Remember the days of tub/shower combination inserts? Boy, have showers come a long, long way from there. If you’re designing a Chicago bathroom remodel, we recommend close consideration of the options and features available to you. This should be a once in a lifetime update, so you want a shower that meet your needs in the now - and well into the future.
Consider a Shower Bench a Given in Your Chicago Bathroom Remodel
So, should you include a bench in your new walk-in shower? Absolutely! Shower benches are a multi-purpose feature.
Firstly, a shower bench provides the opportunity to sit down and relax as you let warm, soothing water fall gently over you. Or, you can rest there – away from the stream of water – as you revel in the benefits of a steam shower. Benches are a fantastic place for shavers to safely and firmly plant their feet while shaving their legs, and they also serve as a medium for a romantic shower for two.
The important thing here is that you design the right shower bench for your shower. As with all of the decisions you make while remodeling, each “yes…” leads to another “Choose Your Own Adventure” list of additional questions.
Fixed bench or mobile bench?
In most cases, this will depend on the size of your shower. If you have a smaller bathroom space, you might find yourself with as smaller shower space. In this case, a removable or floating bench might be ideal so you can use it when you want it, and move it out of the way when you don’t. If you go the mobile bench route, we recommend working with the cabinet designer or contractor to build a custom teak bench. If you don’t like the idea of a mobile bench, folding benches are an option.
Larger showers allow room for a built-in shower bench, and your designer can also ensure there’s room for a floating shower seat if accessibility is an issue for you or your partner. Corner benches are a good idea if you have a medium-sized shower and don’t want an entire perimeter wall consumed. These can still offer plenty of comfortable room for siting, as you can see here in one of our Northpark Bathroom Renovations.
Should it extend past or be even with the enclosure?
Personally, we’re fans of shower benches that extend just past the glass shower enclosure because it eliminates the small gap between the bench and the enclosure – not a fun place to clean. If the shower enclosure includes three solid walls of tile, then you can set the bench wall-to-wall, as we did in this Highland Park Bathroom Remodel.
Where should the bench live in terms of height or dimension?
Typically, we set shower benches at about 17- to 19-inches up from the shower floor. You may opt to customize that measurement based on your own height or via the recommendations from a physical therapist or physician. Also, consider the distance away from the shower controls. Optimally, you the shower bench to be within reach of the shower controls so you don’t have to move any more than necessary to make adjustments.
What material is best?
Here, you can choose just about anything you want, from wood, to glass, to marble, granite, tile and quartz. The key is to select a material that suits your lifestyle. Don’t like to scrub grout? Get a slab bench to make life easier. Love the look of wood or marble? Make sure the bench is designed with appropriate support so softer or weaker bench materials don’t come crashing down from the wall.
Are you ready to move forward with a Chicago bathroom remodel that includes your long-awaited, dream shower? Schedule a consultation at Kitchens and Baths Unlimited. We look forward to working with you.