What You Need to Know about Toilet Frames and Rails

What You Need to Know about Toilet Frames and Rails


The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the home. Toilet frames and rails are one of the many ways to make your bathroom a safer place. They also aide with continued independence since they make it easier to get on and off the toilet without someone’s help.

What is a Toilet Frame and How is it Used?

A toilet frame fits onto or around the installed toilet. It provides assistance with sitting and standing and is usually made from coated metal. It should be strong enough hold your weight. Toilet frames also provide added stability when using the toilet. Toilet frames can be either free standing or fixed to the floor and are available with or without seats.

What is a Toilet Support Rail and How is it Used?

Unlike a toilet frame, which surround the enter toilet and provides support on both sides, a toilet rail typically only offers support on one side, although two-sided rails are available. Rails are attached to either the wall, the floor, or both depending on the layout of the room and often can fold up when not in use.


When purchasing a toilet frame or toilet rail, there are a few things to consider to ensure you make the best choice for your home and lifestyle.

One-Sided or Two?

One-sided support systems are ideal for users with more strength on one side or the other or those in wheel chairs where the second side might be in the way. Two-sided support systems work best for individuals coping with weak, stiff, or aching joints – such as experienced by people with arthritis - or those with balance issues.

Temporary or Permanent?

Consider your lifestyle. Do you live alone or with others? Do you have frequent visitors who’d use the same bathroom you do? If you’re sharing your bathroom on a frequent basis moveable toilet frames with non-skid feet or a fold-away rail, make sharing this space more convenient. However, if you have your own bathroom space, a permanent structure is more workable. Permanent solutions also maximize safety when properly installed.

Where to Mount Toilet Frames and Rails

Wall mounted solutions tend to take up less space. However, depending on the structure of your walls, it may not always be possible as they need to be able to support your weight safely. Walls with small studs or studs that are not in the right place based on the position of your toilet may not work for wall-mounted solutions. In those cases, floor mounted solutions that can be screwed down into the timber or concrete offer a more practical solution.

Other Considerations

Size, ease of cleaning and arm rests are additional considerations. The support needs to be at the right height for you and extra wide options are available for those who need it. Be sure you purchase a toilet rail or frame that’s easy to clean and made of antibacterial materials. Also, keep in mind that although arm rest are comfortable and warmer on cold days, they can also be harder to grip.


When you understand how toilet frames and rails can keep you safe in the bathroom and purchase a solution with these items in mind, you’ll find the one that helps you have greater independence without getting in the way of other people in your life.

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In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

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More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

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