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Grab Rail Buying Guide

Grab rails (also known as support bars, hand rails and grab bars) are one of the simplest changes you can make to your bathroom, but they have a huge impact on making it safer and easier to use.  

Whether to balance in the shower, get on and off the toilet, or to use your basin, who doesn’t benefit from a little extra support around the most important room in the home? 

But with so many options available, how do you choose which style is right for you? Here are a few things to consider to get you started. 

Our experts are always happy to answer any questions you may have and help find the right option for you.

Colour 

Whatever your bathroom style, we have a grab rail to suit. Classic chrome, beautiful brushed satin steel, and modern matt black are some of our most popular finishes. Our ranges also beautifully coordinate with our taps and showers.

Depending on the finish of the walls they are fixed to, you can also make a high contrast feature of your rails so that they are easier to spot. This is useful for some people living with dementia or sight loss.  

Download a brochure for our full range.

Matt black Freestyle grab rails in a blue and marble en-suite bathroom.

Freestyle grab rail 600mm matt black, T shaped shower rail

Material 

Cold metal can be quite uncomfortable to touch for sensitive hands so our Fine & Able Circula grab rail collection features Warm Touch technology. Their design includes a clever insulated core so they’re never cold to hold. Not only is this great on a chilly morning, but also helpful for conditions such as arthritis that affect grip and sensitivity to temperature. 

All our grab rails are made from extremely hardwearing, easy-to-clean materials suitable for use in bathrooms. All fixings and screws are covered so there is nowhere for water, soap or dirt to get stuck and cause problems. 

Download a brochure for our full range.

Various shape and size Circula grab rails in chrome, beside a toilet, set against marble tiles.

Circula hinged grab rail 700mm, grab rail 600mm

Removeable styles

If you think a grab rail could be useful, but you’re not so keen on having them on show all the time, or you’re planning for rails in the future, a removeable style could be what you’re looking for. Our innovative Circula grab rail collection is fully detachable. When you don’t need these rails, all you see are a couple of very slim cover-plates that hide the fixing brackets in the wall. This style is ideal for future-proofing, or for when guests come over, as you can safely and quickly pop them on and off as you need. 

Watch this video to see how they work. 

Wall strength 

All Fine & Able grab rails are built to last and are extremely strong – most can take up to 150kg (approximately 23 stone). However, grab rails are only as strong as the walls they are attached to. It’s vital they’re fixed to solid walls or walls that have been properly prepared.  

Read our blog on reinforcing walls for grab rails.

If you need advice about how to properly prepare your walls for grab rails, get in touch. 

Shape and size 

Some grab rails have been cleverly designed to help you with specific tasks in the bathroom. For example, getting in and out of the shower, using the basin, or getting on and off the toilet. 

Common configurations include: 

  • Hinged drop-down rails beside the toilet or shower seat to help you get up and down or to transfer from a wheelchair. You can even add a handy toilet roll holder to some of these! 
  • L-shaped rails next to the toilet, or your shower seat, so you can both push and pull up as you need. 
  • Upside-down T-shape rails for in the shower for lots of places to hold onto while washing, and moving in and out of the shower area.  
  • Single rails are suitable for all sorts of locations and tasks. 

Various lengths are also available to suit your height and reach. Consider whether you will be using them from seated, standing or both. 

Book a free design consultation for more information.

T-shaped Circula shower riser rail and grab rail beside a shower seat.

Circula T shaped shower rail

Left or right-handed? 

For L-shaped grab rails it is important you choose the correct ‘handing’. This is to do with which way the horizontal part of the L faces, and which hand you will use it with. Some are universal, so the horizontal bar can be flipped in either direction, but many come with a specific left or right ‘handing’. Be sure you have the correct one before you buy.   

Get in touch if you are unsure which ‘handing’ you need for your space and we’ll be happy to help you find the correct one. 

Position 

Making sure grab rails are in the right position for you is vital for their usefulness and safety. Positioning them in the wrong place can actually be counter-productive if you end up leaning or stretching to reach them, or if they are angled unhelpfully, for example. 

Getting this right is dependent upon your individual needs and your space. We always recommend getting some expert advice firstGet in touch with us for a free design consultation. 

Flat ended styles

Many grab rails are fixed to the wall with brackets that are positioned a few centimetres from each end of the rail. However, there is another option. Our Freestyle grab rails feature brackets that form a seamless continuation of the bar itself. Not only do these flat ends offer a sleeker look, they also reduce the likelihood of catching your clothes (or towel!) on them as you move past.  

Explore the full range 

We hope we’ve given you a starting point in your search for a grab rail. Download a brochure to see the complete range and find the style that’s right for you.  

We’re here to help too. Pick up the phone or drop us an email and talk to one of our experts. Contact us here.