There's no denying that adding a grab bar to bathtub or shower walls will cut down on the number of accidents that occur getting in or out of the slippery wet surface. It's easy to do when the bathroom is being remodeled and the walls are open so you can build in a wall cleat or blocking to provide a firm foundation for the bar between the two wall studs where the bar will be installed. The challenge is installing a grab bar as an add-on to walls that are finished.
If you're not ripping out the wall and exposing the wall studs, your next best option is to use anchors designed as a blind fastening system, to be installed on sturdy walls made of tile over plaster and lath or tiled walls with at least 1/2-inch thick cement board or drywall wall behind them. There is also an anchoring system designed to install a grab bar to an existing shower and tub with fiberglass walls. While a carpenter will charge $200 to make the installation, you can buy the components and install them for $50, assuming you have some basic carpentry skills and tools.
Now you know the average cost to install a grab bar, which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Don’t forget to adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.