You've decided that you'd like to have a shower bench installed in your upright shower at home, but aren't sure if there's going to be enough room. The last thing you want to do is install the bench yourself, only to discover that it's now really awkward (and possibly unsafe) to maneuver around. So, how big does a shower need to be to have a shower bench? We've done the research to bring you the answer.
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The ADA recommends that you have a shower that is at least 36 inches by 36 inches. This ensures that anyone with mobility issues will be able to get in and out of the shower more easily. However, shower benches and shower seats are available in sizes that can be placed into showers of any dimension. Here are the best benches for the various standard shower dimensions:
- Fold-up shower benches go best in showers that measure 30 inches x 30 inches
- Removable shower benches are great for showers that measure 32 inches x 32 inches
- Shower seats are ideal for showers that measure 36 inches x 36 inches
Now that we know how big a shower should be to accommodate a shower bench, we'll look more closely at the best ways these benches can be placed. You might be asking what the purpose of a shower bench is, or if it should be waterproofed. To see the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post.
What You Need To Know About Shower Bench Sizes
Shower benches come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, just like home showers and tubs. While we pointed out that standard sized showers will be able to host almost any size and style of shower bench, it's important to know which size showers can more comfortably fit which size and style of bench.
We'll cover the three standard sizes of showers and their associated shower bench styles. However, it is also important to note that if you have a custom-built shower, you probably have a greater selection of shower bench sizes.
30-Inch By 30-Inch Showers
A fold-up shower bench is best for showers that measure 30 inches by 30 inches. This style of bench works best when you have minimal space in your shower. This bench type is made to be as small as 18 inches across, giving you plenty of extra room on either side. As a bonus, they fold up when not in use. That way you can shower freely without it being in the way.
32-Inch By 32-Inch Showers
Showers that are at least 32 inches by 32 inches are perfect for removable shower benches. Having a removable bench in your shower might be a great option if you don't want to have one permanently installed. While it can be a bit of an extra chore placing it inside the shower then removing/storing it when you're finished, many consumers feel as though this style is worth it. Sometimes, you just don't want to drill into your shower's nice tile.
Removable shower benches are usually a little longer than the fold-up variety. They're best placed in showers where they have a bit more room.
36-Inch By 36-Inch Showers
Shower seats are meant more for individuals that have some mobility issues. This style of shower bench or seat is most commonly removable, is extra durable, and requires more room than the above styles. As this is a device meant to assist a person who might have some difficulty getting in and out of a shower, you'll want to make sure your shower is at least 36 inches by 36 inches.
What Is The Purpose Of A Shower Bench?
A shower bench has two distinct purposes. The first being it's a device made for leisure and relaxation. Many homeowners that have a shower/sauna combination find them to be helpful so that they can easily sit and relax while showering after a long day. The fold-up variety is particularly popular amongst those who have them for this reason.
The second purpose of a shower bench is to assist those with mobility issues. Getting in and out of a shower can be dangerous, and many people have slips and falls in them. Sometimes, these falls can be fatal.
Having the luxury of being able to have a comfortable seat when you're showering greatly reduces the risk of slips and falls. It's also a lot easier to get in and out of a seat than it would be to get in and out of a sitting position in a bathtub. For this reason, shower benches and shower seats remain a necessity for those who are elderly, have mobility issues, or for those that are helping care for someone that does.
Should You Put A Bench In Your Shower?
If you have the room for a shower bench and would like to take a seat after a long day, then installing a shower bench might be right for you. Keep in mind the different shower bench styles we mentioned earlier in this post, and what dimension showers they work best in.
If you're starting to struggle to get in and out of the shower, or have had some close calls with slipping, then you might want to seriously consider a shower bench or a shower seat. These will significantly help reduce your risk of serious injury.
How Deep Should A Shower Bench Be?
Shower benches should come with a standard depth, which is based upon ADA recommendations. You don't want a bench that is too shallow, or else you'd not fit your body onto it comfortably. Too deep, and the shower bench won't allow you to bend at the knees when you're sitting on it.
The ADA standard shower bench depth is between 15 and 16 inches. Anything too far outside those measurements would require you to test it out to see if you are comfortable on it when seated, as well as being able to easily rise from the bench.
How Do You Waterproof A Shower Bench?
Since the shower bench you're having installed will be wet a good deal of the time, you want to make absolutely certain that it's able to be waterproofed. Whether you're installing a shower bench that's made of wood or one that composed of metal, water would most certainly damage the material over time.
The good news here is that nearly every model of shower bench has been waterproofed by the manufacturer. The wooden benches have a special sealant applied to them. Their metal counterparts have their components coated to protect them from moisture.
Even the shower seats with padded cushions are made with waterproofing agents. This eliminates mildewing and makes cleaning them quick and easy.
Depending on the size of your shower, fold-up benches, removable benches, and shower seats are the three best options. They also come in a variety of styles and materials. This ensures that you can keep your bathroom's aesthetic consistent. Whether you have a shower bench for style or utility, it makes for a great bathroom addition.
If you found this post on shower benches to be informative, be sure to check out some of our others on this topic: