What Distinguishes an Extension Grab Bar From a Standard One?

Extension Grab Bar

Whether you are helping a loved one with mobility issues or simply want to make your bathroom safer, a grab bar can be an excellent addition. Gone are the days when these safety tools were relegated to institutional-looking eyesores, as today’s durable models come in an array of materials, sizes and finishes. Some even have a sleek design that blends seamlessly with the rest of your decor.

Many of the features and capabilities that define a Extension grab bar are similar across all types of these safety devices. However, the difference between a standard grab bar and an extension one is that the latter is specifically designed to support a user’s full weight rather than just provide some balance assistance. This distinction is important because it enables you to choose the right type of bar to help your particular needs and preferences.

In general, standard grab bars can be found in showers and baths, positioned on the wall near a toilet or bathtub seat. They are generally used to provide handholds for bathers when getting in and out of the tub or standing up from a seated position. These are typically ADA-compliant, made of durable materials like stainless steel and meet specific weight capacity requirements.

What Distinguishes an Extension Grab Bar From a Standard One?

Other types of grab bars are designed to be placed elsewhere in the bathroom, for example, on the side of a toilet, or on a wall adjacent to a bed. These types of grab bars can be used for a variety of purposes, including providing handholds when getting out of bed or turning on a toilet. They can also be used as supports for a walking frame or wheelchair, or on ladders, where additional handholds may not be available.

These extensions may be curved or straight and can be mounted vertically, horizontally or at an angle. Regardless of the type of extension grabber you select, it is recommended that the grab bar be secured to wall studs whenever possible. This ensures the safety and longevity of the bar. Those who are installing these bars themselves will need to use heavy-duty drywall anchors when the bar must be installed where a stud is not available, such as in tiled walls or other surfaces that can’t accommodate screws.

Another option is to install a hinged grab bar or pivoting bar, which provides multiple handholds at different heights. These are often more versatile than standard or extension grab bars because they can be positioned at various angles to best suit the user’s needs and preferences.

Many manufacturers have incorporated the advantages of the hinged style into their regular line of grab bars. These include Moen, Delta and Kohler, all of whom offer a wide selection of styles, sizes and finishes that work well in most settings. In addition to these options, there are many specialty companies that offer innovative products with comfort grips and sleek designs. If you need assistance determining which type of grab bar is right for you, we recommend contacting a reputable mobility vendor to discuss your needs and preferences.

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