Shower grab bars are essential bathroom safety features that provide support, stability, and accessibility for people of all ages and abilities. They’re the number-one recommended home modification for preventing slips, falls, and serious injuries in the bathroom. 

This shower grab bars placement guide helps homeowners determine the best way to install grab bars in their showers, ensuring a safer and more comfortable shower experience for everyone who uses them.

Types of Shower Grab Bars

There are several types of shower grab bars available, each with its own benefits and applications:


Horizontal grab bars are the most common and provide reliable, easy-to-handle support when standing, reaching, or bending in the shower.


Vertical grab bars offer assistance when entering or exiting the shower and can help with balance while showering.


Angled grab bars can provide support in various positions, making them suitable for people with different mobility needs.

In addition to types, there are different materials and finishes to choose from, such as stainless steel, plastic, or aluminum. Choose a material that matches your bathroom’s design and is both durable and easy to clean.

Steps for Shower Grab Bars Placement

Before deciding where to place your shower grab bars, evaluate your shower space and consider the users’ needs. Here are the basic steps to take to help you determine the best shower grab bar placement for your home.

1. Take Measurements of Your Shower Area

Measure the height, width, and depth of your shower enclosure or bathtub. This will help you determine the appropriate length and number of grab bars needed.

2. Identify Potential Obstacles

Consider any obstacles in your shower area, such as doors, steps, faucets, or built-in soap dishes. These features can help determine the best location for placing your grab bars.

3. Consider the Needs of the Users

Think about the height, mobility limitations, and preferences of those who will be using the grab bars. Remember, the goal is to provide the safest possible shower experience.

Placement Guidelines for Shower Grab Bars

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides guidelines for grab bar placement to ensure safety and accessibility for individuals with disabilities. While these guidelines are voluntary for private homes, they still serve as an excellent resource to create a safe and accessible shower space.

Below are recommendations for each type of grab bar.

Horizontal Grab Bars

Install at least one horizontal grab bar on the wall alongside the shower seat or tub. The ADA recommends placing this bar 33 to 36 inches above the floor. If possible, install another horizontal bar on the back wall of the shower, extending from the control wall to the opposite side.

Vertical Grab Bars

Place a vertical grab bar near the entrance of the shower or bathtub, approximately 18 to 20 inches from the control wall (where the spigot and water control knobs are). The height should be within the same range as horizontal grab bars (33 to 36 inches).

Angled Grab Bars

Angled bars can be installed in various positions; however, it is important to note that they should always slope upwards towards the entrance of the shower or tub. This allows users to grab onto them while standing or sitting and get support when entering or exiting.

Remember that these guidelines are general recommendations and may vary from situation to situation. Strongly consider hiring a professional contractor with accessibility modifications experience to help you.

Installation Tips for Shower Grab Bars Placement

Proper shower grab bars placement and installation ensure that your shower grab bars provide maximum safety and support. Here are some tips to help you with the process:

Gather Tools and Materials

You will need a drill, drill bits, wall anchors, screws, a level, a tape measure, a pencil, and possibly a stud finder if you’re installing directly into wall studs.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

If you’re experienced with home repairs, installing grab bars can be a straightforward project. However, hiring a professional can ensure proper installation and provide peace of mind. We strongly recommend working with a licensed and insured pro.

Proper Anchoring

For maximum safety and support, show grab bars must be anchored securely to the wall. If possible, attach the bars directly to wall studs. If studs are unavailable, use heavy-duty wall anchors designed for the type of wall material (drywall, tile, etc.).

Additional Safety Features for Your Shower

In addition to grab bars, consider incorporating other safety features into your shower space:

  • Non-slip shower mats help prevent slips and falls.
  • Handheld showerheads allow users to sit safely while showering.
  • Shower seats and benches for those who have difficulty standing.
  • Install bright, adequate light fixtures and bulbs. 

Get Grab Bar Help from Omicelo Health

Proper grab bar placement is essential for the well-being and safety of the loved ones in your home. Take the time to assess your individual needs, preferences, and bathroom layout when determining where to install grab bars. 

If you have questions or would like some assistance in the shower grab bars placement process, please contact us at Omicelo Health. Our goal is to help homeowners with home modifications that allow residents to live safely and independently. We can answer questions and point you toward help with shopping for, installing, and financing home improvements.

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