How to Remove Grab Bars

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Grab bars are installed inside bath and shower enclosures for safety purposes. Meant to help maintain balance and stable footing when getting in and out of the bath tub or shower, they are typically made of stainless steel or heavy plastic and are usually installed after the bathroom has been built. Should you decide you know longer need these grab bars, they can be removed.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver or power drill Fiberglass patch kit (if the tub enclosure is made of fiberglass) Mortar or replacement tiles (if the enclosure is tiled) Sandpaper (fine gauge) Bathroom cleaning solution Sponge Putty knife Paint for tiles Wall spackle Wall paint Wrench
  • Use a screwdriver or power drill and remove the screws holding the grab bar or bars. Clean the area where the grab bars were with bathroom cleaning solution and a sponge.

  • Use a fiberglass patch kit if you have removed the grab bars from a fiberglass tub or shower enclosure. The kit will include an epoxy, a patch and some fiberglass paint. When you select your kit at a hardware or home and garden supply store, you will likely find many color options, and will be able to choose one that is very close in color to the shade of your tub or shower enclosure. Your kit will require you to sand any rough spots where the grab bars were installed, and then affix the patch with the provided epoxy. After the allotted drying time, as referenced on the kit instructions, paint over the patch with the paint provided.

  • Use mortar to patch the hole where the screws were if the tub or shower enclosure was tiled. The one exception to this rule would be to replace the actual tiles affected if replacement tile is available. Otherwise apply the mortar to the holes with a putty knife. Once it has dried sand it gently with fine gauge sand paper. Paint over the tile with a paint color that closely matches the color of the tile.

  • Remove the grab bar screws and fixtures from a painted drywall surface using a screwdriver or power drill. Spread wall spackle over the holes with a putty knife. Allow the spackle to dry for about an hour and sand gently with fine gauge sand paper. Paint over the patched areas with wall paint that matches what is already there, or be prepared to repaint the entire wall.

  • Use a wrench if you find that your grab bars have been installed using nuts and bolts. Turn the nuts counter-clockwise until they have been loosened, and then remove the rest of the way by hand. Follow the proper patching instructions based on whether the tub and shower enclosure is made of fiberglass, drywall or tile.

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