Bath bench leg extensions (aka tub bench leg extenders) are designed to be attached to the bottom of each of the bath seat’s legs to further increase the bench’s seat height. The addition of leg extensions to a bath bench is typically easy and tool-free. The existing bottom segments of the bath bench’s legs are removed and replaced by new ones, which are typically exactly the same in appearance as the original ones, just longer.
Bath bench leg extenders are available in different lengths. They can add an additional 3-8 inches to the bath seat’s height, depending on the length of the extensions that are selected.
Who Would Benefit?
- Tall Persons: Leg extenders are used to make a bath seat higher for a tall person.
- Owners of Whirlpool/Jacuzzi Tubs: Leg extensions are also used to increase a bath bench’s seat height, so it is capable of clearing the higher tub walls found on jacuzzi or whirlpool-style bathtubs.
What do you need to consider when selecting bath bench extension legs?
Be aware! The bath bench leg extensions that do exist for sale are not compatible with all bath bench models! If you are specifically searching for a tall bath bench, ideally try to carefully pre-select a bath bench model that you know can be paired with an existing set of leg extensions. But, what if you already own a bath bench and you learned too late that it is not tall enough? If you already own a bath bench, contact the manufacturer of it to see if they offer leg extensions that are compatible with your bench. If they do not, the manufacturers of some bath bench leg extenders claim they are “universal” and suitable for “most” bath seat models. You can screen them (via checking their specifications and looking at photos online) to see if you believe they are likely to work for your bench.
- Number of Leg Extenders
Prior to ordering leg extensions, check the number of leg extenders the package includes! Some leg extenders are sold separately. This allows you to simply replace one of them if you were to ever need to. Others come in packages of two or four leg extensions. Why do some packages only include two legs? Bath benches are designed to have two legs rest inside the tub and two legs rest outside of the tub. The tub floor inside of a bathtub is higher than the bathroom floor outside of the tub, so for this reason some people may only be seeking two leg extenders for the two exterior legs in order to achieve a more level seat height between the interior and exterior of the tub. If you are trying to increase the overall height of the seat though (the portion inside the tub too), you will require all four.
- Rubber Tips or Rubber Suction Cups?
Some leg extenders have rubber tips (also known as rubber stoppers or flanges) at the end which make contact with the floor, while others have rubber suction cups. Both the rubber tips and rubber suction cups help prevent the bath chair from sliding across the bathtub or shower floor. The ones with suction cups can add an extra degree of security to prevent the chair from sliding, but are only effective if the floor surface is smooth. If the surface is textured or has grout lines the suction cups will not adhere well.
- Clearance Underneath the Seat
Are you seeking a bath bench that is tall enough to clear high tub walls? If this is your goal then an important measurement to take into account is the bath bench’s “clearance height”, which refers to the lowest point present below the seat that is free of any protruding parts. Be aware, most manufacturers only list the “bath seat height”, which is different. The bath seat height is the measurement from the floor to the very top of the seat.
If the “clearance height” is not listed, contact the manufacturer to confirm the maximum clearance height underneath the seat. Then, take into account the bench’s maximum clearance height and the height of your tub’s walls and select the appropriate length leg extenders to overcome the difference.
The Homeability Advice™
Our advice is to begin your search, not with the bath bench itself, but instead with the “bath bench leg extensions”. There are only a small handful of bath bench leg extensions available for sale. The ones that are for sale online and in local stores will typically include a list of compatible bath bench models they can be used with.
If your tub is extremely tall or wide and you cannot identify a matching bath bench & leg extension combination to suit your tub, we recommend visiting our guide on Bath Benches for Whirlpool and Jacuzzi Bathtubs to learn about additional options.
One drawback of using a bath bench is that a portion of the seat resides outside of the bathtub, making it impossible to tuck the shower curtain inside the tub and therefore more difficult to keep the water inside. To learn more about selecting an appropriate shower curtain, visit our Accessible Shower Curtain guide.
Obviously, sitting while bathing is definitely safer and easier, but it also comes with a drawback, which is that you will be further away from the shower head. A simple remedy is to add a handheld shower head. To learn more about selecting an appropriate one for your needs, visit our Handheld Showerhead guide.