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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Bath boards

Papa kaukauranga

bath boardA bath board is a wooden or plastic board that creates a seat across your bath so you can sit to have a shower. It's held in place with cleats that grip the inside of the bath.

You may find a bath board helpful if you:

If you use a bath board to shower, it's best to also use a hand-held shower fitting and have a non-slip mat and handrails.

Choosing a bath board

Bath boards come in different shapes, sizes and types of materials. They also have different weight (loading) limits depending on what they're made of.

The type of bath board you get will depend on your bath style, your weight and the measurements of your bath.

To fit a bath board, your bath must have a ledge at least 2 cm wide on both sides. If your bath doesn't have a ledge, talk to an occupational therapist about your options.

Before you choose a bath board, measure the width of your bath from one outside edge to the other outside edge. If there is a rim around the edge of the bath, measure just inside the rim. You'll need a bath board that is about as long as this measurement.

Do not install a bath board if:

If you're unsure about using or fitting your bath board or whether a bath board is right for you, talk to an occupational therapist about your options.

Using a bath board

Always make sure the bath board is fitted snugly according to the manufacturer's instructions and doesn't move around. Check the fitting regularly.

To use a bath board:

  1. start with your feet flat on the floor and your back to the bath
  2. step backwards until you can feel the edge of the bath against the back of your legs
  3. sit on the board and move your bottom back towards the middle of the bath board
  4. starting with the leg closest to the bath, lift both your legs, one at a time, over the side and into the bath
  5. shuffle across to the middle of the bath board.

Reverse the process to get out of the bath. Once your legs are outside the bath, bring your bottom forward as close to the edge as you can and use your hands to push up off the edge of the bath into a standing position.


If you've recently had a knee injury or had surgery, especially hip replacement surgery, talk to an occupational therapist about how to use the bath board. You'll need to use different techniques to protect your surgery site and make sure you do not injure yourself.

Looking after a bath board

You'll need to clean your bath board regularly to make sure it doesn't get slippery. But do not use abrasive cleaners.

Wipe the surface of the board dry after each use. This includes cleaning underneath, as well as cleaning the cleats that hold the board in place.

At least once a week, check the board's condition and how well it's fitting. If it becomes wobbly and loose or shows signs of wear and tear, remove the board and do not use it. Talk to an occupational therapist about what you should do.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2022.


See also:

Shower stools

Page reference: 335884

Review key: HIDAH-120231