Having a bench shower seat is not only a good idea for someone with mobility problems, but it also provides a spot to sit if you become dizzy or just need an extra flat surface for your feet. A standard shower usually comes with a soap dish and grab bars, if requested. You will need to build and install your own bench shower seat for added comfort. Follow these steps to build your very own bench shower seat.
Step 1 - Determine Your Seat Material
Determine the type of material you will use for your bench shower seat. Some of the frequently used materials include ceramic tile and plastic or resin. Ceramic tile tends to be the best choice as it is durable, wears well, and is easy to work with.
Step 2 - Take Measurements
Use your tape measure to record the measurements for the bench shower seat. Build the bench as a box against one of the walls of your shower. Most individuals like to pick the wall facing the shower fixture. A typical shower seat is 14-inches off the ground. Take measures ments of the length of the seat—do not build a seat that is shorter than 30-inches—and the width of the seat. Do not build a seat that is less than 12-inches.
Step 3 - Frame the Seat
Frame the seat using your 2x4-inch lumber. Make the following cuts: 2 pieces to the length of the seat, 4 pieces to the width of the seat, and 4 pieces to the height of the seat.
Attach each of the 2x4-inch boards using either a hammer and nails or a nail gun. This will create the seat box. Attach the seat box frame to the bottom and side of the shower.
TIP: Make sure to buy greenboard or other moisture-resistant sheets instead of regular drywall. You don't want to build a bench box that will get moldy and rot away.
Step 4 - Add the Drywall
Add the drywall to the bench shower frame, excluding the seat. Screw the green board into the frame. Tape the seams of each of the pieces of drywall. Apply drywall putty using your putty knife to the seams and to the holes created by the screws. Allow the surface to dry for at least 24 hours.
For the seat, you will need to add plywood for extra sturdiness. The plywood can be screwed onto the frame, then covered in greenboard. Seal the edges with drywall putty for a waterproof seal.
Step 5 - Prep for Tile
Sand the putty so that you create a smooth finish. Then using a hammer and nails, secure the wire mesh to the green board.
Step 7 - Lay the Tile
Apply cement to the mesh and lay the tile. Space the tile using tile spacers and cut the tile around the corner and edges. Allow the tile to settle for at least 24 hours.
Step 8 - Apply the Grout
Grout between the tiles. Apply an even layer of grout over the entire tile surface. Smooth the grout as necessary.
Step 9 - Clean Up
Clean your work area before using the shower again.
Note: Dealing With a Fiberglass Shower
If you have a fiberglass shower, you will want to install a fiberglass bench seat. You can purchase a fiberglass bench seat at many home improvement centers. They come with installation instructions.