As you go through life, small household chores that you used to do without even thinking may start to become a challenge. In fact, many of these can become dangerous – especially if you are an older individual, or someone who struggles with their mobility.
Going for a shower or bath is a prime example of such a chore. While you may not think about the issues of doing such a simple act, you may actually face many potential risks such as slipping while stepping out of your shower or tub, or just experiencing less stability as you stand upright.
Thankfully, there are steps that you can implement in your life to prevent unnecessary injuries when you are in your bathroom in the form of anti-slip grip equipment. This includes bath and shower mats, and, more notably, shower standing handles, which provide you with the strength and support you need to remain upright while you wash.
Overall, shower standing handles are extremely useful tools. But how do you know which type would suit you best? And how do you go about choosing, buying, and then installing one in your bathroom?
That’s where we come in. This guide will take you through the necessary steps to figure out the exact shower standing handles that you require, how and where they can be installed, and the many other things you need to know.
The Basics Of A Shower Standing Handle
Shower standing handles, or “grab bars”, are useful bathroom accessories that are typically used by individuals needing a little extra help moving from one position into another while in the shower or bathtub. Their installation position on the wall of your shower will directly impact how useful and effective they are.
Shower standing handles have a sole purpose of providing its user with a sturdy surface to grip onto while in the shower, or as a bath safety grab bar when it is needed. They are usually a contemporary design using either aluminum or plastic as a core material.
These handles come in several sizes, but when purchasing a handle of your own, you need to match it to the overall abilities of the user and the measurements of your shower.
The handle is also often made of a soft rubber material that doesn’t cause any discomfort when you are using it. With this padding, users can use their hands to apply friction to the poles rather than relying solely on suction cups.
Who Benefits From A Shower Standing Handle?
The simple answer: those who require a bit of extra stability or leverage when standing in their bathtub. Some of the most common groups who might benefit from shower standing handles include:
- Those recovering from surgery, or suffering with an injury that is largely affecting their balance or mobility.
- Individuals suffering with arthritis.
- Elderly individuals.
Individuals struggling with mobility limitations will also greatly benefit from this tool. However, we’d recommend always consulting a medical practitioner prior to installing and using this type of product – especially if you suffer from a heart condition.
Having this clearance might be a good idea as this type of medical condition can cause extreme amounts of unnecessary stress on your body which, even with the extra support, could result in an injury.
Advantages Of Shower Standing Handles
Shower standing handles are extremely useful tools that help to amplify user safety as much as possible. We have outlined some of the most prominent benefits of using shower standing handles below:
- They are relatively easy to use and install, but you can seek professional support if you run into any issues.
- It can be adjusted to the height of the user, so that you don’t have to worry about where you are standing while bathing.
- The shower standing handle offers more flexibility for individuals who struggle with bathing because they don’t need to attach it to the wall. It’s portable and doesn’t have to be permanently installed.
- If you suffer from balance issues or are generally quite unstable while standing upright, this will provide you with extra security when taking a bath.
- They provide aid for disabled individuals who may need a helping hand while also retaining their independence.
- Provides support for the older generation who may be losing physical strength and balance.
- Will result in lower odds of slipping or falling in a shower where the floor is wet and dangerous.
Shower Standing Handle: A Brief Buyer’s Guide
There are two main types of shower standing rails for you to choose between; removable, and fixed.
Removable shower standing handles aren’t the best choice if you want to support the entire weight of your body. This is purely because they depend on strong suction to grip onto the walls.
Unfortunately, this may mean that they are not as secure as fixed rails, and might not give you the type of support that you require.
However, they can be easily moved around if necessary, and can also be utilized if you want to travel.
Fixed shower standing handles, on the other hand, are more secure and make for a far safer showering experience. They are usually attached to the wall of your bathroom, and usually arrive with non-slip rubber bottoms to ensure your safety.
The disadvantage is that they take some effort to install and they are quite difficult to move once they have been situated. They are also a little more expensive than removable rails as they require professional installation, although there’s nothing preventing you from installing it yourself if you have the right set of instructions.
Shower standing handles can be found in a variety of sizes, although the typical size ranges between 9 and 42 inches. A handle that has been installed on your shower wall will provide you with much-needed assistance getting in and out of your shower if you need it.
To achieve this, it should be approximately 24 inches in length. This sized bar can also be angled to suit individuals of differing heights who may be living in the same household. Aside from standing support, these handles are also great for seated positions.
However, a shower standing handle that can be more effectively used as an aid for balance cannot be less than 12 inches in length.
There are no official height standard figures for standing shower handles. Instead, there are applicable ranges that need to be considered when figuring out the best height for a shower standing handle to be positioned at.
You should position horizontal handles at a height anywhere between 33-36 inches up from the floor of your bath, bathroom, or shower. But we’d recommend simply using this figure as a loose guideline rather than treating it as an exact figure!
Instead, you should shift your focus onto ensuring that the shower handle is situated at a height level that best suits the person who will be using it.
What Is The Weight Capacity Of A Shower Standing Handle?
A fixed grab bar that has been properly installed should have the capacity to support up to 250 pounds. However, removable shower handles do not come with the guarantee to safely hold this type of weight!
So, when you find yourself in the process of choosing a supporting bar for your shower, it is in your best interest to select a product that is compliant with ADA guidelines.
This means finding a bar that can support up to 500 pounds of weight. You must check if it is the right kind of product in accordance with the stature and needs of the individual who will be utilizing it. Put simply: does it meet their needs according to their reduced mobility?
Best Shower Handles Currently Available To Buy
Permanent Shower Handles
This type of standing shower handle is far safer than their portable/removable counterpart.
This is largely because they are usually made with more durable materials, and the fact that they are secured directly into your bathroom wall, rather than just connected to the surface of the wall. They also require a lot more effort and time to install.
If you’re looking for a basic shower standing handle for your bathroom wall, this product by Vive is a great option!
This particular model is constructed using sturdy stainless steel which not only makes it corrosion-resistant, but also an exceptional tool to ensure user safety. As a result, it can comfortably support up to 500 pounds – meaning you can put all of your body weight on it without having to worry.
The Vive stainless steel grab bar has a diameter of 1.25 inches, creating an easy, secure grip for all hand sizes. It arrives with all the necessary anchors and screws, and can be installed directly into fiberglass, drywall, and acrylic surfaces at your own convenience.
In terms of design, this model also offers something for everyone. You have the choice between 3 different length options (12”, 16”, and 24”) to find a handle that best supports you. It also comes in multiple color options including white, brushed nickel, and black satin which seamlessly blend in with the majority of home decor.
It is also a completely versatile product. You can also easily mount this metal grab bar horizontally, diagonally, or vertically. However, this depends on your exact needs.
- Stainless steel construction – This Vive shower standing handle is durable, sturdy, and corrosion resistant, which ensures the longevity of the product.
- Low price point – You don’t have to break the bank to get a great quality shower standing handle!
- Comes in a variety of sizes – You can find a bar to fit exactly where you require it the most.
- Won’t Attach to Every Surface – If you want to securely install the product on ceramic tiles, you will need to purchase (and use) additional mounting hardware.
This Gotega product is great if you’re planning to create a bathroom set up for an older individual, or someone with reduced mobility, who requires a range of support handles that must be properly secured in and around their bathroom.
Both bars have an approximate diameter of .98 inches and are 12 inches in length. Its stainless steel construction makes the product resistant to rust and corrosion, and ensures an increased rate of user safety as each of the bars will be able to support weight anywhere up to the 500 pounds range.
The use of stainless steel also ensures the longevity of the product, so you won’t have to buy replacements very often. Screws and flanges are also included with the product to ensure that the installation process is as simple and convenient as possible.
Thanks to this relatively straightforward installation process, you have the choice between installing it yourself or employing the help of a professional.
- Sturdy – You can trust in this product to give you the support you want when you require it the most.
- Easy to Install – The product arrives with everything you’ll need to correctly install it, and is quite straightforward regardless.
- Affordable – You’re almost getting a ‘2 for 1’ deal with these shower supports because the price is so low.
- Lightweight Feel – You might not feel as supported by these shower standing handles as you would with others because they are so light.
Moen’s Flip-Up Bathroom shower standing handle is ideal for anyone and everyone who needs it. The bar can easily be flipped up when it isn’t needed, meaning it won’t take up valuable space in your bathroom.
It also means that the product is ready for anyone who does need it. This Moen supportive bar is 30 inches long, can support up to around 300 pounds, and also has a diameter of 1.25 inches. Plus, it has a beautiful stainless finish that is highly reflective and very long-lasting.
The mounting hardware and rust-proof design make it easy to install in any type of bathroom without the added worry of whether it will corrode over time. The product is also very lightweight, meaning it can be lifted and positioned by anyone.
However, elderly or disabled individuals may find that they require additional help to install this in their bathroom as they don’t have access to a full range of motion.
- It is versatile – You can fit this product into any bathroom thanks to its timeless appeal.
- Provides adequate support – This shower standing handle supports up to around 300 lbs.
- Rustproof design – Stainless steel makes it very durable.
- Higher price point – This shower standing handle is at the higher end of the price range for this item.
Portable Shower Handles
Shower handles that can be removed require more frequent maintenance and also aren’t as secure as their fixed counterpart. If you choose this type, you will need to carry out more frequent inspections to make sure it is properly aligned against the wall.
However, they take seconds to install and are also easily able to be moved and relocated according to the demands of the user. Shower handles that can be attached quickly and easily are also ideal for travel because they can be detached whenever you need them to be.
They are the perfect way for you to secure your safety and keep your independence no matter where you are.
This product is a great option if you must immediately install a couple of shower standing handles at a moment’s notice. Its suction grip is designed for use on smooth surfaces such as dry tile, glass, or fiberglass and cannot be used on a line of grout. Some people may find this to be a major disadvantage, but it doesn’t always have to be!
The handle should be placed in the optimum position prior to each use so that the handle is secure, and so that the suction does not lose any strength over the course of time. This particular product is an aide as it doesn’t have the capacity to support your body weight.
- Easy installation – It is entirely tool free installation thanks to the use of suction cups. Simply press firmly into place and lock down the levers to fully secure.
- Convenient – You can take these bars off the wall whenever you need to. It makes re-designing and re-organizing the space a little easier.
- Multipurpose Sturdy Design – These shower handles are not only great as bathtub and shower support for the individual user, but are also great as storage for your clothes and towels.
- Not Entirely Stable – These portable bars cannot support your full body weight.
The Safe-er-Grip suction bath and shower handle is 16” in length and comes in a minimalistic yet highly effective ghost white with gray accent color. Bathroom tiles must be at least 4×4 inches for the handle to be snugly and securely fitted against the wall. This is important as it doesn’t have the capacity to be mounted over a line of grout.
This device features suction cups which means that it must be applied to non-porous, flat, and smooth surfaces for optimum use. When suction is at its strongest, this product can also support around 225 pounds!
Additionally, this shower standing handle has textured rubber for enhanced grip which ensures user safety and your overall comfort levels. We’d recommend removing and re-fitting the bar as often as you can to check that the suction is still properly working.
All you need to do is flip all latches downwards to engage the suction, and then flip them back up in order to release it.
- Great Design – The plastic material and neutral color palette means that this product can blend in seamlessly with nearly any bathroom design.
- Non-Slip – The addition of textured rubber onto this handle ensures comfort and an increased sense of safety.
- Easy to Apply – As long as you apply this product to a non-textured surface, you should find installation to be quite simple.
- Not Very Sturdy – This item must be reattached before each use, and cannot hold full body weight.
Should Shower Standing Handles be Vertical Or Horizontal?
Handrails that are used to aid security when stepping into and out of the shower should be vertical. The bottom of the grip should be at the height of your elbow when standing with your arms at your sides.
This bar could be used to help one get into standing position, but it is too low to use safely for support once you are standing.
Horizontal rails are more useful for providing assistance with balance when standing in the shower. Horizontal rails should be placed on the same side as the shower wall at around the height of your belly button.
This horizontal rail can be used when you are standing in the shower as well as when you are stepping into the shower.
Are They Easy To Install?
These bars are pretty easy to install in your toilet shower or bathtub areas. They should be installed on the back wall and control wall of the shower stall to give you some much-needed support to safely stand or even sit down.
Installing Shower Standing Handles
As we’ve established, you only need to “install” permanent shower standing handles, which isn’t an impossible job as long as you have the correct instructions and tools to do so.
Choose a location for installing the handle. You should install handles on any surface that’s strong enough to hold your weight without moving or shifting.
However, enamel or plastic should only have handles installed professionally because they could permanently damage the surface if not done correctly.
The vast majority of weight limits are determined by using a secure mount or installing bars in a stud. Shower handles that haven’t been properly installed cannot support the weight they claim to be able to hold.
This means it is absolutely essential that you carefully follow the instructions if you choose to install the product yourself.
Fixed handles and bars may also require tools and at least some knowledge of carpentry. In addition to the mounting brackets and screws that arrive in the package with the handle itself, you will need a few other tools for the process. Some of these include:
- Stud finder
- Power drill
- Tile cutting device (optional)
You must also follow these steps:
- Locate wall studs.
- Mark out spots on your wall that will show you where you need to drill. Make sure you have measured these so that they are installed in the correct position to provide optimum support for the user.
- Pre-drill the holes into your bathroom wall stud to show you exactly where the shower standing handle will eventually be mounted.
- You should then attach a secure mount (or something similar).
- Ensure the handle is secure and flush against the wall, as per the manufacturer instructions.
- Test out the weight. Hold on to the handle and try putting a little of your weight onto it to see if it is secure.
Or, if you’re a little unsure, you could ask a professional handyman or builder to do the job for you. This is probably your best bet if you are not very good at DIY, or don’t have the right kind of tools or knowledge to get the job done.
Suction-type handles, on the other hand, are self-explanatory and don’t require any additional tools to attach them to your walls. You simply create a seal with the suction cup, secure it, and then it is ready for you to use!
Before installing the product, remove any protective paper from the adhesive backing of the suction cups (if they’re there). Make sure there isn’t any dirt or debris in the holders so they will stick properly when pressed into place.
Position the handle against the wall at the desired height, then press down on the suction cups until they click. You may have to press quite hard to get them firmly stuck to the walls.
Buying and installing shower standing handles doesn’t have to be all that difficult. When you are looking to buy a permanent shower standing handle for your bathroom, you must consider the size that you need, the type of handle, your height, your age, and even your weight.
These are all essential factors that determine whether the handle will be an effective support for you when you require it.
Portable shower standing handles are a different case. All you really need to think about with these are whether you will truly benefit from the temporary fix they provide, or if you should invest in a more permanent solution.