Grab bars come in various diameters, also known as thickness. Diameter size is determined by multiple factors, including ADA requirements, location of use (commercial vs. residential), and hand size. Typical ADA bathroom grab bars are available in following 2 diameters:
1¼” thickness. (Most popular residential use grab bar. Better for smaller hands. Slightly less expensive than the larger diameter version.)
1½” thickness. (Most popular commercial use grab bar. Better for larger hands. Slightly more expensive than the smaller diameter version.)
These two grab bar diameter sizes make up about 95% of the commercial and residential grab bar market.
ADA compliant grab bars must have an outside diameter gripping surface (known as thickness or diameter) or cross section if not circular in the range of 1¼” – 2″. Any grab bar with a thickness over 1½” diameter is uncommon. Any grab bar with a thickness of less than 1¼” is considered an assistive device and is not actually classified as a grab bar or ADA approved.
For commercial applications (such as public bathrooms), the most popular grab bar thickness is 1½”. For residential grab bars (such as in home use), the most popular grab bar thickness is 1¼”.
Grab bar grip thickness is a best fit solution. We recommend 1¼” grab bars for adults and children as the narrower diameter is better suited for smaller hands to grasp. Grab bars with 1¼” diameter are recommended for home use and commonly used by the elderly.
Larger diameter grab bars require more material during the fabrication process, which makes the product slightly more expensive than a grab bar with a smaller diameter. Our most economical grab bars are 1¼” diameter, however, the cost reduction compared to its 1½” counterpart is very small.