How To Place Grab Bars in a Shower

Installing a grab bar in the shower may prevent accidental falls causing injury.

When selecting a grab bar and its placement, take your time. Consider if children will use the grab bar. Measure each adult and use these measurements when installing the grab bars to ensure adults can use them to stand in the shower. Considering all scenarios before placing the grab bar in the shower ensures you have the right length and height. Both ends of the grab bar must be mounted into studs to prevent them from becoming loose and falling out of the wall.

Protect the area beneath where you'll be drilling to install the grab bars with a towel or old newspaper.

Locate the studs in the area you want to mount the grab bar with a stud finder. Mark the studs with a pencil.

Place a strip of masking tape down the wall using a carpenter's level to indicate the stud locations.

Position the ends of the grab bar over the masking tape indicating the studs. Both ends must mount solidly into studs.

Slide the decorative cover out of the way, and hold the bar in place. Mark the three screw holes you will drill on each end with a marker.

Drill a pilot hole with a drill and drill bit drilling into the studs. Wipe away any debris with a clean damp rag. Repeat for each hole.

Insert silicone caulking into each hole, and then on the back of the grab bar ends.

Place the grab bar ends over the pilot holes, making sure the decorative cover is well out of the way. Thread the washers onto the wood screws while you have the mounting flange lined up with the holes, and drive the screws through the flange into the holes.

Wipe away any silicone caulking with a damp cloth that may have oozed out. Setups vary depending upon manufacturer's directions. Typically, you screw in one flange first and then insert the bar and second flange, and then screw the second flange into the wall.

Slide the decorative cover over the mounting flange. Spin and snap it in place. Do not use the shower until the silicone has dried according to the manufacturer's directions.

Things You Will Need

  • Grab bar
  • Towel or old newspaper
  • Stud finder
  • Marker
  • Masking tape
  • Carpenter's level
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Clean damp rag
  • Silicone caulking
  • Caulking gun


  • Grab bars mount differently depending on the manufacturer.


  • Always follow the manufacturer's directions and safety precautions when mounting grab bars.

About the Author

Stephanie Nolan has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles appear on various websites, where she specializes in topics about home improvement, parenting and interior design. Nolan holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.