Grab Bar Installers for Baths or Showers
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- Products We Use
- Areas of Application
- Installation Charges - Rates
- Bath Chairs, Sprayers, Safety Strips, etc.
Grab bars were the genesis of our company! Before starting the company, I was a volunteer grab bar installer for the Lake County Ohio Department on Aging. Currently, I install grab bars and railings for the Geauga County Department on Aging as well as for various physical therapists in the Cleveland area. When it comes to grab bars, my preferred products are the Moen and Glacier Bay Concealed Screw grab bars. Reasons for choosing these safety bars include that:
- The 1¼ inch diameter (vs. 1½”) is easier for seniors with arthritis or small hands to grasp.
- As the name implies, they have collars which hide the mounting screws.
- Moen offers a patented mounting system for installing their grab bars into newer construction one-piece tub & shower surrounds.
- The brush nickel finish complements most chrome fixtures and carries an ADA 500 lb rating.
Areas of Application for Grab Bars
For the tub and shower area, we recommend that the senior have a “transition bar.” This bar, mounted vertically on the wall (1) or clamped onto the tub rail (2), assists the senior during entry and egress. In the picture shown, the client had no strength in her left arm, so we mounted the assist bar on the right wall to help with her entry, while a clamp-on grab bar mounted on the left side (2) of the tub rail provided something for her to grasp onto upon egress. While not shown, clients often will ask us to mount a grab bar inside the tub or shower area to help steady them while standing and showering. This tub surround came with a built in bar (3). In cases where the client needs to sit, we will mount the bar on an angle. The angled position allows their hand to slide along the bar in the direction of the downward (sitting) or upward (rising) motion. There are also floor to ceiling pole bars that can be mounted in cases where a toilet (or vanity) might limit the placement a grab bar.
Assist Bar Adjacent to Toilet
The toilet is another area where placing a grab or assist bar is sometimes helpful. An assist bar is neither as massive nor institutional looking as a grab bar and when strategically placed, these bars aid the senior in getting on and off the seat safely (see picture).
Assist Bar for Entryways
Sometimes referred to as safety bars, assist bars are also practical in cases where entering the home requires a step up (as shown - note also the stair railing and lever door handles to aid with the transition into and out of the house). There have been some cases where we been creative in placing grab and safety assist bars. For example, when neither a pole bar nor a bed rail seemed to help a client to get out of his bed, we mounted small assist bar on a chest of drawers next to his bed (see picture below). Before doing so, our first concern of course was to make sure that the chest would not tip and fall on him when he pulled on the bar.
Grab Bar by Bed
Although his legs were weak from arthritis, my client had enough arm and shoulder strength to pull himself up and off his bed. (Prior to adopting this solution, we had discussed a trapeze style grab bar [i.e. mounted from the ceiling], then joked that his vaulted ceilings would probably have made his bedroom look more like a gymnasium.) The message here is there are multiple products available that may help solve your mobility and balance problems. That said, discussing your situation with a professional may save you both time and money. Start by writing down all your safety concerns. Next, discuss these concerns with family, physical therapists and/or local aging agencies that will perform free home evaluations. Then when you’re ready for an installer, call us for a free estimate. We don’t sell; we listen, educate and work with you on what’s out there that might make your aging in place become more like living in place. Once you’re comfortable with us, we generally earn your business.
- Initial trip and first hour$691
- Hourly Rate for installations beyond the 1st hr.$40/hr.
- 18” Concealed Screw grab bar (brush nickel finish)$25/bar
- 24” Concealed Screw grab bar (brush nickel finish)$35/bar
- 9” & 16” assist bars (white or chrome)$20/bar
- Old ceramic tile adder (generally 4")$10/bar
- Newer porcelain tiles (8” & greater)$25/bar
- One-piece surrounds$50/bar
- 1Within 20 miles of Mentor, OH; cost per mile beyond$0.60/mile
Check with your local department on aging or senior center to see if they provide grab bar installations or know of installers. If so, while their grab bars might not be as nice as our Moen bars, the price may be right. To check on rates in the Cleveland area, click on the TownContractor logo below.
Compare on TownContractors.com
(Although we do not sell bath chairs, benches and hand sprayers, we felt that we should pass along some useful information.)
Buyer Beware: Before buying any bath item, first check the store’s return policy, since many bath related items have hygiene policies that prevent returns. In doing so, you will realize that a majority of stores (and especially internet-based companies) have a “No Return Policy” on their bathing products. With this in mind, let‘s begin our discussion.
Bath Chairs and Benches
First, consider the user. Larger persons will probably require a bariatric seat, so get an idea of whether the product’s “footprint” will fit with your tub - i.e., once assembled, will the legs of the bench or chair fit into the flat space of the tub’s floor, or will they ride up on the side or back walls? If it fits the footprint, are the chair-bench legs adjustable to different heights? Does the senior have weakness in his legs, but considerable arm strength? If so, perhaps either a bath chair with arm rests (for pushing up or sitting down) or a transfer bench may be a better option. (A transfer bench extends out & over the tub rail, allowing the bather to sit down on the bench outside the tub and then slide over the bench into the tub. Some even have pivot or rolling seats, so take your time investigating the styles.) Click to view a transfer bench on our Photo Page. If there are other household members using the bath, perhaps a fold-up (stadium) chair or bench would be more appropriate and practical for them.
Hand Shower Sprayers
Hand held shower sprayers are great for caregivers and seniors who must sit while bathing. Go into any big box store however and you will be overwhelmed by the selection (and price range) of the hand shower sprayers on display. Generally, most seniors are not looking for 12 different spray streams from their hand sprayer, rather just a sprayer that will do the job! For my money, the best out there is the Moen DN8001, found in Lowes (over in the bath safety aisle). My preference for this sprayer are as follows:
First of all, the Moen DN8001 has a 7’ supply line; most hand showers have only a 5’ line; 7’ is long enough to reach the far end of the tub. (It is also a great feature when cleaning the tub.)
Secondly, with the Moen sprayer, you can shut off water from the sprayer; this is convenient when shaving, lathering, etc. While in this shut off mode, water trickles slightly. This is important if you were to exit the shower without shutting off the water and the line were to burst later; some seniors however complain about this safety feature. Third, if others share the shower, the Moen sprayer comes with a high mount for taking showers. Most lower priced drug store sprayers, while they may have a long supply line and a shut off at the sprayer, come only with a clip for mounting (screwing required) the sprayer onto a wall. Last and least important, the Moen sprayer has three spray settings and is available in both chrome and white finishes.
Non-Slip Strips in the Tub
The non-slip strips and decals that you apply to your tub or shower floor to avoid slipping are in my opinion, the greatest dirt catchers ever devised. The inventor must have never done a day of dirty work or ever had to clean his/her tub. My preference for avoiding slips in the tub is the spongy tub mats with suction cups; these mats are found at most department and specialty bath stores. The spongy surface reduces back and leg stress, making standing more comfortable. Also, the mats can be easily removed to allow for tub cleaning and when dirty, the mat can be tossed in the washer for cleaning.