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Do Suction Grab Bars Work?

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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.

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.

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

Changing Lifestyles Safe-er-Grip

The Best Small Grab Bar

Moen Home Care 12-inch Bar

Best Swivel Version

DMI Shower Grab Bar

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)
  • Glass
  • Acrylic
  • Fiberglass

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.

  1. Installation should only be on flat, dry, non-porous surfaces.
  2. Should not be installed over any textured area or grout lines.
  3. Clean the area with a solvent cleaner or alcohol.
  4. Make sure the area is dry.
  5. Place the grab bar where you want it placed and in the position you want it in.
  6. 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.
  7. Repeat the process with the other side of the bar.

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.

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