DIY Network

How to Keep the Bathroom Safe

These precautions today will help keep your bathroom safer for years to come.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Childproof the Area

Check your electrical outlets and make sure they have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) to prevent shock. Most electrical codes in the USA require that all outlets near sinks be GFCI. Store all bathroom electrical items away from water and unplug them with not in use.

Set your hot water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less to prevent scalding. Place childproof latches on toilets and trash cans to protect young children. All bathroom cleaning supplies and medicines should be stored out of the reach of children.

Step 3: Consider a Safety Bar

Install a safety grab bar in your tub. If installing a grab bar, and your wall is 5/8-inch wallboard or tile over plaster, cement board, or 1/2-inch wallboard — anchor the grab bar with blind fasteners; otherwise, anchor the bar into studs.

Step 4: Install the Bathtub Grab Bar

Mount the bar diagonally, 36 inches above the tub, and anchor it into the studs. Standard tubs are usually on 16-inch centers. A simple way to pinpoint interior studs is to start at the corner and measure in 16-inches.

To prevent cracking when drilling through tile, start with a 1/8-inch masonry bit, enlarge with a 1/4-inch bit, then use a 5/32-inch wood bit to drill into the stud. Caulk the flange before screwing the bar to the studs with 2-inch wood screws.