How to Build a Shower Bench

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Despite what many may believe, the shower bench isn’t just for the elderly. This piece of bathroom furniture is making a comeback as homeowners realize how convenient it is. A shower bench is a great place to set bath essentials, shave your legs, or even enjoy the steam from your hot shower.

If wondering how to build a shower bench, here’s how you can go about building one.

How to Build a Plywood Shower Bench

Before you begin the project, you need to decide whether the bench will be anchored to the wall or the floor. It’s also essential to contact a licensed plumber to ensure that you don’t drill into any pipes. Next, check out how to construct a plywood-top shower bench.

Determine the Size of the Bench

You will need to measure out the size of your bench so that it fits in your existing shower space. The bench’s location and the mortar bed’s height need to be planned out at this stage. You should add the height of the mortar bed to that of the bench.

Make the Frame

When cutting the frame for the seat, incorporate a slope of about a 1/2 inch for every foot. This will ensure that the front is slightly lower than the back, and water can drain away from the bench surface.

Measure and cut the frame’s timber and nail these pieces to the shower wall. Remember to deduct the plywood thickness and the backboard when taking these measurements so that everything lines up. It’s also important to use wood that has been pressure-treated to ensure that it doesn’t warp after use.

Make the Plywood Top

Use the measurements you had taken to cut the plywood for the shower seat top. Attach these pieces to the frame using galvanized steel screws as they will do better in a moist environment.

Moisture-Proof the Bench

Once you have placed the top of the seat, install the pan liner to moisture-proof your build. Attach it across the bench’s surface, starting at the floor and working your way upwards. Include an additional six inches of pan liner on the walls around the bench to ensure that the waterproof seal is tight.

Place the Backboard

Install the backboard for the tiles using galvanized screws. Start at the bottom so that the upper pieces overlap with the lower bench pieces.

Cover the Bench

With the seat in place, you can finish by covering the backboard with a thin layer of mortar. Then, carefully install the tiles and give them about 48 to 72 hours to set. It would be best to use the same material used for the rest of the shower so that the bench blends. Once the mortar has dried and the area has been cleaned, your new shower bench is ready for use.

How to Build a Cinder Block Shower Bench

If you want to construct a shower seat where you won’t have to worry about water damage, the cinder block shower bench might be for you. This is how to build a cinder block seat.

Place the Shower Pan

Place the shower pan in the area where the bench will go. The pan should also cover the sections of the wall that are around the bench. Your shower pan should include a liner to ensure proper water drainage.

Prepare the Area

Measure out the area where the bench will go and stack the cinder blocks into the general shape of your desired seat. This will give you a rough idea of the end result. If you find that the cinder blocks are insufficient, you can source more before the real work begins. Then, you can take down the blocks once everything is in order.

Place the Mortar

Mix the mortar and spread a layer of about one inch over the location of the bench. It would be good to dampen the area where the new mortar will contact the wall. This will prevent the wall from absorbing moisture from the mortar, which would affect the curing process.

Place the Cinder Block

Install the first layer of cinder blocks on the shower floor, wiggling them about to ensure that there are no air bubbles trapped in the mortar. Next, check for evenness using a lever and adjust the blocks accordingly.

Apply a layer of mortar to the top of the first block and lay the second row of blocks. Repeat this process until all the bricks are laid. Ensure that your work is level and mortar is applied evenly between the blocks. Your seat should be about 1/2 inch higher at the back to allow water to drain off the flat surface of the bench.

Create an Even Finish

To create a smooth and even finish, mortar the front of the bench as needed. Fill mortar into any areas that might have spaces and scrape off places with excess mortar. Once you ensure a smooth finish, allow the mortar to cure.

Place the Tiles

With the bench structure complete, you can add a decorative tile layer so that your bench is aesthetically pleasing. Spread a thin layer of mortar over the bench and backboard and begin laying your tiles. Ensure that neat, uniform gaps are maintained between the tiles. Once the tile work is complete, apply the grout to the spaces and seal the corners with silicone caulk.

How to Build a Shower Bench

Popular Shower Bench Ideas

Once you have decided to install a shower bench, you will need to think about the design of the seat you would like placed in your bathroom. Here are some popular shower bench ideas.

Redwood Shower Bench

If you have some experience working with wood, then a redwood shower bench would be ideal. It is a simple bench design made from treated wood that can withstand constant exposure to water.

Folding Shower Bench

A folding shower bench is ideal if you have a limited shower space. You can build one that’s wall-mounted and collapsible. Then, for convenience, you can unfold it when needed and hide it away once you are done with your shower.

Corner Shower Bench

A corner shower bench makes it possible to install a shower seat in a confined space. This seat can be tucked into one of the corners, which means it will be functional while taking minimal space. It can even be used as storage for bath essentials when the shower is not used.

Bathtub Bench

Another simple way to add a shower bench to your bathroom is to install a bathtub ledge. This bench is placed across your bathtub, with the tub acting as the seat support. The bench works best in instances where the shower hangs over the bathtub. The advantage of this type of seat is that it doesn’t take up any additional space and can easily be put away when not in use.

Revamp Your Shower

Shower benches are quickly gaining popularity as more people discover how convenient they are. Having that additional section in your shower will allow you to sit, shave your legs, or store bathroom products. The shower bench is no longer seen as furniture for the elderly but a trendy bathroom addition for the discerning homeowner. With this guide, you can construct a shower bench and start enjoying its benefits.