Calgary Renovation Bearspaw Master bathroom Shower shown


Dwayne Smolnicky blog


One of the things that would make a MAJOR difference in your bathroom is including a shower bench. Shower benches can be built-in, fold down, be ‘floating’, or even be a freestanding piece of furniture. The top of the bench needs to slope slightly to allow the water to drain, or have holes in the seat to allow the water to flow through. A comfortable height for a bench is anywhere between 18” – 21” off the finished floor and the depth should be between 14” – 21”.

What are the benefits?

  • A place to sit and let the water rinse over you, wash your feet or use a hand held shower faucet’s massage feature.
  • A place to put multiple shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles.
  • A place to put your foot while you shave.
  • A place to sit for someone elderly with balance, strength and endurance issues.



People don’t think of the shower as relaxing as a bath because you have to stand up. It can be difficult to fully relax while you’re standing. But if you have a shower seat, the shower can be an even better place than a tub to unwind and loosen up.

While sitting in the shower, your legs won’t get tired. That gives you the time to enjoy all the benefits of a shower. For example, by using an adjustable showerhead or body sprays you can have a steady, pulsating, or massage-like stream of water. And if your showerhead is detachable, you can move that flow wherever you want on your body. Sit, relax, and let the warm water soothe away all the pressures of your day.

And ladies, when you shave your legs in the shower, it will be much easier if you’re already sitting. Especially when you don’t have to worry about slipping off the edge of a bathtub.

Support – There are times when you need physical support to take a shower.

Temporary disability.

Sprained ankles, knee surgery, and torn ligaments are just a few of the times when your doctor will tell you to “stay off your feet.” By using a shower seat you can still follow doctor’s orders and take a relaxing shower.

Long-term disabilities.

These range from chronic weakness to arthritis to complete paralysis of the legs. Standard shower seats as well as specially built shower chairs provide people with disabilities access to a shower. By supporting their weight, these people can keep their balance and sit upright when taking a shower.

Sitting in a shower can offer you a new bathing experience. Why not think about taking advantage of the many types of shower seats, shower chairs, and shower benches available?

Types of shower seats – There are primarily three types of shower seats: built-in, freestanding, and shower commode chairs.


This is a permanent type of shower seat. One type is a seat attached to the shower wall, which then provides back support. This seat may be hinged so it can be raised out of the way when not in use.

A more elaborate built-in shower seats may be constructed and tiled as part of the shower stall. These can run the length of the shower wall or just be a simple corner shower seat. The seats that run the length of a shower wall can also be called a shower bench.



Freestanding shower seats and chairs are portable. That is, they are self-contained units that can be moved in and out of the shower. Typical materials used in their construction include teak, aluminum, or PVC. In most models, the legs are adjustable and have holes in the seat for the water to run through.

A shower chair will have a backrest and armrests for supporting your back and arms while you sit.

A shower stool is usually smaller than a shower seat and does not have a back.

A transfer bench is a special type of freestanding shower seat. It allows people with physical disabilities to move themselves more easily from their wheelchair to a shower, and back into their wheelchair.

Shower bench

Shower Commode Chair

A shower commode chair is more like a wheelchair that is specially built to let people with physical disabilities sit in the shower. This type of chair is built of water-resistant materials and has large swivel casters for wheels. Some even have frames that tilt. This allows caregivers to help move the physically challenged person when they are in the shower.

Shower Commode

Considerations When Buying a Shower Seat

Keep the following in mind when selecting a shower seat or shower chair.

Will the chair support your weight? Standard shower seats and chairs usually can support someone up to 250 pounds (113 kg). However, chairs are available if you weigh more than this. Constructed with reinforcement and/or with cross braces, some shower chairs can go up to 500 pounds (226 kg). And there are even chairs with higher specifications for up to 900 pounds (408 kg) if needed.

What safety features does the chair have? Considerations here include:

  • Adjustable legs so the shower seat can be adjusted for your height, thus letting your feet provided added support.
  • Rubber tips or suction cups on the ends of the legs to keep the shower seat from sliding.
  • Backrests and/or armrests to support your back and legs while in the shower.

What will the shower chair cost? The price of shower seats and chairs will vary because of the features you choose and the quality of construction.

For freestanding shower chairs, features that add cost include reinforcement for heavier weights, backrests and armrests, and padding. Transfer benches that allow part of the bench to slide in place will increase the cost. Commode chairs typically cost more because they are specially built wheelchairs.

Construction is another consideration.

Obviously, shower benches that are built into showers will include the cost of construction by a contractor. You may not consider this as a DIY project, unless you are sure you know what you’re doing. If an attached shower seat comes off the shower wall it could be very dangerous – especially because it will most likely fail while you are sitting on it, and chances are you will be naked and wet.

A built-in shower bench will certainly enhance the visual appeal of any bathroom. We would love to meet with you and discuss your vision of a master bath renovation that included a comfy shower bench!