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Is my bath suitable for equipment?

Is my bath suitable for equipment?

Care should be taken when using equipment fitted on, or to, a bath. You will need to consider:

  • The length of the bath. Check whether the bath is long enough to use the equipment - especially if a bath board and seat combination is going to be used, and if you will want to straighten your legs in the bath, or if you are particularly tall. A 1700mm long bath allows room for most bath equipment.
  • The width of the bath. If the bath is exceptionally wide or narrow, standard equipment may not fit into/on it.
  • Built-in grab rails on the side of the bath. The positioning of these may hinder the use of equipment or entry and exit to the bath. The side flaps of some bath lifts can become stuck under the built-in grab rails. Some bath lifts come with sliders that fit to the grab rails and prevent the flaps getting caught.
  • The material of the bath. Metal baths are strong enough to withstand most types of bathing equipment. Most acrylic baths are not strong enough to take wedge-in bath seats and, when free-standing bath seats and removable bath lifts are used, the weight should be distributed over as wide a base as possible. You should always check with the supplier of any bathing equipment if there are any limitations on the kind of bath they can be used in, and if necessary check with the manufacturer of your bath. If you are unsure what your bath is made of, see if a fridge magnet sticks to the side of the inside of the bath. If it does, it is probably made of enamelled metal. If the bath sounds like plastic when you tap it, then it is probably plastic/acrylic.
  • Corner baths. Only a few items of equipment can be used in a corner bath, such as specific bath lifts and bath seats (check online product descriptions to see if they mention corner baths or contact the suppliers). Remap (a national charity that helps disabled people achieve independence and a better quality of life by designing and making equipment for their individual needs) may be able to build a bath board for a corner bath.

Further information

If you would like further advice regarding safety in your bath and shower related products then you could try the bathroom and shower section of AskSARA. AskSARA will ask you questions about yourself and your environment and then offer relevant advice, product suggestions and supplier details. AskSARA is the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF's) free online self guidance tool. View AskSARA's bathroom section.

Advice last checked: 30 January 2018 Next check due: 30 January 2021

All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
Conflict of interest statement

References

  1. Disabled Living Foundation 2014  Choosing equipment for bathing
    View reference   Last visited:  30/09/2015 Evidence type: 2
  2. Pain, H., McLellan, L. and Gore, S. 2003  Choosing Assistive Devices: A Guide for Users and Professionals
    Jessica Kingsley Publishers :  London and Philadelphia Evidence type: 1; 2
  3. Ricability 1999  Bath boards and seats
    View reference   Last visited:  14/06/2012 Evidence type: 2