With many people focusing on universal design and creating homes that people can age in, grab bars are becoming a popular addition to many bathroom designs. Grab bars serve a few purposes within the bathroom. They can assist in lowering a person onto a toilet seat or shower bench, assist in transfer from a wheelchair or walker to a shower or bath, or can help prevent slips and falls by catching someone’s weight as they go down. Nearly everyone can benefit from the addition of grab bars to the bathroom, particularly in wet areas such as the shower, but those who are aging in place and those with a mobility-based disability will find them to be particularly useful. They’re often recommended for homes being designed around universal guidelines, and for adaptive bathrooms.
In general, most homeowners spend between $85 and $300 on grab bar installation. The average household typically installs a stainless steel L-shaped grab bar, for a cost of around $248.
|Grab Bars Installation Cost|
|National average cost||$248|
The cost to install a grab bar varies widely with the enormous variety in product styles. For example, a standard straight grab bar cost may be as little as $20, while floor-to-ceiling units may cost hundreds of dollars. A grab bar installation cost is relatively minor, as it’s a smaller handyman’s job. If you’re thinking of putting grab bars in your bathroom, consider installing several at once as the labor costs will be lower. Use this grab bars cost calculator to add this practical and safety-enhancing feature to your bathroom.
You might think that all grab bars are more or less the same, but there is a wide range of grab bar types, from simple steel bars to more complex designs that can also be used as shelves and towel holders. The table below shows the different types available with average prices for each.
|Type of Grab Bar||Average Price|
|Standard Straight Grab Bar||$20 - $100|
|Suction Cup Grab Bar||$20 - $100|
|Wave-Style Grab Bar||$30 - $100|
|Grab Bar Clamps for Bathtub||$30 - $150|
|Colored Grab Bars||$30 - $150|
|Grab Bar Accent Ring||$50 - $200|
|Angled Grab Bars||$40 - $120|
|90-Degree Grab Bars for One Wall||$40 - $250|
|Grab Bar Toilet Paper Holder||$50 - $200|
|Grab Bar with Soap Dish||$50 - $200|
|Grab Bar with Shelf||$50 - $220|
|Flip-Up and Flip-Down Grab Bars||$50 - $250|
|Decorative Grab Bars||$50 - $350|
|Grab Bar with Towel Rack||$60 - $200|
|Corner Grab Bars for Two Walls||$60 - $300|
|Wall-to-Floor Grab Bars||$80 - $220|
|Slide Bar Grab Bar with Handheld Showerhead||$80 - $250|
|Swing-Out Grab Bars||$100 - $300|
|Floor-to-Ceiling Pole||$150 - $450|
|Trapeze Bar||$150 - $600|
A standard straight grab bar is the simplest type of grab bar you can buy. They form a single straight bar, which provides a secure and sturdy support anywhere you need it. They can be installed vertically or horizontally or at an angle and are sold in various lengths, materials, and colors. Prices for straight grab bars range from $20 to $100.
Suction cup grab bars have suction cups along one side, allowing them to stick to the wall without the need for drills and screws. They are easy to install and can be moved around, but users need to be careful because they are not as sturdy as bars that are screwed in place. Prices range from $20 to $100.
A wave-style grab bar is similar to a straight grab bar in that it can be installed at various angles and is available in numerous colors and finishes. The key difference is that a wave-style bar is formed in a wavy, curvy shape. This makes the bar more decorative and fun, presenting it as both an aesthetic flourish and functional item all in one. Wave-style grab bars cost anywhere from $30 to $100.
This grab bar clamps onto the side of the tub, providing a firm and useful handhold for people getting in or out of the bath. Grab bar clamps are easy to install because you simply place the clamp in the right spot and then turn a knob or dial until the clamp secures into position. Prices for this grab bar range from $30 to $150.
Colored grab bars are sold in a wide range of colors, allowing them to stand out brightly or fit in with different bathroom designs. You can find them in various options from yellows and reds to browns, blues, greens, and more. Some manufacturers offer custom colors, and these bars can be useful for people with visual impairments to help them see and grab the bar more easily. Prices range from $30 to $150.
A grab bar accent ring is a modern style of grab bar, formed in a ring-like or horseshoe-style shape. They fit around the shower valve, offering a handhold and stable surface for people getting in and out of the bath or shower. Due to their curved shape, they blend in with the bathroom design, adding a modern touch and are less noticeable than straight or wavy-style bars. The price range for accent rings is from $50 to $200.
An angled grab bar is formed by joining two bars, one of them placed horizontally and the other at a diagonal. They are sometimes called 135-degree bars or boomerang bars, due to their shape. They provide two different handholds and can be placed on walls by toilets and tubs. Prices range from $40 to $120.
This bar is L-shaped with a 90-degree angle. They are designed to attach to a wall and provide both a horizontal and vertical handhold to help in various situations. They are sold in a range of lengths and materials to suit different bathrooms, with prices ranging from $40 to $250.
A grab bar toilet paper holder is designed to work both as a grab bar and a toilet paper holder. They are similar in shape to regular toilet paper holders but are much stronger and sturdier. They usually feature one slim bar at the base for holding the paper and then a thicker, chunkier bar over the top to be held onto. These grab bars cost between $50 and $200.
A grab bar with a soap dish is one that has a little soap dish incorporated into the design. This holds soap or other bathroom products, adding an extra layer of functionality to a typical grab bar design. These grab bars are found in a wide array of sizes and styles, from small ones designed for regular soap bars to ones that hold much larger and longer bars. Prices for these bars range from $50 to $200.
A grab bar with a shelf is one where you can store various things, such as shampoo and other bathroom products. Some of these grab bars are designed to fit beside the shower, while others are much larger and can be placed elsewhere in the bathroom. Costs range from $50 to $220.
Flip-up and flip-down grab bars have a small hinge that allows them to be flipped or moved out of the way when not in use. Usually, they are installed by the toilet, aiding people when sitting down or standing up. They can also be installed by the shower or bath to assist with getting in and out of the tub. Some models attach to the floor, while others attach to the wall. Prices vary considerably, from $50 to $250.
Decorative grab bars are designed for decoration, aesthetics, and functionality. They are available in various shapes and sizes, with much attention and care paid to their look and finish. Some are made in classy antique styles, while others are more modern and elegant. They can serve as statement pieces for the bathroom, enhancing the overall aesthetic. Decorative grab bars cost $50 to $350.
A grab bar towel rack serves as both a strong and sturdy handhold whenever you need it, as well as a holder for all your towels. It is a great way to incorporate a grab bar into a bathroom in a discreet and functional way. Some of these models have just one bar, while others have two: one for holding the towel and the other to be grabbed onto. These grab bars cost between $60 and $200.
This is an L-shaped grab bar formed with a 90-degree angle, designed to spread across two walls and be installed in the corner of the room. This can be very useful in the corner of a shower cubicle or along the corner of a bathtub. Prices range from $60 to $300.
Wall-to-floor grab bars attach to both the wall and the floor, forming an L-shape that extends out from the wall and bends down to connect with the floor. They are usually installed by the toilet. Wall-to-floor grab bar prices range from $80 to $220.
This is a clever and discreet grab bar design that blends into the shower without standing out. Usually installed vertically, these bars are designed to hold showerheads in place but can also be grabbed onto by people who are using the shower for additional support. These bars are very useful when getting in or out of the shower or when leaning down to wash your feet. Costs for these grab bars are between $80 and $250.
Swing-out grab bars have a unique design with stationary bars and a pivoting bar that swings sideways or locks into place at different angles. This makes them very versatile, offering many uses throughout the home. They are often installed on the wall by the toilet to aid people with sitting down and standing up, but they can be placed by the tub or around other parts of the home, such as by a sofa or bed. Prices range from $100 to $300.
Floor-to-ceiling poles stretch from the floor of a room up to the ceiling. They do not need to be drilled in place and are quite easy to install as a result. They are held in place by tension, pushing into the ceiling and floor simultaneously and providing a long and firm handhold for a range of uses. Many come with size and weight limits, so look carefully at the restrictions and limits when buying them. Floor-to-ceiling poles cost between $150 and $450.
A trapeze bar is a completely different form of grab bar when compared to other models. First, it is a much larger structure with several bars and pieces, including a hanging handhold suspended from an overhead beam. These bars are usually installed beside or over a bed, allowing the user to reach up to the handhold to reposition themselves or get in and out of bed. Prices range from $150 to $600.
Grab bars come in a variety of lengths, from a short 12-inches to 48-inch lengths. There are no set guidelines which dictate which length should be used in a given situation. Rather, the grab bar length you choose should ultimately be dictated by the area you are having it installed in, and the nature of the use. For example, a grab bar in the shower must be mounted 1 at least 9-inches off the tub surface. If you are installing a vertical bar for assistance, it’s best to use a bar, which when located 9-inches off the tub is tall enough for you to comfortably grab. Likewise, when installing a horizontal bar along the wall, the bar should be long enough to grab from any position to assist in transfer or support.
In most cases, grab bars can be installed by a handyman, at a rate of around $60-$100 an hour, with the job usually not taking more than one hour. Because grab bars are so simple to install, it’s usually cheaper to have multiples installed at once, rather than to put them in one at a time. For example, the cost to install one grab bar is usually around $30-$60, while the cost to install three is only around $80-$160.
While bathroom accessories such as towel holders can be put in DIY, grab bars require professional installation whenever possible. This is due to the fact that the bar must support the weight of the person using it, not only to assist in movement, but in the event of a fall. To achieve proper installation, the wall needs to either be reinforced to allow proper contact from all three screws on each side of the grab bar, or the studs must be hit exactly on either end. If the grab bar is not screwed directly into the studs and reinforced, then the weight of a falling person may tear the bar from the wall, resulting in injury.
In most cases, the installation process is fairly straightforward. A drill is used to make the necessary holes, and in some cases, anchor screws may be fitted into the hole before the grab bar is installed. In rare cases, if the grab bar is being installed in an area where there are no wall studs and not enough material for an anchor screw to be utilized, lumber may need to be placed behind the area in question, such as a bathroom vanity. The grab bar usually has three screws on each escutcheon, and the bar is screwed directly to the surface in question. While things like towel rails usually use a hidden screw system, grab bars must be screwed in directly, rather than hung, in order for them to support someone’s weight.
Grab bars can be installed on any surface or material. In the event of installation on tile or concrete, special diamond bits may be necessary for the drill.
ADA Grab Bars
Grab bars are necessary when designing or installing a bathroom to meet ADA guidelines and requirements. While grab bars themselves are not specifically required, they are extremely useful when meeting ADA guidelines in order to make the room ambulatory. For example, support must be necessary beside the toilet to assist in getting on and off. Grab bars make meeting this requirement easier by providing assistance and necessary support. The only stipulation the ADA requires in the use of grab bars is the type of bars themselves. Grab bars installed in an ADA compliant bathroom must have an outside diameter between 1-¼ and 2-inches, and the space between a grab bar and any projecting objects, such as a soap dispenser, must be at least 12-inches. Grab bars must not rotate, and must be free of sharp edges or hazardous grip material. They must also withstand a force of approximately 250 pounds each.
Grab bars can technically be installed anywhere in the bathroom that you may desire. However, when creating an ADA compliant bathroom, or attempting to make the room as accessible as possible, there are several areas where they should be installed including:
Depending on where you are installing the grab bar, some reinforcement of the surface may be necessary. For example, some people may have a vanity placed beside the toilet. It’s common to install a grab bar on the side of the vanity to assist in transfer. The wall of the vanity may need to be reinforced from inside with a piece of lumber to take the weight of the user. A handyman can do this usually for under $100, or you may find that the person installing the grab bars can reinforce as part of the project with the only costs being $10 in materials; always ask to find out.
Grab bars are found in multiple lengths, positions, and configurations including horizontal, vertical, and bars which form an L-shape to move from one direction to another. In some cases, which you install will be personal preference. However, for areas that assist not in weight bearing, but in security, such as stepping over the curb in a shower, vertical bars are recommended, as they are easier to use for people who suffer from arthritis in their hands. Likewise, in areas where the bars must take someone’s weight, such as in a transfer situation, a horizontal bar is recommended. Most bathrooms will ultimately use a combination of the two, including L-shaped bars, which can assist in both ways.
There is little difference in the installation of grab bars from new installation to replacement. If replacing a set of existing grab bars with new ones, new holes may need to be drilled, or new anchors inserted if the new bars are of different lengths or sizes than the old bars. This may increase the total costs by about $25 for the project, otherwise, there is no difference installation.
Yes, it is possible to install grab bars on tile. Even though tiles seem delicate and easy to break, professional handymen use special tile drill bits or wall anchors to install grab bars on tile. If you do not want to damage the tiles in any way, consider suction cup grab bars, which attach to the tiles using simple suction and do not require drilling.
Since grab bars need to withstand a lot of weight and pressure, sturdiness and security are key features of any grab bar installation. In some cases, the wall might not be strong enough to secure the grab bar in place, and this could lead to serious injury if someone grabs onto a poorly installed grab bar and then falls. That is why it is important to hire a professional to see if wall reinforcement is needed. Usually, extra wood or structural material has to be fitted to the walls to make them stronger, and this results in more labor for your handyman, at a cost of around $100 to $150 on average.
If you have a fiberglass shower, installing a grab bar can be an even bigger job. This is because most molded fiberglass showers use thin fiberglass material that is not strong or stable enough to handle grab bar installation. When hiring a specially trained handyman with experience in drilling through fiberglass, you may have to pay more for the job. Installing a grab bar in a fiberglass shower costs anywhere from $150 to $600.
For areas where multiple grab bars are needed, or for persons who may need additional help in lifting and standing, a SuperPole from HealthCraft may be beneficial. This movable pole can be used to assist in transfer and standing from showers to toilets and can be moved from one area to another by simply cranking the jack. SuperPoles cost between $80 and $120 depending on the model.
In addition to grab bars, you may also want to invest in a shower chair to assist in transfer and safe use of the shower. The cost of a shower chair starts around $40.
Safety rails 1, which clip onto the side of a bathtub, may also be an alternative to grab bars. Safety rails 1 require no drilling and can be moved from one place to another. They help in transfer in and out of the tub safely. They are made to be put in place by the homeowner, and cost between $30 and $50 a piece.
A walk-in tub is another great option for those who may find it difficult to get in and out of a regular tub and require the use of grab bars. With a walk-in tub, you open a door on the side of the tub and step in, without needing to climb or step over any kind of elevated barrier. You can then sit inside on a built-in seat or stand, as needed. Walk-in tubs come in various sizes and styles, with an array of different features, costing anywhere from $2,500 to $20,000.
The typical cost of installing a single grab bar is between $85 and $300, however, the cost of installing multiple grab bars is usually cheaper per bar. For example, installing three bars is around $248.
The height of the shower grab bar is largely dictated by the user, with recommended heights being 33-36 inches off the floor.
ADA recommended grab bars can and should be installed at many heights, with guidelines suggesting heights of 9-11 inches off the tub and 33-36-inches off the floor.
Grab bars should be professionally installed; most handymen can make this installation.
Grab bar height should be determined by the area and user, however, guidelines recommend 9-11 inches off the tub and 33-36-inches off the floor.