Making the choice to install grab bars
So—you’re going to buy and install your own grab bars. That’s a great choice for a handful of reasons!
First—relative to some other home safety modifications—installing grab bars is a quick, easy, DIY way to make your home safer. You’ll just need some basic knowledge to make sure they’re installed properly.
Making sure grab bars are installed correctly
You might be like Mike Holmes—handy and ready to face any home improvement project that comes your way. You might have a really helpful sister or cousin who knows what they’re doing with a toolbox. Or, you might be like me—hoping that you don’t injure anyone while changing a light bulb.
No matter your experience, we all want product installation to be fast, safe, easy, and not to cost an arm and a leg. When it comes to safety products, it’s also crucial that they’re installed properly. For grab bars, proper installation means that they have to be firmly secured into a wall stud.
What if I told you that with the right product, all of this could be within reach?
No—I’m not talking about suction cup grab bars (they’re actually unsafe). I’m referring to a grab bar that’s designed to make it easier to make contact with a stud, ensuring that it can support up to 500lbs.
What is a grab bar flange?
A grab bar flange is the flat metal disc at either end of a grab bar that makes contact with the wall.
Most grab bar flanges have 3 holes for screws. Depending on the angle or position of your grab bar, it can sometimes be a challenge to get more than one screw into a wall stud.
Our grab bars have 9-hole flanges. At first glance, you might be thinking—“so what?” The truth is, this seemingly small difference offers a few distinct benefits for installation.
Benefit 1: Easier to make contact with the stud
On paper, wall studs are supposed to be built on 16-inch centers. This means that the distance between the middle of one wall stud and the middle of the next one is 16 inches.
In a perfect world, this would mean that finding one stud should allow you to find the next ones by measuring in 16-inch increments. Unfortunately—just like most things in life—it’s not always that simple.
This image shows the flexibility that 9-hole flanges provide when it comes to grab bar installation
Many older homes don’t use this convention, or if they do, it isn’t always followed precisely. If you live in an older home, the positioning of your wall studs could be off by up to an inch. This can make aligning traditional grab bar flanges with studs tricky.
A 9-hole flange gives you more options to ensure your screws will make contact with a stud, ensuring your grab bar is securely mounted.
Best practice for safe grab bar installation is to use three screws on each side. Having more holes allows you to firmly install your grab bar with less fuss.
Benefit 2: Less chance of making drilling mistakes
Photo by Bidvine via Pexels
Some mistakes in life are forgivable; bad bangs grow out; spilled milk can be wiped up and easily replaced with a quick trip to the store. Other mistakes—like a misplaced hole drilled into bathroom tile, for instance—are longer-lasting.
Making sure a 3-hole grab bar flange is properly aligned with a stud requires some precision. Needless to say, not everyone gets it right on the first try.
A 9-hole flange, in addition to providing more options to make proper contact with a stud, also provides a more forgiving margin for error.
Imagine, for example, you’re trying to install one of our grab bars at a 45-degree angle. Let’s pretend you’ve drilled your first hole in the stud, but not exactly where you’d hoped. The additional flange-holes will make it easier to slightly adjust your initial plan without sacrificing safety or drilling extra holes.
Benefit 3: Confidence that you can do it yourself
Not everyone wants or can afford to have someone install grab bars for them. But if you’re concerned about installing them yourself, this can become an obstacle to getting the safety equipment you need.
Put simply, a grab bar with a 9-hole flange is easier for anyone to install properly. As long as you have a drill and a stud finder, you should be able to install our grab bars with no issues. If you end up buying them, and you’re struggling, you can always reach out to us directly for assistance.
It’s a small detail that makes a big impact, and makes it easier to get safety into your bathroom.