DIY Network

How to Install a Tub Safety Bar

Safety bars are a great way to add extra support in a bathtub.

More in Bathroom

  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Locate the Wall Studs

Safety bars for your shower are available in many styles and colors (Images 1 and 2).

Most safety bars are held directly to the wall by a mounting ring. A decorative cover plate protects the mounting ring and is held in place by a setscrew (Image 3), which is located underneath the bar so it won't retain water.

Depending on the length of the bar, you can install it vertically, diagonally or horizontally. In all cases, you must attach it to wall studs for proper support.

After you determine where you want the safety bar, use a stud sensor to locate the nearest wall studs.

Step 2: Drill Pilot Holes

Position the safety bar, and make sure it's plumb or level (Image 1). Mark and drill pilot holes for the mounting ring (Image 2). If you're drilling into fiberglass or tile, make a starter hole with an awl. Use a carbide bit to drill into the tile. There will be several holes around the mounting ring. Drill pilot holes for each one.

Step 3: Secure the Mounting Ring

Secure the mounting ring to the wall, driving a screw through each hole (Image 1). If you're using a drill, you may need an extension bit to avoid marring the surface of the shower bar.

drilled screws in each pilot hole secures mounting

Courtesy of Blake Brinkman

Step 4: Tighten the Setscrew

Place the decorative cover plate over the mounting ring, and tighten the setscrew.