Tub rails are a great device to assist with getting in and out of the bathtub or for help with getting up from a bath chair. A tub rail can be installed on any area of the bathtub wall where assistance will be needed and that will not interfere with the individual getting into and out of the tub. A tub rail is a great option for individuals who would benefit from a secure hand grip to help pull themselves up from a seated position or who need assistance when entering or exiting the bathtub.
Tub Rails VS. Grab Bars
The difference between a standard grab bar and tub rail is that the grab bar installs permanently on the walls of the bathroom, whereas the tub rail installs directly onto the side of the tub and can be installed and removed without any damage to the tub. Grab bars are typically installed vertically or horizontally on the wall and can provide a higher gripping surface if needed. Tub rails will typically have a lower gripping surface, which may work well for those using bath chairs. When a tub rail is used together with a wall grab bar, the user can then have a hand grip on both sides while entering or exiting the tub.
Tub rails are available in many different designs and sizes to fit individual needs. The first thing to consider is the construction of your bathtub. Most tub rails are designed for ceramic or other hard surface bathtubs and will not work with fiberglass tubs as the wall is not strong enough to safely support the rail installation and user weight. We do carry a tub rail that will work with fiberglass tubs. You can view this item by Clicking Here.
It is also important to note that tub rails cannot be used with Claw Foot Tubs or with tubs that include sliding doors, as the metal rods will prevent proper installation. For users with these types of bathtubs, you can consider using wall mounted grab bars or Support Rails that install as a tension mounted rod/ pole.
Choosing the best Tub Rail
There are many tub rail designs to choose from and few things to consider when choosing the best tub rail. It may be a good idea to check the thickness of your bathtub wall before buying a tub rail. Most tub rails will fit standard size tub walls, typically adjustable from approximately 3"-7". Almost all tub rails install without tools (simply by hand tightening) and include pads so that they will not mar or scratch the tub surface during installation and tightening.
Design and Placement of the tub rail are also important factors dependent upon the individual needs of the user. Most rails run horizontally with the tub wall; however, vertical installation tub rails are also available. Some users prefer the tub rail to run perpendicular to the tub wall as they don't want the tub rail interfering with getting in and out of the tub. The most important thing to remember when choosing a tub rail is the location of the rail. It should be installed in a place that will aid the user with getting in and out of the tub, but not cause any obstacles or interference.
Many users who are using a bath chair find a tub rail installed on the bathtub wall and a wall mounted grab bar on the other side useful for helping to pull themselves up to a standing position. Although some bath chairs include arms, these are typically meant to assist users with pushing themselves upward to a standing position. However, it is sometimes easier for users to have an option to pull themselves up.
Tub rails are available in various lengths, heights, adjustable height, and there are those with multi level gripping surfaces to provide for a hand grip at different levels.