Posted on 10/08/2017

How to choose the right grab rails

How to choose the right grab rails

If you need extra support inside or outside your home, a grab rail is an ideal solution. But how do you know which one is best for your individual needs? Below, we explain what grab rails are designed for and things to consider before buying.

What are grab rails?

Grab rails are metal or plastic hand rails which are usually fitted at doorways, or anywhere that you may be at risk of falling.

Why would you choose to have a grab rail fitted?

If you, or someone you care for, are starting to feel a little unsafe when moving around the house, using the toilet or getting in and out of the bath, it’s a good idea to consider fitting some grab rails.

There are a number of reasons why you may be feeling unstable, including:

  • Pain or weakness in your legs
  • Breathlessness
  • Back pain
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Fatigue

A grab rail can be fitted anywhere in your home where you need extra support.

All grab rails that are fitted in your home, to provide additional safety, should be fitted using the correct fittings to suit the construction of the wall, by a competent person.

Where should you position your grab rail?

By the toilet
If you are finding it harder to get on or off the toilet, a grab rail may help, especially if there is not enough space for a toilet frame.

  • If your toilet has walls on both sides, a grab rail can be fitted on either side
  • Horizontal grab rails are used to push up from the toilet
  • Vertical grab rails are used to pull up from the toilet
  • Diagonal grab rails will help with pulling and pushing
  • A grab rail can support you when getting on to the toilet by reducing strain to your legs or back


Things to consider

  • If you can only fit one rail, this may cause strain to your shoulder – a toilet frame provides equal support for both sides
  • Make sure the wall is strong enough to support installation of a grab rail and the load when in use
  • If you are using the radiator for support when entering the toilet, a grab rail would be safer
  • In the shower


    By the bath
    A grab rail by the bath will provide support if you are finding it difficult to get in or out of the tub and can be used with:

    Stylish options are available as well as temporary options.


    If you have stairs in your home it may be worth thinking about fitting additional stair rails, especially if your toilet and bathroom are upstairs.


    At your front or back door
    A grab rail can be fitted near the door frame to help when getting in or out of your home, especially if there is a step.

    • Provides support to help you pull up when entering your home
    • Helps you to balance when exiting your property


    Things to consider

    • It is difficult to get a secure fixing on a pebble-dashed wall, and grab rails can’t be fitted to uPVC door frames, so a solid brick area is best
    • If you have a half-step, make sure you can reach the grab rail without stretching as this may put you at risk of falling
    • Consider whether you need grab rails at both sides – after all, the left side when entering is not the left side when leaving

    A grab rail can be fitted anywhere that you need extra support. If you find you are using a wall, radiator or door-frame for support, a grab rail would be safer.

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