Adding Grab Bars for ADA Shower Stalls

shower with safety bars
  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-500
What You'll Need
ADA safety bar
Screwdriver (or Driver Bit for your Drill)
Stud locator
Pencil or marker pen
Drill bit - either tile or masonry drill bit
Masking tape

If you have any form of disability, then ADA shower stalls will make your life much easier. ADA, or the American Disabilities Act is a set of guidelines for manufacturers of various types of equipment.

ADA-approved grab bars for shower stalls will make it very easy for anyone with a disability to maintain their balance in the shower. Fitting these grab bars is actually very simple so long as you have the right tools.

Step 1 - Finding a Stud

Use the electric stud finders to locate a stud in the wall that you are fixing the grab bar on to. Mark the position of this stud with a marker pen or some masking tape and a pencil. You also need to repeat this process to find another stud to fix the handle into the wall.

Step 2 - Marking the Holes

Next you need to use your marker to mark the position where you will be drilling each hole. It's important that you do this accurately because you don't want to be drilling any more holes than absolutely necessary.

Step 3 - Preparing to Drill

If you're fixing the grab bars onto a tiled wall then you will need to be very careful that you don't risk cracking the tiles. You can protect the tiles by using masking tape. You should also slowly drill through the tile so that you don't risk shattering or damaging it.

It's worth taking time here to make sure the surface is fully prepared before you start drilling. If you rush at this stage then you could quite easily cause much more harm than good.

Step 4 - Drilling Through the Tiles

Drill through the holes in your tiles and make sure that you do this carefully. Use the right drill bit for the material that you are drilling through so that you don't cause any unnecessary damage. Once you have drilled through the tiles you can peel the tape away and clean down the edges of the holes if needed.

Step 5 - Fitting the Handle

Next all that's left to do is start fitting the handle, you may need to put plastic fixing plugs into the hole before you can screw the handle in. Use the supplied screws as these will be the right length to provide enough strength for the grab rail.

You can either use a screwdriver or a screwdriver bit in your drill to tighten the screws. You will actually be much less likely to cause damage to the grab bar if you use a manual screwdriver, and it doesn't really take that much longer anyway.

Step 6 - Testing

Check that the grab bar will be able to hold your entire body weight. It's important that this does not move at all even when you put all of your weight on it. By testing it in this way you can be confident that it will always be able to help you maintain your balance.