stall. Grab bars need to be sturdy enough to support a person’s weight. According to state building codes and federal accessibility guidelines for public buildings, grab bars must be installed to support a minimum of 250 pounds. To hold the bars properly, additional wood or structural material needs to be added to the shower walls. For a molded fiberglass shower stall, the issue of concern is the space between the fiberglass and stud walls; the column recommends a product called The Solid Mount that attaches to the wall stud, filling the hollow space, sealing the hole, and leaving a safe mounting surface. A grab bar measuring one and a quarter to one and a half inch in diameter is recommended. When mounted to the wall, it should provide a clearance no greater than one and one half inch, to prevent the user’s arm from slipping through. Various materials and styles of grab bars are discussed, as are issues such as the risk of rust, visibility of screws, and flange thickness.
Published by: Access Press   (Website:

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