“Have a seat.” I must admit that it has not always been a pleasant invite to hear … like in the principal’s office, at the doctor’s, or when your significant other is breaking up with you.
But recently, a seat has become one of the most requested add-ons in our bathroom remodeling projects. For various reasons:
comfort (to sit or rest your leg while shaving it)
as an extra shelf for products (or your drink)
safety (along with grab bars)
Particularly when thinking Universal Design and aging in place, it is nearly impossible to leave this feature out of your design or wish list. Luckily, there are many options on the market to seat any budget and space requirements.
$ - Your bargain option would definitely be a freestanding bench, which can be easily taken in and out of the shower (or tub) and hence used around the room as well.
$$ - Wall-mounted and folding unit will require some engineering skills to attach it properly to the wall, but can still be done by any DIYer.
$$$ - A few preformed (acrylic, solid surface) shower pans now come with an integrated bench. This is mostly a plumbing project, so let your plumber tackle it.
$$$ - A floating seat, corner or rectangular, secures firmly to the walls and has a prefab seat top (such as stone slab).
$$$$ - Built-in version has to be framed into the walls and floor and properly waterproofed. More efficient and effective installation technique uses prefab blocks, such as Schluter or TileRedi, both of which take the guessing out of your work.
$$$$$ - And perhaps the 'mack daddy' of them all : a shower lounge. No longer just a seat or a bench, it was given a much more distinguished name. More likely to be placed in a steam shower, but nevertheless very inviting to relax.
And speaking of relaxing and comfortable … why not add a radiant heat mat to your bench/lounge?!
Allow yourself to take your bathroom investment to a whole new level of functionality and design. Hiring an experienced kitchen & bath designer (yes, it is a specialty occupation - and for all good reasons), along with a reliable contractor, will be key to streamlining the project.