How to remove shower grab bar (Do THIS First!)

Removing an old shower grab bar is an easy do-it-yourself project. But, there are some simple, inexpensive tricks that can help you get the job done.  

If the grab bar is rust-encrusted, it might need some more work but it shouldn’t be too much problem with the right tools. Let’s get this done!


Tools and materials you’ll need

The shower handle removal process is pretty straightforward. All you’ll need is a screwdriver and the right tools to remove your existing shower grab bar. So, you’ll need:

– A pair of pliers or channel-lock pliers

– A Philips screwdriver

– A flathead screwdriver

– A drill and drill bit

– A 5/16 inch hex key

Getting towels and a bucket handy can also make the process easier. 

Remove the old shower grab bar

There are different systems. Sometimes you just have to pop open a plastic piece and pull the grab bar. 

Shower grab bars can be quite hard to remove.

Stronger systems will require that you remove some screws. You might have to look around and open up a part before you get access to them. These are commonly metal rings that connect with the wall. Sometimes you can remove these rings by pulling them with pliers. In other instances, you will need to use an Allen (or Hex) Key to open up a Hex screw. This gives access to a compartment with other screws.

Now we can move forward and remove the screws. This is often quite straightforward and can be done with a screwdriver or drill. Just make sure that your bath or shower is protected. Adding towels and plastic bags can be a great idea. Also, make sure that the handlebar doesn’t fall in the bath or shower as this can lead to cracks or other damage. 

These are long screws and it can take some time to remove them. You shouldn’t force this as you can damage tiles. For this reason, it is important that you use a slower setting on your drill.

If a plug was used, it is possible that you have to remove a piece of plastic as well. This can be done with pliers. It is possible that this plastic piece has to be cut open before you can get it out. 

A rusted screw can be hard to remove.

If the screws are rusted, it can take more time to get them out. You can try to remove dirt from the screws but if the head is damaged, you might need to use pliers to turn the screw. Make sure that you don’t break it as it can be difficult to get a part out without a magnet. You can also use special tools to remove broken screw heads. These are called broken screw extractors and make it a lot easier to remove screws that got stuck. 

Once the screws have been removed, you can pull the grab bar and it should pop off. Some handlebars use hex screws instead of normal screws. You will have to use an Allen Key if this is the case. Turn it counterclockwise to remove the screws.

Final Step: Seal the Hole

Once the shower grab bar has been removed, it is a great idea to seal the hole as this can collect dirt and water. This can lead to mold and other damage. You can use silicone to fill the hole. It is even better to add plastic plugs so that it is completely sealed. 

Removing a shower grab bar can result in holes in the wall.

Be sure to clean the holes before you seal them. This can be done by using a vacuum to remove the dust. Once this is done, you can use a wet towel to get it completely cleaned up. 

To remove the holes completely, you can also remove the tiles with the holes. This requires a hammer and chisel. You have to wear personal protection such as goggles and gloves when you do this as the tiles can chip when you do this. Then you will need to add mortar to install the new tiles. Let the tiles rest for a few days before you use the bath or shower. We have discussed how to add grout to tiles HERE. It is possible that you don’t find the same tiles and have to replace more of them. If this is too much work, you can try to find tiles that have the same color or shade. 

If you install a new shower grab bar, you have to make sure that it has enough support. Read the manual of the grab bar to see how you have to install it. Some handles can’t carry that much weight so be sure to get the right one for your needs. The diameter of the screws can differ between handles so it is important that you check this before you buy new shower grab bars. 

Plumbers can often help you with removing a shower grab bar and installing a new one if you don’t want to do it yourself. They have the tools to remove the grab bar and install a new one. 


Shower handles can be useful but after a few years, you will have to replace them. Removing a shower grab bar isn’t exactly hard to do. There are some simple tricks that can help you get the job done.

It can take some time to get it done but for most people, it should be achievable to remove the grab bar . If you have a screwdriver and an Allen key, it should be possible to remove. Remove the metal ring covers and you should get access to the screws that hold the handlebar in the wall. Just don’t use too much force as the screws can break. 

Just make sure that you plug the holes so that dirt doesn’t get in them. This is essential as showers are wet areas that create a lot of dust and dirt. Adding new tiles makes the final result nicer but it is more work. When in doubt, you can hire a plumber to get this fixed. It is important that this is installed properly. Plumbers can help with this process. In commercial buildings you will also need to have the proper certifications.