Hey friends! If you want to upgrade your shower, adding a shower bench is one of the best ways to make your bathroom more stylish, comfortable, and accessible. As an interior design expert with years of experience, I’ve helped countless clients find the ideal shower benches to suit their needs.
In this post, we’ll explore the different types of shower benches, materials to consider, sizing tips, special features for comfort and accessibility, and more. I’ll also share my top tips for aesthetically integrating your new bench into your bathroom decor. Let’s dive in!
- 1 Understanding Different Types of Shower Benches
- 2 Choosing Materials: Pros, Cons, and Care Tips
- 3 Find Your Perfect Size
- 4 Features For Comfort and Accessibility
- 5 Focus on Safety
- 6 Match Your Decor Seamlessly
- 7 Installation Made Simple
Understanding Different Types of Shower Benches
When it comes to shower benches, you’ve got options! Here are some of the most popular styles:
Built-In Shower Benches
These permanent benches are customized to fit your shower space. Often made of tile, stone, or concrete, they deliver a sleek look when incorporated into your shower design.
The pros: These sturdy benches are ideal for anyone who needs stable, fixed seating. You can select materials that beautifully complement your bathroom finishes.
The cons? They require more installation work, and you can’t take them if you move.
Freestanding Shower Benches
Do you prefer a portable option you can move around or take with you? Freestanding benches are just the ticket! They come in styles ranging from wooden to aluminum to plastic, so you can find the perfect material to complement your look.
I love that these benches offer versatile, affordable seating. But remember that very lightweight options may wobble compared to permanent built-ins.
Folding Shower Benches
If you’re short on space, check out folding shower benches. When not in use, they tuck neatly against the wall. Their versatility makes them easy to install in a rental or take on the go.
Keep an eye on weight capacity with folding designs. Also, they may provide a smaller seating surface than other bench styles.
Corner Shower Benches
Making the most of small shower spaces, corner benches tuck neatly into – you guessed it – the corner! Triangle-shaped, they maximize seating while minimizing footprint.
Do note that the triangular shape may feel less spacious than rectangular benches. But for compact showers, they can be just the thing.
Choosing Materials: Pros, Cons, and Care Tips
With so many options, how do you select a material that’s durable, stylish, and easy to care for? Here’s the lowdown:
Teak Shower Benches
This tropical hardwood is incredibly moisture-resistant. Its warm brown hues can infuse any bathroom with natural spa vibes.
Teak does need occasional sanding and re-oiling to look its best. But with proper care, a teak bench will last for years.
Bamboo Shower Benches
For an eco-friendly look, bamboo shower benches are a fabulous choice. Bamboo’s naturally antimicrobial surface makes it a hygienic seating option. It’s also naturally moisture-resistant!
Over time, bamboo can develop small splits and splinters. Regular sanding keeps it smooth. And it can be painted or stained to suit your decor.
Plastic and Acrylic Benches
Affordable, low-maintenance, and available in endless colors, plastic and acrylic benches are versatile. They can be sleek, modern designs or decorative accents.
The downside? Plastic and acrylic don’t offer the same natural beauty or longevity as wood. But with extra care not to scratch the surface, they can get the job done.
Metal Shower Benches
Suppose you prefer a contemporary vibe. Metal shower benches in aluminum or stainless steel offer high-end style on a budget. Their sleek lines complement tile, glass, and other modern finishes.
The industrial aesthetic may only be suitable for some classic or cottage-style bathrooms. But if you love the look, metal benches deliver durable, fuss-free seating.
Find Your Perfect Size
You’ve explored materials – but how do you choose the right size for your space? Follow these tips when measuring up:
- First, measure your shower dimensions. Make note of any awkward corners or obstructions.
- Check the clearance around your shower door with it fully extended. You’ll want plenty of room to move in and out.
- Select a bench that comfortably fits in your measured space. A bench that is too small will provide limited seating, while an oversized bench could impede movement.
- For more minor showers, adjustable or corner benches maximize your footprint.
- Take height into account, too. A bench should suit your natural sitting height – not too low or high.
- Check weight limits to ensure your bench can safely accommodate you or other users.
- Benches with built-in storage or shelves offer space savings in compact showers.
Thoughtfully considering size and proportions will help your new bench feel like it was custom-designed for you!
Features For Comfort and Accessibility
Beyond measurements, keep an eye out for ergonomic designs and helpful features, like:
Adjustable Height Benches
Customize your seating position with adjustable height legs. This allows you to dial the perfect height for comfortably entering, exiting, and showering.
Shower Benches with Backrests
A backrest offers excellent lumbar support, taking pressure off your spine. Look for a gentle recline and ample width to lean back and relax.
Shower Benches with Arms
Armrests are ideal for stability when getting on and off a bench. Gripping sturdy arms makes sitting and standing safer and less stressful on the knees.
Focus on Safety
Safety should always be a top concern when dealing with water and tile. Be sure to select a shower bench with:
- A non-slip seat surface, whether textured plastic/acrylic or wood treated to enhance grip
- Rubber caps on feet, preventing the bench from shifting unexpectedly
- An appropriate weight capacity for foreseeable users
- Thoughtful proportions that allow secure entries and exits
With measurements and features tailored to your needs, your new bench will provide a steady, reliable seating solution.
Match Your Decor Seamlessly
Beyond function, don’t forget about form! A shower bench offers fabulous potential to complement your bathroom decor. Traditional designs with decorative accents can reinforce a classic look, while clean-lined benches in cool hues work wonderfully for contemporary spaces.
To smoothly integrate your new addition:
- Select a size, shape, and style that visually “fits” with existing finishes and furniture
- Coordinate colors and materials – like matching wood tones or complementing metal finishes
- Use your bench to create a designer look, like rounding a corner or acting as a room divider
- Incorporate any special features, like storage, shelves, or grab bars, in a way that complements your decor
With some planning, your shower bench can be the perfect finishing touch!
Installation Made Simple
Speaking of finishing touches, let’s chat about getting your new bench installed. For DIYers, products with clear instructions and all necessary hardware make the process smoother. Be sure to carefully measure before drilling into walls.
Consider hiring a handyperson or contractor for a seamless installation without the hassle. They have the expertise to ensure your bench fits perfectly while covering any potential wall damage or mistakes. You can then enjoy the finished product with peace of mind.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in selecting the ideal shower bench. To recap, measure your space carefully, choose a thoughtfully designed bench that suits your needs, and integrate it into your decor for a polished look.
A custom shower bench is a delightful upgrade. Just assess your space, research options thoroughly, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! I hope this overview inspires you to start your shower bench shopping journey.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line. I’m always happy to help friends create their dream bathrooms. Here’s to upgrade your home in style!