Drop Down/Flip Up Grab Bars for Toilets and Beyond

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.
Anyone working in the field of home accessibility has run into toilets with no walls or a wall on only one side to mount a grab bar.  So what to do?  Here are a few drop down grab bars, later posts will have other ideas.:-)

First safety rail for the toilet is the drop down grab bar otherwise known as the PT rail.  When I was in Ireland these were everywhere.

    HealthCraft 28" Long Hinged P.T. Toilet Support Rail, Left Side, Powder Coated White

  • Flips up out of the way.
  • Usually hold up to 250 pounds of weight.
  • Can be mounted to wall or a column installed in the floor.
  • Doesn't cause tripping hazard.
  • Maintains clear floor space.
  • Can flip up out of the way.
  • Must be mounted to stud or securely to the floor.
  • Not so pretty but can look nice with modern decor.
 ** We were once called to a house to repair a toilet drop down grab bar.  The drop down grab bar was mounted to a stud in the wall and the grab bar was in good repair but the stud had come away from the wall.  Who would've thought that could happen??

Because of the possibility that stud won't hold the weight of the person transferring I tend to go towards the flip down grab bars with the support legs.  Here is one with a built-in toilet paper holder.

AKW 01830 Fold-up Support Grab Bar with Adjustable Leg

These can also be mounted to columns that the manufacturer sells.

A few tips for mounting grab bars:
  • Each time you mount a grab bar mount it based on the person who will be using the grab bar.  Ask them to go from sit to stand and to reach where they would like the grab bar.  This is an easy effective way to find the right place to mount the grab bar.
  • ADA says to mount grab bars 34"-36" from the finished floor but that doesn't work for everyone.
  • The grab bar needs to be close enough to the person so they don't have to lean off to the side to use the grab bar, this puts a person off balance and makes the transfer more difficult.
A post will be coming on how and where to mount grab bars, there is way too much to go into at this time.  

One last interesting twist on drop down grab bars.  This is called an angled PT bar made obviously for stairs, quite clever I'd say.

Angled P.T. Rail (White) (9"H x 5"W x 32"D)

1 comment:

inge data said...

Thanks for sharing! I found a great website if you are looking for more ideas: http://www.archiexpo.com/architecture-design-manufacturer/grab-bar-272.html. Hope you enjoy it!