What is a Wall Mounted Bath Seat?
As the name implies, a wall-mounted bath seat is a bath seat that is permanently fixed to the bathroom wall. All models are designed to provide a user with a place to sit while bathing. Some of the longer bench-style models can also be used to make the transition into and out of the tub easier and safer.
Who Would Benefit from a Wall Mounted Bath Seat?
- can’t stand for the duration of the shower
- have difficulty stepping over the tub wall
- use a wheelchair and can slide from the wheelchair seat over onto the bath seat
Wall Mounted Bath Seat Features
Wall-mounted bath seats come in a variety of shapes, styles, and sizes and can include different accessories as described below.
- Seat Size: Some models have short chair-sized seats, others have longer bench-style seats.he models with longer bench-style seats are usually preferable to the chair-sized seats, because they have more sitting surface to land on, as well as provide more space to rest shampoo, soap, or an adjustable shower head.
- Stationary or Flip Up Seat: Some models have a seat that remains fixed in place, while others can be flipped up out of the way when not in use. The flip-up style models allow other family members the option to use the tub for soaking baths.
- Legs/No Legs: Many wall-mounted bath seat models have no legs. The seat is either suspended from the wall, or designed to rest on top of the tub walls. Some models have two legs or four legs that extend from the seat down to the floor for added support. The presence of legs can be beneficial for two reasons: It is helpful to support persons of higher weight ranges and it can also reduce (or eliminate) the need to add additional reinforcement (aka blocking) inside the wall.
- Materials: Wall-mounted shower seats can be found made from wood, plastic, or stainless steel.
- Padded Seats:. Some models have vinyl or naugahyde covered padded seats. Padded seats are a good option for those concerned with developing pressure sores on their bottoms. One drawback of padded seats is that with increased age the seat covers may dry out and split. “Some” companies offer replacement seat pads designed for the models they offer, so it is not necessary to replace the entire bench, if the padded seat wears out.
- Arm Rests: Some models include armrests, which you can use to push up to a standing position and for support with sitting balance while bathing. The armrests on most models have hinges allowing them to be flipped up out of the way. This is beneficial for those who want to slide sideways from a wheelchair seat over onto the bath seat.
Wall Mounted Bath Seat Considerations
Following are some considerations to keep in mind when selecting a bath seat and the location to install it.
- No Stepping Into Tub! If you do select a longer bench-style seat, try to install it so the side of the seat is positioned near to the edge of the tub wall (where you enter the tub), making it possible for you to back up and sit down on the seat while both feet are still outside the tub (like sitting on a chair). Then from a safe seated position you can lift one leg at a time over the tub wall. Ideally, it should not extend outwards beyond the tub wall, because it will make it more difficult to tuck the shower curtain inside the tub.
- Blocking in Walls: Wall-mounted bath seats that hang suspended from the wall usually require additional structural support (aka blocking) be added inside the bathroom wall. Models designed to rest on the tub walls and models with legs extending down to the floor below, usually do not require the installation of additional support inside the bathroom wall.
- Water & Controls: When installing a wall mounted bath seat, the typical location to install it is on the wall located at the head end of the tub (rear of the tub), which consequently places a seated bather out of reach of the water controls and out of range of the running water. These problems can be remedied by installing a handheld showerhead with an on/off switch on the showerhead.
The Homeability Advice™
The models that hang completely suspended from the walls are usually a better consideration if you are going to remodel the bathroom entirely, because it is much easier for a contractor to reinforce the inside of the walls with wood blocking when the wall studs are exposed. The wall-mounted bath seat models that are designed to rest on the tub walls and/or those that fasten to the wall and have legs extending down to the floor are a good consideration if you are adding a bath seat to an existing shower because they usually don’t require the addition of extra support inside the bathroom wall.
The models that rest directly on the tub walls are a good consideration for shorter users, but they often tend to be too low for taller users to comfortably sit down on and stand up from. For a taller user, a model that can be fixed to the wall at a higher height is a good consideration (either one that hangs suspended from the wall or one with legs that extend down underneath the seat).