US 3855646 A
A bathtub bench includes a bench seat which is longer than the width of the bathtub so that an end of the seat may extend laterally beyond the side of the tub to assist an invalid into and out of the bathtub. The outermost legs of the bench, which are adapted to rest on the floor outside the bathtub are mounted to a leaf member spaced below the outer end of the bathtub bench. The leaf member and underside of the seat define an opening through which the bottom of a shower curtain may be inserted to preclude water from splashing outside of the tub.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Freedman, Holbrook, and Sandra M. Ze ltcer, Randolph all of Mass; part interest to each Filed: Aug. 6, 1973 Appl. No.: 385,889
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1891 Haulenbeck 297/383 12/1919 Stuart 1 4/185 S Kinney et a1. 4/185 S Glickman Dec. 24, 1974 [5 BATHTUB BENCH 2,243,984 6/1941 Singewald 297/184 2,796,919 6/1957 Ginsberg 297/354  lnvimorsophe Gl'ckman Randolph 3,090,969 5/1963 Maling 4/185 s 7 Mass- 3,570,019 3 1971 Osborne 4/185 s 73 Assignee; Said Sophie E (Hickman, 3,688,353 9/1972 Laauser 4/149 Evelyn Thomas Brockton; Elaine 3,758,894 9/1973 rime 4/185 R Primary Examiner-John W. Huckert Assistant ExaminerStuart S. Levy Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks  ABSTRACT A bathtub bench includes a bench seat which is longer than the width of the bathtub so that an end of the seat may extend laterally beyond the side of the tub to assist an invalid into and out of the bathtub. The outermost legs of the bench, which are adapted to rest on the floor outside the bathtub are mounted to a leaf member spaced below the outer end of the bathtub bench. The leaf member and underside of the seat define an opening through which the bottom of a shower curtain may be inserted to preclude water from splashing outside of the tub.
4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures BATHTUB BENCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION My invention relates to improvements in bathtub benches and, particularly, to a bathtub bench which is ideally suited for use by invalids, incapacitated persons or the like.
Among the difficulties encountered by invalids and the like is that of getting into and out of a bathtub. In such circumstances, the inherent dangers in and around the bathing area are increased because of the persons infirmity. My invention provides an improved bathing bench which extends both inwardly and outwardly of the tub to provide an additional supporting area for the patient as he enters or leaves the tub. A further aspect of my invention relates to an improved bench of the type described which includes an arrangement by which the shower curtain may be retained to prevent water from splashing or dripping outside of the bathtub. This arrangement overcomes the disadvantage of prior proposed invalid bathtub benches which did not consider the problem of maintaining the floor around the tub as dry as possible, at least for safety purposes. With my invention, the risk of hazardous slipping is reduced. The bench also includes a movable backrest which enables the user to face either end of the tub.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The bench is intended to be disposed transversely of the tub and is longer than the typical tub width so that an end of the bench may overhang and extend outwardly beyond the tub to provide a stable support for the user as he enters or leaves the tub. The bench is supported by a plurality of legs which are secured to the bench and are arranged to rest within the tub as well as by legs suspended from the bench at the outward end thereof which rest on the floor of the bathroom and support firmly the overhanging outer end of the bench. The outermost legs are mounted to a leaf member disposed below the bench, the leaf member being spaced from the underside of the bench to enable a shower curtain to be inserted inbetween the underside of the bench and the leaf to preclude water from dripping or spilling outside of the tub.
It is among the objects of the invention to provide an improved bathtub bench which is suited particularly for use with invalids or persons having other infirmities which might hamper their getting into or out of the bathtub.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved bathtub bench which extends partly outside of the top to provide a stable support for the user as he enters or leaves the tub.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved bathtub bench having a means for receiving the lower end of the shower curtain to preclude water from reaching the floor area surrounding the tub.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the invention will be understood more fully from the following further description thereof, with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is an illustration of the bench as used with a conventional bathtub;
FIG. 2 is an end view of the bench; and
FIG. 3 is an elevation of the bench as seen from the left in FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As shown in the drawings, the bench includes a seat portion 10 which is longer than the typical bathtub width. For example, the seat may be twenty-eight inches long, or more. The bench has an inner seating end which, when in use, is disposed over the tub, and an outer end (shown at the right in FIG. 3) which is intended to be located exteriorly of the tub as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. Secured to the underside of the bench 10 is a leaf-like member 12 which has an outer end 14 unconnected to but normally lying against the underside of the seat 10. The more inner portions of the leaf 14 are secured to the underside of the seat by means of suitable fasteners 16 which extend through the seat and into rear supporting legs 18 and a central or intermediate leg 20 to secure the legs 18, 20, leaf number 12 and seat 10 securely together. The bench also includes a pair of outer legs 22 which are secured to the outer end 14 of the leaf 12 by fasteners 24. The outer end 14 of the leaf 12 is intended to lie adjacent the underside of the seat 10 when in use although it is sufficiently flexible to enable its outermost end to be flexed downwardly from the underside of the seat 10 for a purpose later described. It may be noted that the outer legs 22 are not secured directly to the seat but, because they are secured only to the outer end of the leaf 14, they do not interfere with the downward flexure of the leaf. The outer legs 22, however, are sufficient to provide a firm support for the outer end of the seat when weight is placed on it, as when the user gets into or out of the tub. Each of the legs 18, 20, 22 are of adjustable length so that they may be used with bathtubs with varying depths and heights above the bathroom floor 26. For this purpose, the lower ends of each of the legs 18, 20, 22 may include a threadably adjustable foot which, if desired may also include a swivel pad 30 to conform to the surface against which it rests.
In use, the bench is placed in the tub generally as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 with the outer end extending outwardly beyond and laterally of the tub. The user then can get into the tub by bracing himself on the outwardly extending portion. After he is in the tub and sitting on the bench the outer end of the leaf 12 can be separated slightly from the underside of the seat 10 and the shower curtain 32 can be inserted in the opening between the outer end of the leaf and the underside of the seat 10. The leaf may, if desired, include a channel shaped portion 34 between the center leg 20 and the outer end of the leaf 14 to receive the lower edge of the shower curtain as suggested in FIG. 3. The channel 34 should be located on the leaf so that it will be disposed interiorly of the tub when the bench is in use. With the shower curtain 32 thus tucked in it will redirect any water back into the tub and will maintain the floor 26 dry.
The invention also includes a backrest 36 which is movable widthwise of the bench 10 and longitudinally of the tub so that the user may face in the desired direction, depending on the relative location of the bathtub with the shower nozzle. The backrest may be pivotally supported at 38 to a pair of slides 40 which, in turn, are slidably mounted to the forward and rearward ends of the bench 10 by means of guide tracks 42 located at the forward and rearward edges of the seat as shown. The guide tracks are engagable, slidably with a member 44 secured to the lower end of the slides 40. The backrest 36 is further connected to the slide 40 by means of a pin 44 secured to the slide 40 and extending into the respective side of the backrest 36. If desired, this pin 44 may be received in an arcuate slot 46 formed on each side of the backrest and the lower end of the backrest may be spaced slightly from the upper surface of the seat 10. This arrangement permits slight pivoting movement of the backrest 36 which may provide a more comfortable seat in that it enables the backrest 36 to be pivoted backward slightly.
The various parts of the bathtub bench may be fabricated from any of a number of suitable materials such as plastic, wood, metal or the like.
It should be understood that the foregoing description of the invention is intended merely to be illustrative thereof and that other embodiments and modifications may be apparent without departing from its spirit.
Having thus described the invention what I desire to claim and secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A bathtub bench comprising:
a seat having opposite ends;
at least one leg secured to one end of said seat and extending downwardly therefrom, said leg being adapted to be supported by said tub;
at least one intermediate leg mounted to said seat at the underside thereof and being adapted to stand in said tub to support said seat in cooperation with said first mentioned at least one leg;
the other end of said seat being of a length and constructed and arranged to extend transversely and outwardly beyond the periphery of said tub when said first and intermediate legs are disposed within said tub;
said bench further including at least one third leg disposed below said outwardly extending end of said seat and extending downwardly toward the floor to support said outwardly extending portion of said seat; and
means located at the underside of said seat at the exterior end thereof to enable the lower end of a shower curtain to be inserted about the outer end of said seat and along the lower surface thereof thereby to guide water flowing down along said curtain to be returned into said tub.
2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said means receptive to said shower curtain comprises:
a flexible leaf member secured to said seat at the underside thereof and extending from the midportion of the seat toward the outer end of the seat, said leaf member being mounted for flexure downwardly away from said seat to receive said shower curtain.
3. A device as defined in claim 2 further comprising: said outermost leg being secured to the outer end of said leaf and extending downwardly therefrom.
4. A device as defined in claim 2 further comprising: means forming a downwardly and transversely extending channel in said leaf, said channel being receptive to the end of said shower curtain.