Specialty Grab Bars
How do I know if I need a left or a right Newel Grab Bar?
While facing toward the stairs, you would need a left Newel Grab Bar to mount to the left newel post or corner, and a right Newel Grab Bar to mount to the right newel post or corner.
Can I use any of these specialty grab bars outdoors?
Flat end grab bars are made of stainless steel and are appropriate for outdoor use. All other specialty grab bars, being made of carbon steel, would rust over time.
Can I mount the flat end or cranked grab bars to drywall?
Drywall isn’t structural, so there is no way it would support much weight, let alone the stress from someone grabbing the bar during a fall. Never rely on anything but solid 2x wood blocking, concrete, concrete block, or some other substantial material as a mounting platform for a grab bar. Drywall can be covering the surface over that substantial material, but fasteners have to penetrate deep into the mounting platform.
What is the pad made of on a padded back rest?
The pad is made of closed cell foam. It is quite firm and will not absorb water.
Can the padded back rest be used as a grab bar?
Yes, they can. The bar on these back rests is very stout and the fact that they project from the wall a good distance makes them a natural handhold. Be sure back rests are fastened to solid blocking either in the wall or on the wall. The blocking must be well secured to the wall framing. This may require an installer to open the wall to fasten 2x wood blocking between studs. Screw cleats to the studs, then screw the blocking to the cleats (toenailing blocking to studs is insufficient for any load bearing device like a grab bar or seat). An installer could also screw through the studs into the ends of the blocking, though this requires a bigger opening into the wall to expose more stud bays. Alternatively, a strong piece of lumber can be fastened to the outside of the wall so long as the fasteners reach deeply into the framing; then the back rest can be secured to the piece of lumber.