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15 Inspiring Shower Seating Ideas

Freestanding

The most flexible and often the least expensive way to add seating to your shower is to pop in a freestanding, or standalone, stool or bench. Wood is a smart material choice because it’s light and slip-resistant, and it adds an earthy counterpoint to hard bathroom surfaces. Just be sure to select properly treated items that won’t rot or mildew when maintained, such as the slat-top teak bench seen in this Oakland, California, bathroom by Joy Street Design.

Hinoki, or Japanese cypress, is another wood that performs well in wet environments. It’s a popular choice for shower accessories (such as the bench and bucket in this minimalist shower designed by PlaidFox Studio) thanks to its antimicrobial and quick-drying properties as well as its refreshing scent. As with teak, look for Forest Stewardship Council certification to ensure the wood has been sustainably harvested.

Whether you’re opting for a built-in seat or a freestanding style, take a cue from this contemporary bathroom by K Design and install sturdy grab bars, niches, handheld nozzles and valves so they’re easy to reach from a seated position.

Beyond wood, you can get creative with indoor-outdoor seats made of weather-resistant materials such as glazed ceramic, plastic and resin. For example, stools like the one in this transitional bathroom by FMSProjects can be attractive and affordable. Just note that any seat not designed specifically for use in a shower should be used with caution. The safest bet, especially for heavier users and anyone who has trouble standing or mobility issues, would be an ADA-compliant bench with nonslip feet.

Fold-Down

Fold- or flip-down shower seats (some of which have fold-down legs as well) take up minimal space, yet some models can support more than 400 pounds and meet ADA code requirements when properly installed. This shower, in honed white Carrara marble installed by Constructa, features a wood version that’s at home in both traditional and contemporary bathrooms.

Built-In With a Solid Base

Built-in benches with solid bases are a bigger commitment, but they can also make a big impact, as is the case with this quartz-topped, tile-wrapped built-in bench in Calgary, Alberta, by design-build firm LD&A. Pros recommend a seat height of 17 to 19 inches off the finished shower floor to meet industry standards. Depth is a matter of preference, but 12 to 21 inches is common. Seats should also be slightly angled toward the shower drain to prevent leakage and mold.

Teak tops the bench in this Indiana shower clad in Heath Ceramics tile, designed by Susan Yeley Homes. Wood is less slippery than stone, and it’s a warmer seating surface. That said, you can avoid a cold tushie on solid-surface and tile seats by installing under-seat heating.

In this Phoenix bathroom by Anthony W Design, wood “decking” forms the floor and bench.

Why just sit when you can sprawl? This steam room in a Bel Air mansion by The House Group features a built-in lounge covered in small tiles that conform to its curvilinear shape and provide slip resistance. Pros advise using a tile that’s suitable for floors and walls and is approved for a wet location.

Floating

A floating seat, like this sleek wet-dry bench in a Los Angeles bathroom, can confer a lighter look than a solid-based bench. Like flip-down seats, they require substantial structural reinforcement especially when made of softer materials like marble and wood so professional installation is advised.

A custom floating glass seat echoes the glass tile in this compact shower designed by Christa Young of TY Design. LED lighting installed under the seat illuminates the glass and adds to its visual impact.

Corner

Corner benches make good use of tight quarters and awkward angles, as you can see in this contemporary Houston bathroom by Maureen Stevens Design. The rhomboid-shaped floating teak bench complements the black-and-white hexagonal tile.

Note the convenient location of the niche and handheld shower in this luxe marble-clad shower in San Francisco by architect-led construction company Zack | de Vito.

This content was originally published here.

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