ADA Grab Bars in the Tub/Shower: Location, Location, Location.

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in DOING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME | No Comments

The three most important things to remember when installing ADA Grab Bars in a tub or shower are just like with real estate: location, location, location. With the strict regulations about where and how ADA Grab Bars have to be mounted, it is pretty easy to get into trouble very quickly if you are not careful. Not to mention the potential for incurred expenses.

The problems start because often, contractors are unclear on the correct mounting height for ADA Grab Bars in tub and shower enclosures. They have a hard time understanding the standard drawings, and as a result, the grab bars get installed at the wrong locations. Did we mention that the regulations are strict? If the installation is off by just half an inch, you will fail the inspection.

Even though contractors read drawings everyday, we have witnessed many failed inspections due to lack of understanding and lack of direction. That is why we think all drawings should also include an Accessibility Guidelines page, and that contractors should actually read it!

Failing the inspection is not the worst part. That comes when you have to take down the grab bars, replace the tile where it was installed originally, and then reinstall the bars—all while the ADA room is out of service. So you are out the original installation, the repair, the reinstallation, and the room charge.  All resulting from being as little as a half an inch off!

Better safe than sorry.

On the projects that Top Shelf manages, we instruct our contractors to install longer grab bars that extend beyond the minimum grab bar measurement, as shown on the tub and shower images below. We also advise the contractors that all measurements in the code and contract documents are taken from the center of the grab bar faceplate. If your contractor does not understand this, you can see how they could end up with incorrect measurements, and you will end up with an un-rentable room while the costly repairs are made.

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Right the first time.

At Top Shelf, we want things done right the first time. That is why using Top Shelf Project Management services can help you move your project along without the delay and costs associated with ADA Grab Bars.  This is not our first rodeo; we have a lot more tips that can help you speed up your project and keep costs down, and we will share them with you to help get your project done right the first time.

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the current ADA codes, you can reach out to a Top Shelf Project Manager @ and we will respond within 48 hours, or you can visit:


See you next time,

The Top Shelf Team