Updated April 20, 2022 – Using suction grab bars in your shower or bathtub can work depending on the surface they are attached to, the weight of the person using them and the length of time they’ve been up. From a safety standpoint, we recommend to avoid use suction grab bars because of their limitations.
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Are Suction Grab Bars Safe?
Suction grab bars can work for some individuals but they do tend to lose their grip after a while so for safety’s sake – we recommend not to use them.
This is especially true of the person(s) using them will be elderly adults.
What Makes Suction Grab Bars Unsafe?
There are a few limitations that suction grab bars present that are the reason we say they are unsafe to use on a constant basis.
- They must be placed on a dry, flat, non-porous and smooth surface. Not every shower or bathtub wall offers this.
- These will not work on drywall or painted walls.
- It’s recommended that every single time you go to use this bar that you test it to ensure that it’s still holding. Many seniors will not think to do this every time.
- Like most all items with a suction cup – they will lose their grip after some time and need to be re-attached.
- They are not intended to support the full weight of someone and are meant only to provide support to help with balance issues.
- Suction grab bars are not approved by the ADA to work as a standard grab bar
When Are Suction Grab Bars A Good Choice?
I would recommend suction grab bars as a temporary solution for someone who simply needs something to hold on to while stepping over a barrier or performing a task while standing in the shower.
Otherwise, if the person is a senior and they currently need some assistance now with balance issues then the problem will most likely only get worse so I recommend to invest in a standard wall mounted grab bar.
If the person intends to use this bar (now or in the future) to help themselves to stand up or to help hold them up – then I recommend the standard wall mounted grab bar.
How Much Weight Can A Suction Grab Bar Hold?
The amount of weight that a suction grab bar can hold depends on each individual product. But they seem to range between 180 lbs up to 250 lbs.
- AmeriLuck Suction Grab Bars hold up to 180 lbs
- OXO Good Grip holds up to 250 lbs
- Oasis Suction Grab Bar holds up to 250 lbs
WARNING: But again – suction grab bars are NOT intended to support the full weight of a person. They are only meant to help someone with balance issues.
What Is The Best Suction Grab Bar For The Shower?
Aginginplace.org did a very nice review of suction grab bars for bathroom use and I have to concur with their results.
Offering The Best Grip
The Best Small Grab Bar
Best Swivel Version
Again – we caution you to be very careful when using a suction grab bar.
What Surfaces Are Best For Suction Grab Bars?
The types of surfaces that are non-porous and flat include:
- Flat tile (no texture and large enough to accommodate the suction cup so that it can avoid any grout lines)
So if you were wondering if you could install a grab bar in a fiberglass shower the answer is Yes!
How Do You Install Suction Cup Grab Bars?
These are very easy to install and can be done by most anyone.
Here are the easy steps on how to install a suction grab bar.
- Installation should only be on flat, dry, non-porous surfaces.
- Should not be installed over any textured area or grout lines.
- Clean the area with a solvent cleaner or alcohol.
- Make sure the area is dry.
- Place the grab bar where you want it placed and in the position you want it in.
- Press down on one side of the bar and if there’s an indication light it should turn green. When this happens then lock that side of the bar.
- Repeat the process with the other side of the bar.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a suction grab bar and a traditional grab bar?
Suction grab bars are designed to be attached to smooth, non-porous surfaces without the need for drilling or screwing into the wall. Traditional grab bars must be permanently mounted into studs in the wall in order to provide support.
How do I know if my suction grab bar is secure?
Most suction grab bars have an indicator light that turns green when the bar is properly secured. You should also give the bar a tug to make sure it is firmly attached before using it.
What surfaces can I attach my suction grab bar to?
Suction grab bars can be attached to any smooth, non-porous surface. This includes tile, glass, fiberglass, and some metals.
Can I use my suction grab bar outdoors?
Yes, suction grab bars can be used outdoors as long as they are attached to a smooth, non-porous surface. Be sure to check the indicator light to make sure the bar is properly secured before using it.
Can I use my suction grab bar in the shower?
Yes, suction grab bars can be used in the shower as long as they are attached to a smooth, non-porous surface. Be sure to check the indicator light to make sure the bar is properly secured before using it. You may also want to consider a screw-mounted grab bar for extra security.
Do suction grab bars come in different sizes?
Suction grab bars come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different needs. The most common size is 16 inches, but you can also find grab bars that are 18 inches, 24 inches, and 36 inches long.
What is the weight limit for a suction grab bar?
Most suction grab bars have a weight limit of 250 pounds. However, there are some heavy-duty models that can support up to 500 pounds.
Are suction grab bars easy to install?
Yes, suction grab bars are very easy to install. Just make sure the surface you’re attaching the bar to is clean and dry, then follow the instructions that come with the bar. In most cases, you can simply peel off the protective film and press the bar into place.
Do suction grab bars work on textured surfaces?
No, suction grab bars will not work on textured surfaces. The suction cups need a smooth surface in order to create a strong seal.
Are there any special considerations I should keep in mind when using a suction grab bar?
Yes, there are a few things to keep in mind when using a suction grab bar. First, make sure the bar is properly installed and secure before using it. Second, don’t use the bar as a towel rack or place anything else on it that could cause it to lose its grip. Third, check the grab bar regularly to make sure it’s still securely attached. Finally, never use the grab bar to place your full weight on. It’s meant ONLY to help you with your balance.
Did We Answer Your Question If Suction Grab Bars Work?
We hope that we provided you with the answer to your question and much more.
Overall – suction grab bars can be a great thing to use but with caution and only in certain circumstances and only if they can be installed under the conditions where they work the best.