How to Build a Shower Seat: Practical and Accessible Bathroom Addition

How to Build a Shower Seat?

To build a shower seat, start by determining the size and height that will provide optimal comfort and fit in your shower.

A seat that is about 12 to 14 inches deep and around 15 inches in height is recommended.

Next, gather standard 2-by-4 inch lumber and cut it to create the framing for the seat.

The size of the framing should be one inch shorter and narrower than the finished seat size.

Ensure that the shower seat area is properly waterproofed to prevent any water damage.

This can be done by sloping the top of the seat towards the center of the shower and using a vinyl membrane as a waterproof barrier.

Once the waterproofing is complete, install cement backer board on top of the framing to create a solid and stable base for the seat.

Finally, apply a cement mixture on top of the cement backer board and install your desired finishing material, such as ceramic tile, granite, marble, or laminates.

By following these steps, you can build a shower seat that provides convenience, comfort, and can also be used as an extra shelf or footstool.

Key Points:

  • Determine the size and height for optimal comfort and fit in the shower (12-14 inches deep, 15 inches in height recommended)
  • Gather standard 2-by-4 inch lumber and cut it to create the framing for the seat
  • Waterproof the shower seat area by sloping the top towards the center of the shower and using a vinyl membrane as a waterproof barrier
  • Install cement backer board on top of the framing to create a solid and stable base for the seat
  • Apply a cement mixture on top of the cement backer board and install desired finishing material (ceramic tile, granite, marble, or laminates)
  • Create a shower seat that provides convenience, comfort, and can be used as an extra shelf or footstool.


Did You Know?

1. The first mechanical shower head was invented by William Feetham in 1822, featuring a series of metal pipes that allowed for water to be sprayed over the bather’s head.
2. Ancient Roman baths had designated seating areas called “stibadia,” which were marble benches specifically built to provide comfort and relaxation during bathing.
3. The world’s first recorded public showers were built in the ancient city of Pompeii, equipped with bronze taps and hot water systems.
4. The concept of indoor plumbing and showers as we know them today gained popularity during the Victorian era in the 19th century when advancements in plumbing technology made it more accessible to the general public.
5. In Japan, it is customary to sit on small low stools in a designated washing area called a “sento” before entering a communal bath. This helps maintain cleanliness and prevent the bathwater from becoming dirty.

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Choosing The Right Materials For Your Shower Seat

When it comes to building a shower seat, the choice of materials plays a crucial role in both its functionality and aesthetic appeal. Ceramic tile, granite, marble, and laminates are all excellent options for finishing your shower seat. These materials not only provide a sleek and polished look but also ensure durability and water resistance.

The choice of material for the seat itself largely depends on personal preference and budget. However, building a shower seat with lumber and finishing it with matching ceramic tile is an affordable and popular option. This combination allows you to achieve a cohesive look while adding a touch of warmth to your bathroom.

Building A Shower Seat With Lumber And Ceramic Tile

To build a shower seat with lumber and ceramic tile, follow these steps.

  1. Location and Dimensions: Start by determining the desired location and dimensions of your shower seat. It is recommended to install a reasonably sized seat in a standard rectangular shower that is at least 52 inches by 36 inches in size.

  2. Comfort Factor: Consider the comfort factor when determining the seat depth. Aim for a depth of about 12 to 14 inches to provide ample space for sitting or placing items. Additionally, make sure to have a comfortable seat height of around 15 inches, which will ensure ease of use.

Sizing Recommendations For A Comfortable Shower Seat

When building a shower seat, consider the size that suits your needs. A depth of 12 to 14 inches and a height of approximately 15 inches are recommended for optimum comfort. These measurements ensure that the seat is large enough to provide convenience while still fitting comfortably within the shower space.

Remember to take into account any specific requirements or limitations of the users. For individuals with mobility issues or disabilities, it is essential to customize the seat dimensions accordingly to ensure accessibility and safety.

Framing The Shower Seat With Standard Lumber

The stability and longevity of a shower seat depend on its framing. Standard 2-by-4 inch lumber is commonly used for this purpose due to its strength and support. To ensure that the framing fits correctly, it should be one inch shorter and narrower than the finished seat size to accommodate the thickness of the finishing materials.

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To start framing the shower seat, measure and cut the lumber to your desired dimensions. Then, secure the frame using screws or nails and ensure it is level and plumb. Following proper construction techniques is crucial to maintain the structural integrity of the seat.

  • Use standard 2-by-4 inch lumber for framing
  • Frame should be one inch smaller than the finished seat size
  • Measure and cut lumber according to desired dimensions
  • Secure frame using screws or nails
  • Ensure frame is level and plumb

Remember to follow proper construction techniques to guarantee the stability and durability of the shower seat.

Waterproofing The Shower Seat Area

Proper waterproofing is vital in any shower construction project, particularly when it comes to the shower seat area. To prevent water damage and maintain the longevity of your seat, it is crucial to ensure a water barrier is in place.

To achieve this, consider using a vinyl membrane to create a waterproof barrier for the shower seat area. This membrane should be sloped to allow for proper drainage, ensuring that water flows towards the center of the shower rather than collecting on the seat.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Building A Shower Seat

To build a shower seat with lumber and ceramic tile, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Begin by installing a water barrier membrane in the shower seat area. This will ensure that no water seeps through the seat and causes damage to the underlying structure.

  2. Once the membrane is in place, install cement backer board over the membrane, securing it with screws. This provides a stable and reliable surface for the tile installation.

  3. Apply a high-quality cement mixture to the backer board, ensuring a smooth and even surface. This step will provide an excellent base for the ceramic tile installation.

  4. Carefully lay and secure the ceramic tiles onto the cement mixture, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Use spacers to maintain consistent spacing between the tiles and ensure a professional finish.

  5. Allow the cement and tile to dry and set according to the recommended drying time. Once the installation is complete, apply grout to fill the gaps between the tiles and wipe away any excess.

  6. Finally, seal the grout to protect it from water and stains, ensuring the longevity and durability of your newly built shower seat.

Building a shower seat is an excellent way to add convenience, comfort, and accessibility to your bathroom. By using the right materials, properly sizing and framing the seat, and ensuring adequate waterproofing, you can create a durable and stylish addition to your shower.

  • Install a water barrier membrane
  • Install cement backer board
  • Apply a high-quality cement mixture
  • Lay and secure ceramic tiles
  • Allow the cement and tile to dry
  • Apply grout and wipe away excess
  • Seal the grout

“Building a shower seat is an excellent way to add convenience, comfort, and accessibility to your bathroom.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What material is best for a shower seat?

When it comes to choosing a material for a shower seat, stainless steel emerges as an excellent option. Not only is stainless steel highly durable, but it also possesses the advantage of being non-porous, thereby minimizing the risk of mold growth. The robustness provided by metal frames, coupled with the rust-proof coating they can be treated with, ensures a longer lifespan for the shower seat, making stainless steel an ideal choice for both reliability and hygiene in your shower.

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How do you waterproof a shower seat?

One way to waterproof a shower seat is by using a reliable waterproofing solution like SANI-TRED PermaFlex. By applying this product to both the surface of the bench and the joints connecting it to the rest of the shower, you can effectively prevent water from seeping in. Once the PermaFlex is applied, allow it to dry thoroughly, and your shower seat will be fully waterproofed, ensuring its durability and longevity. With PermaFlex, waterproofing your shower bench becomes a straightforward and hassle-free process.

Can you add a shower seat to existing shower?

Yes, it is possible to add a shower seat to an existing shower. One option is to select a water-resistant freestanding shower bench, like a teak bench or an outdoor bench. By incorporating a designated seat, you can enhance your shower experience while also improving accessibility for years to come.

What are shower seats made of?

Shower seats can be made of a variety of materials, depending on personal preference and desired aesthetic. While ceramic tile is a popular choice for bathroom finishes, it can also be used to construct shower seats, seamlessly blending with the rest of the tiled area. Alternatively, shower seats can be made from materials such as granite, real or cultured marble, or laminates, offering a durable and stylish seating option that complements the overall bathroom design. Ultimately, the choice of material for shower seats depends on individual taste, budget, and desired level of maintenance.

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