Folding Tub Seats

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Folding tub seats are convenient when you have only occasional need for them. They are a godsend, however, for anyone who needs to bathe sitting down. This might be because of a physical infirmity, an injury or perhaps the weakness that can come with age.

What to Look for in Folding Tub Seats

You want a shower or tub seat to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. The manufacturer label will clearly indicate this, but it never hurts to ask. Part of that compliance is for the seat to support at least 250 pounds. ADA folding tub seats are installed in the bath or shower stall. They fit flush against the wall when not in use.

Folding tub seats will have a steel frame. The seat itself can be either wood or plastic. Wood seats are generally teak. The plastic might be molded or padded. You'll probably want to have them installed rather than attempt to install them yourself.

Safety is the first and most critical consideration. The seat must be secured to studs so that the wall itself bears the load. The superficial surface of a wall--whether it is tile or wallboard--isn't enough to support 50 pounds, much less 250 pounds. If the tub or shower enclosure is fiberglass or other similar material, you'll need to reconsider whether you can or even want to keep that surface. It might need to be replaced. Design is the second consideration. Most tub seats will be installed within a tiled enclosure. It is far easier to damage installed tile than to replace it.

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