Vinyl coated grab bar

What type grip on a grab bar is the best option?

A person with a very strong grip may choose a knurled grab bar – that is a stainless-steel grab bar with deep grooves crisscross cut into the steel – it provides a “bite” when used and when grabbed firmly is very effective. Knurled may not be the best option for an older or disabled person whose grip is not strong since the “bite” of the knurled grab bar could hurt sensitive skin and those individuals may not have the hand strength necessary to press the skin of their hand into the grooves of the grab bar. In health care situations where infection control is important, the knurled grab bar may not be the best choice because it can be difficult to remove skin cells, oils and germs from the deep grooves of a knurled grab bar.

A peened grab bar is similar to a knurled grab bar – the stainless-steel has lightly textured grooves etched into the grab bar for better traction than regular stainless-steel – but because the grooves are shallower these bars are easier to clean and do not have the “bite” of a knurled grab bar.

The stainless-steel grab bar is a smooth grab bar, they are easy to clean, come in many lengths, finishes such as brushed/satin or polished are available and they are very economical. Used extensively in commercial applications, many homeowners do not like the institutional look of stainless-steel.

Vinyl grab bars, such as Contractor or Maxima from Ponte Giulio USA, are an excellent alternative to all stainless-steel grab bars. The soft and warm feel of the vinyl is much more comfortable for elderly or disabled people whose skin may be thin or sensitive. One of the things doctors look at during a physical exam is strength of grip to determine the health of a patient. Individuals who are battling cancer may prefer vinyl as well since cancer treatments can make them highly sensitive to cold and other types grab bars may actually cause pain. The vinyl grab bars offer a superior non-slip grip when wet or dry and have anti-microbial properties built-in the vinyl which kill 99.9% of bacteria, microbes and fungi. The anti-microbial protection also makes this style grab bar very easy to clean with just warm, soapy water.

Grab bars come in several diameters – both 1 ¼” and 1 ½” are approved for ADA use. If clients are disabled, elderly or have small hands, the best option is the 1 ¼” grab bar since it is smaller and easier for most people to get a firm grip on and more comfortable to use. All grab bars should sit 1 ½” away from the wall, an ADA guideline, which prevents the user from getting their arm stuck between the wall and the grab bar – which could cause an injury such as a broken arm or wrist.

Grab bars are not a “one size or style fits all” type product – considering their strength of grip today and in the future will help determine the best grab bar for each client. At Ponte Giulio USA, there are always multiple options to choose from in order to find the best product for your application and client.