Shower safety grab bar

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I would like to install safety grab bars in the tub/showers of the house I just bought. However I found that when I press on the side of shower wall, the plastic (fiberglass?) is about 3/8 inch away from the wall. I am afraid installing the bars and squeezing the plastic tight to the wall will cause it to break. Any suggestions?
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On 7/28/2016 7:07 AM, slate_leeper wrote:

shower and not the wall.
Not sure how good they are but when my wife had her knee replaced last year I bought her a bar with suction cups. I guess the grip is good but you have to maintain suction.
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On Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 8:05:27 AM UTC-4, Frank wrote:

slate_leeper is concerned about the shower wall cracking just from the bending required to move it back to the studs. Do you really think anchors that just grip the back of the flexible wall material are going to provide the required support of a *safety* grab bar?
For a grab bar, I wouldn't trust those types of anchors in drywall itself, never mind a thin, flexible shower wall. We're not hanging a picture in the shower, we're talking about a person's safety.

Sounds pretty dangerous to me. If you "have to maintain suction" how can you be sure that suction will be present when the support is actually needed? I'm not talking about times when the bar can be tested prior to use, I'm talking about a time when a slip is occurring and the bar is grabbed in panic.
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On 7/28/2016 9:04 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

The suction cup bars are not intended to be a grab bar but as a handle to steady yourself. Before remodeling the bathrooms we had one for that and it was a big help, but I'd not trust my life to it.
When stepping in or out of the shower it is a great device to avoid a slip or fall but may not hod if you put all your weight on it. Much better than nothing to hold.
We now have ceramic tile and properly installed bars and work great. Anyone over 60 or with balance problems should have something to hold.
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On Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 1:52:40 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I disagree.
That's like putting a railing around a deck to let people know where the edge is but not making it strong enough to lean on or strong enough to withstand a person tripping into it.
Insalling a device that gives the illusion of safety can be more dangerous than no device at all. If you had your hand on that suction attached bar and you slipped, would you have the reaction time to take your hand off or would you instinctively rely on it?
If the bar slipped even when you weren't using it to support your entire weight, you'd suddenly be unexpectedly off balance and suddenly using to support your weight.
With no grab bar (or no railing) users (especially unfamiliar users) are aware that there is no safety device and will rely only on what is available as opposed to having a false sense of security.

You used the words "properly installed". Doesn't that imply that the other one wasn't "properly installed"?
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On 7/28/2016 3:11 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

It does not give the illusion of safety, it help you step steadily. It adds to your safety. It is secure enough to help as a balance aid, it is not meant to take all your weight, though it may.

So with nothing you just slip and fall. I used one and highly recommend it if you have reason to want to be steady due to injury, arthritis, whatever. You are denigrating something you never used.

Not at all. The present bar is different design and is screwed into the studs as opposed to some anchors in sheetrock.
If I said my new car had no flat tires would you assume my old car had flat tires?
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On 7/28/2016 4:31 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I agree with DD. In general, ANY object or bar within a grabbing area always provides a sense of security. If a counter is within reach of a shower/tub entrance, that counter is a sense of security to grab for support. If a bar is installed, it provides a user a sense of security to grab that bar for full support. One doesn't view a bar and say, "Oh, this is only for me to maintain a little bit of balance as I step in" one views it and assumes the thing will keep them from falling on their ass providing they have the arm strength to hold themself up.
BUT...... since this is a residential home whereas the occupants who use the bar often are aware of the mounting method of the bar or device,, then I can see your point in "knowing" it's not a device to completely rely on for a fall. In that, I wouldn't invite guest for overnight visits.
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On 7/28/2016 5:30 PM, Meanie wrote:

So better to have nothing and slip and all. OK, got it. I could never pull it off the wall in my bathroom shower.

Used mine for two years and it never came off the fiberglass wall. It steadied me after knee surgery though, and I was glad to have it.
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On 7/28/2016 6:43 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

than to believe a suction cupped device will completely support your weight if the chance of a complete fall partakes. One day, it may not provide the support even for a minor issue of balance whereas a properly secured device will not fail.
Bottom line, you're the one who uses it, it's your choice, but if you have overnight guest, I hope nothing happens to them or you could be facing a lawsuit.
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But your plastic liner wasn't loose.

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On Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 4:31:39 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

"*though* it may" is not something I wish to be involved with.

...and it's something I will never use.
The body's instinct is "grab tighter" to whatever the hand is holding onto during a fall. I've been in that situation and if not for the flexibility of my young hands at the time, I probably would have broken 8 of my fingers. I should have let go of what I was holding onto, but that is not what the brain tells the body to do. Why would I want to use something that it not intended to support my weight if my body is going to depend on it when I need it?
If and when I (or anyone I love) needs the stability of a grab bar, I will get out the tools and install it "properly". If I'm the affected party and can't install it myself, I'll pay someone to do it. I do not consider suction cups to be a proper installation for a grab bar.
https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/grab-bars-are-only-as-safe-as-their-mounting-020813.html
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On 7/28/2016 5:45 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

So it is better to have nothing and fall? Seriously, that sounds dumb.

See comment above.

Your choice. Hope you never fall.

Because it helps you keep your balance and keeps you safer. Maybe when you get older you will understand how any aid is better than no aid. Even a plain wall is better than air, bit a handle is better than a smooth wall.

Good for you. It is not an option for everyone so they do what helps. The suction cup handles are a big help for some. Strong enough that I could never pull one off unless I wanted to
Congratulations on your good health. I used to have that too, as did my wife.
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On Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 6:54:56 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Are you saying that without the grab bar you would have fallen?
As I've before (and later), when it gets to a point that I feel I need a grab bar to prevent myself (or a loved one) from falling, I'll install one that is securely attached to the wall.

See comment above.

Thank you. (You do realize that my "never use" applies to a suction cup grab bars, not grab bars or support aids in general, don't you?

Thank you for including the wall. You see, it really wasn't really "nothing" after all. ;-)
However, your comment about my age and the advantages of an aid is a bit confusing. Did you not read what I said in the next paragraph?
When there's a need for a grab bar I'll install one/have one installed. I never said I was against "aids". I said I was against aids that I do not feel are safe.
When did you install the grab bar? When you realized that you needed some support, correct? Why do you not think that I will do the same thing? The only difference is, mine won't have suction cups.

Yup...there it is! I knew I put it there. ;-)

The mere fact that you could pull it off if you wanted to tells me that if you were to have to use it to support your entire weight during a fall, it may not have helped. By the time you knew what was happening, you be swinging the grab bar around in mid air as you hit the ground. No time to let go and reach for a wall, a window frame, anything. I don't want a bar that I can pull off "unless I wanted to", I want a bar that I can't pull off.
As I said, I'm not against grab bars. All I have said all along is that when I feel I need one, I'll install one that I feel is going to be safe in the worst of situations.

I am not without sympathy for any health issues you may be experiencing, but this isn't about anyone's health. It's about suction cups vs. lag screws.
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On 7/28/2016 8:08 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Possible. It is something to hold onto to maintain balance. A good aid. Would I have fallen? Can''t answer that but I could step out with confidence.

Good for you. That is not an option for everyone.

Sure, but as I said. not everyone has that choice and the suction cup is much safer than nothing.

Wall helps, but it is not as good as something you can grip so I bought and used the suction cup. Much better.

Not everyone can do that. The OP, for instance is having a difficult time, others would have an even harder time.

I installed a better bar after getting rid of the fiberglass shower and doing a complete remodel. To go from a suction cup to a screwed in bar took about three weeks and $15,000. Not everyone has that option. I went from a 34" fiberglass shower to a 48" ceramic tile and glass door.

As i said, something is better than nothing. You seem to prefer nothing until you can do it your way. Not everyone has that option.
Oh, I already said that.

Showing your ignorance. There is a release to pull it off. You are very critical of something you've never used or tried. They work very well.

No. it is about a darned good support versus an excellent support when you have little or no option. What you can do is not what everyone else can do. If it was unsafe it would not have been in my bathroom.
typical specification: Suction Cup Grab Bar provides excellent temporary balance assistance on any non-porous surface. Suction Cup Grab Bar has quick and easy installation. Grab Bar has color indicator to signify bar is secure. Suction Cup Grab Bar should not be used to support body weight. Provides temporary balance Quick and easy installation Durable suction pads Color indicator changes to signify bar is secure 16 in. size offers ample grip area Note: do not use to support full body weight
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On Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 9:02:31 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

...and that's where I'm not sure I agree with you, so let's just agree to disagree on that point.

The OP is not having a "difficult time". He is simply asking questions and voicing a concern. In fact if Clare is right, he's a few screws away from completing the job.

Are you kidding me? Are you implying that people need to spend $15K to go from a suction cup bar to a screw in bar? Of course "not everyone has that option" but that's not the only option. In fact, it has nothing to do with the conversation.

Good grief. I'll say it one more time and then I promise to give up because you are obviously not listening. I'll even put this on it's own line so there's no chance that you won't see it.
When I *need* a bar, I'll put in the type I want.
Here, just in case you missed that:
When I *need* a bar, I'll put in the type I want.
How's does that equate to "prefer nothing or my way"?
I prefer nothing *now* because I don't need a bar. I never once said that I would forgo a bar when the time comes that I need one. I also prefer not to install a wheelchair ramp to my front door because I don't need one. I also prefer not to rip out my bathtub and put in a walk-in shower. Guess why?
Yup, *I don't need one*.

Yeah, you keep saying that, all the while ignoring the main point of my objection to suction cups. So be it.

No, it's not - not to me. That's what you keep missing.

See Ya!
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On 7/28/2016 10:19 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Of course not but you would rather jump to a wrong conclusion. The suction cup bar was very satisfactory and easy to install. Very happy with it.
Then you asked a question and I gave the answer. I remodeled both bathrooms because I wanted to update them. Had nothing to do with grab bars other than it makes sense to have them. You took a straightforward answer and tried to read too much into it.

Good. I did the same.

You implied a suction cup bar was a danger compared to nothing, same as a deck rail that will not support you.

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| > Sure, but as I said. not everyone has that choice and the suction cup is | > much safer than nothing. | > | ...and that's where I'm not sure I agree with you, so let's just agree to | disagree on that point. |
I'd agree with your agreeable disagreement. :) I've installed bars a number of times. (My customer base is aging along with me.) They come with 3 long, thick stainless steel screws for each end that need to be into solid wood. I wouldn't agree to buy or install suction cup hardware for a customer. I guess the options would depend on the situation.
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On Fri, 29 Jul 2016 09:19:20 -0400, "Mayayana"

device would be anything close to safe or effective. The thin plastic shell of the surriund is nit decurely fastened to the backing or the studs of the wall. The suction cups may stick perfectly to the plastic, but a slip would cause the suction cups to tear the tub liner right off the wall making a dangerous situation even worse.
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On 7/29/2016 9:06 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Having taken out two of those surrounds, I'd not be at all concerned about that.
The suction cup is meant to be a device to steady you while stepping in or out of the shower or tub. They can take a lot of force, but are not designed to fully support a 300# person. Used properly, they are a good safety device.
I used one for a long time. I find it fascinating that people that never saw or used one can tell me how bad they are. They can prevent a serious fall. Get back to me when you have first hand experience. I have a lot of it with no problems.
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surround they are pretty safe. I have also removed a lot of poorly installed cheap tub surrounds that I would NEVER install a suction cup handle tro. We don't know how strong the plastic liner is - all we know is it is not securely fastened.
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