Easy Install Grab Bar with No Screws
First time I saw one of these things, I thought “No way! That thing is an accident looking for a place to happen!” But after owning one, holding it in my own hand, I must say it does have a place, a useful place in my house.
Really, when it comes to grab bars, I’m an old-school kind of guy. Give me that chrome bar and some #10 screws any day. Done right, I could hoist up a small refrigerator on that thing. I mean, well, not in the bathroom but, you know what I mean, something really heavy. I mean that bar can be really tough. The old chrome bar thing has been around for a long time, and though they can be tricky to install correctly, once completed, they are hard to beat.
What? No Screws?
When I saw Nova’s suction cup grab bars, I was skeptical, to say the least. “Small and plastic, and probably made in Taiwan or China” I thought. “Hmph,.. waste of time and money.” But, my supplier was offering these things for me to sell on the website, Caregiver-Aid.com. So, I guess I had to take a closer look at these suction cup grab bars.
So, when I actually got one and held it in my hand, I was surprised to see the bar was made by Nova. I have a lot of respect for Nova products. They seem to be serious about producing good products. Everything I’ve seen from them seems to be well thought out. That’s kind of refreshing in today’s corporate world. OK, so if Nova is selling it, there must be something to it. Suction cup grab bars are sold by many different suppliers under different brand names. If this was a bad design, then this company would not have it in their product line-up.
Well,… it was still small and plastic. As I read the directions, I thought to myself, “Just as I suspected, lots of do’s and don’ts. It says,” This product is meant for balance-assist only. Not intended to support body weight.” It also says,” Product will secure only to a smooth, flat, non-porous surface.”
How Suction Cup Grab Bars Work
Ok, so Nova’s suction cup grab bars have two large diaphragms with levers over each one.
There are tiny little indicators that tell you if you have a good seal (green) or not (red). You are supposed to clean and dry the surface first. So I proceeded to stick this thing onto different surfaces around the house. I tried it out on our kitchen cabinet doors and it stuck pretty good. I tried the refrigerator door which has a textured surface, and the suction cups did not like that. I stuck it to some painted doors, and got a green indicator, at first, but it would lose its grip and turn loose after a minute or two. Well, this is fun, but how does it work in the bath?
First, I learned the surface MUST be a smooth, flat, non-porous surface or the suction cup grab bar will NOT stick securely. My tub is surrounded by square tiles about 4-5 inches wide on the walls, and, of course, there are grout lines around tiles. If I position the grab bars over any grout line, it would not achieve a good seal, and the indicator would show red. However, I could position the suction cups where both of them were within the tile boundaries and not on a grout line and the suction bar would hold fast. Once you get two green indicators, then the grab bar will not release. I pulled and jerked on the bar trying to get it to fail and I could not make that happen.
One note of caution: the directions clearly state “Balance-assist only.” I’m sure that the manufacturer would consider what I’m doing as product abuse. But I just had to know how well this thing would hold around my tub.
Green – Yes, Red – No
Once I released the levers, and had two red indicators, I peeled the suction cups off the wall using the little tabs on the edge of the cup. I checked the wall, and there was no sign anything was ever there. I looked at the cup, and thought “Hmm… somebody had a good idea.” I was pleasantly surprised.
I decided to test just how long the cup would keep a seal once it was set correctly. So I positioned the bar correctly and locked it down, while checking to see that I had two green indicators of a good seal. This suction cup grab bar was placed on the wall of a busy tub where there are multiple showers and baths each day. I would grab it and give it a wiggle each time I got in and out of the tub. After a couple of days, the seal indicators still read green. After four or five days, I worried that I might pull it off the wall, but that didn’t happen. The indicators were still green. After seven, eight and nine days, I still had two green indicators and a firm grip. Hmmm. Finally, on the tenth day, I gave it a strong wiggle and one seal indicator turned red. I snapped back both levers and removed the bar from the wall. I inspected the tiles and I could find no indication that there had ever been anything fastened there. Hump! Well I’ll be,…
Does Not Leave Marks
You-know,.. being plastic means that it will never rust, and has no problems operating in a wet environment. With it being so small I could store it in a drawer, cabinet or suitcase. Because it’s so easy to install and to remove, I could put it up for my shower, and then take it down and put it away when I’m done. It doesn’t leave any marks on the wall, so I could use it without fear of damaging someone else bathroom wall if I happen to be at a hotel or visiting a family member. I could bring it along and use it in the bathroom wherever I happen to be staying.
I’m still a fan of the tried-and-true chrome grab bar with the #10 screws. But a standard chrome bar can’t do that. But With Nova’s Suction Cup grab Bar, considering the ease of installation and removal, the portability, the convenience of being able to place it in different spots are all big advantages.
What a wonderfully modern world we live in!
So, I guess that I will have to admit that I am a convert. This really is an easy install grab bar with no screws. Follow the directions, and this thing will actually work quite well. I think I might keep it.
If you would like to add comments or questions, please be my guest.