Shower benches are an incredible way to add an enormous amount of comfort, function, and beauty to a bathroom. However, since we all have different needs and preferences, it might be confusing to choose the best bench design for YOU.
In this post, we are going to crack the code on what makes a shower bench perfect and how you can pick one easily.
What are the Benefits of Shower Benches?
If you have an elderly or injured family member, a shower bench will make their lives a lot easier, especially if they need a safe space to sit down while taking a shower. It's also recommended to choose a padded shower bench or seat for added comfort for the elderly or those with injury.
Some shower benches can double as a wheelchair-accessible seat, a pedestal for shaving, a shelf, and more.
Many women use shower benches to sit and shave their legs effortlessly.
If you have a physically exhausting job, you can sit on the bench and enjoy a relaxing hot shower for as long as you want.
What Types of Shower Benches are Best?
There are a few different styles of shower benches that are designed to fulfill different needs. Here are the most common styles available today:
Free standing shower benches
These benches are not bolted to the wall and they can be moved, depending on your needs. You can move them around in different areas of your shower, or remove them completely for maintenance or cleaning.
Built-in shower benches
These benches are perfect for people who will be sitting often, such as older adults or anyone with an injury. Built-in shower benches generally blend in seamlessly with the rest of the shower space.
But keep in mind that these benches can take up a lot of space and can be pricier than other options. Also, a built-in bench doesn't allow for a wheelchair to roll under it. However, you can get it custom-built to allow for the bench to feel more integrated into the overall aesthetic of your bathroom.
Floating shower benches
Do you want a bench with a modern and minimal look? If so, a floating shower bench can be a great addition to your bathroom. Floating shower benches can be made using a variety of materials, like marble, granite, tile, teak, and quartz.
These are wall-mounted benches and the space underneath is visible, giving the bathroom an airier and spacious feel.
Depending on its depth and height, a floating shower bench can also accommodate a wheelchair user but make sure to double-check. With these benches, it's vital to ensure that the seat is sturdy enough for sitting so professional installation is recommended.
Folding shower benches
If you won't use the shower bench all the time, consider buying a folding version. These are very easy to tuck away when not in use; you can simply fold them to fit in a small storage space too. They are comparatively lightweight than other bench options.
Since folding benches are simple to install, they are great for someone who has a sprained ankle, knee injury, or a pregnant woman. You can choose a folding bench made from teak, bamboo, or a combination of metal and plastic, depending on your preference.
Also, carefully consider the weight capacity of the folding shower bench before buying. The standard folding benches can hold up to 300 pounds, but you can also find one with 400 pounds or more holding capacity.
Corner shower benches
Corner shower seats are perfect for smaller showers and limited-space bathrooms. They can be designed with or without an open space for wheelchair access underneath the bench.
You can choose to install a floating or solid corner bench, depending on your purpose and budget.
What Are the Best Materials For a Shower Bench?
Shower benches can be made from teak, bamboo, marble, granite, metal or plastic. And each material has its own set of pros and cons.
- If you want a bench that improves the look of your bathroom and will remain safe against mold/mildew for years, teak or bamboo shower bench is recommended. But these are expensive compared to a plastic bench.
But if your bathroom has poor ventilation and it remains humid most of the time, a bamboo bench can shrink and develop mildew over time.
If you want a bench with adjustable height for disabled or elderly family members, a metal or plastic bench is a good choice. These are affordable, durable, and very easy to clean.
You can also go with a marble or granite bench for their luxurious look and incredible durability. They are also very easy to clean and can last a lifetime. They are resistant to mold, and perfect for people with highly-humid bathrooms.
But both marble and granite are porous stones, which means they absorb water. So, you will need to reseal the marble/granite shower bench from time to time as the sealant can wear off. Also, these stones can be cold and hard, even if you're taking a hot shower.
The tops of shower benches can be made from a phenolic, padded, or teakwood materials.
Phenolic has a solid nature, much like a kitchen countertop. They are durable and sturdy but if comfort is your concern, pick a padded top.
Padded benchtops are made of foam-cushion material which makes them ideal for elderly people or those with limited mobility.
Teakwood or bamboo tops are great if you want the bench to exude a modern and elegant appeal.
What Things Should Your Check Before You Buy a Shower Bench?
Weight capacity. The capacity of shower benches can range from 250 pounds to 400 pounds. Consider the size and weight of the people or individual who will be using the bench before you buy one.
Suction cups. If you're buying a folding or free-standing bench, i.e. a bench or seat that doesn't require installation, make sure it has suction cups on the feet. This will ensure that the bench doesn't move around in the shower.
Still feeling like it's a lot of information? Here is a quick summary of everything we discussed above:
Pick a shower bench with padded seats if a pregnant woman, elderly, or injured family member will be using it.
Teakwood shower benches are of the highest quality and most durable. They offer the most reliable protection against mold and mildew, making them the most expensive.
Bamboo shower benches are aesthetically pleasing and cheaper than teakwood benches. But they can become damaged in humid and poorly-ventilated bathrooms.
Marble or granite shower benches are super stylish and durable, but they are high-maintenance.
Consider the weight and size of the people/person who will be using the shower bench to choose one with the right weight capacity.