Teak vs Tile, Freestanding or Fixed shower bench

dibgarApril 16, 2012

We are debating whether or not to build in a bench in our master shower that will be about 44" x 60".

We've have been planning to use either an 18" shelf-type bench in one corner or a corner bench with full tile sides.

Before we commit to the plan, however, I am wondering if we would do better with a teak bench.

If we go with teak, how will it look in a couple of years? How do you clean it? Does it have to be treated to keep its fresh look?

Again, if we go with teak, should we attach a fold-down bench or use a small freestanding teak stool? I've not cared for the appearance of many fold-down benches. Does anyone have pictures of stylish teak benches or stools? Even if we find one that looks good new, will it still look as in a couple of years, or will we be wishing we had gone with stone or tile?

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Here's a vote for a teak bench/stool. There was no other option for our first shower - a drop-in neoangle acrylic one. So I got Frontgate's teak stool. That was eleven years ago. It has held up very well. Haven't treated the teak at all and it has weathered to a brownish gray. It is still very smooth and soft.

Now we are reno-ing the BR and are building a custom shower. For us it was a no-brainer to keep the stool. There's no doubt the stone benches look very handsome, but my back and tailbone require something softer than stone. Stone also looks like it might be cold and slippery, thought I could be wrong about that.

You can either leave the stool in the shower, or, if someone doesn't want to use it, just place it outside while showering.

IMO Frontgate offers very nice ones. We paid under $100; they are more spendy now.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 2:12AM
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Thank you for the link to Frontgate. Their stools look better than some I have seen.

With a stool, do you ever feel as though it is in the way as something to bump into or trip over? Moving a stool in and out of the shower as needed would be awkward, so I want something that could comfortably stay in place.

While a built-in or fold-down bench would be less intrusive, my fear is that we would install it in the wrong place.

Do people usually prefer to place the bench opposite the showerhead so that the spray comes at them from the front, or do they usually put the bench on the same wall as the fixture so that the water comes from above/behind? Advice about placement would be welcome.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:50PM
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I would definitely suggest that you install a freestanding bench simply because you may change your mind about the location or find that you want a different material. You should consider that in the future you may get a different showerhead and find that the bench would work better a few inches over, etcetera.

Try and figure out how much space you can dedicate to a seat, and find something small or large enough. Hope this helps, I know that I pretty much just repeated your concern. I say go the safe route with a stool or bench that can be adjusted, as long as it isn't obtrusive.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 6:35PM
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Personally I vote for a teak bench. Tile benches look nice but they aren't as versatile. I like the look of teak.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 7:13PM
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As to the best location of the bench, I personally prefer to have the bench perpendicular to the showerhead(s) so the water isn't spraying directly at me (or over my head) when I am sitting down. If you are doing a handheld sprayer, be sure that it's located within a comfortable reach of the bench. We have two showerheads plus a rainhead and did a modified corner seat.

If you do go with a built in bench, I suggest a solid surface top because if it's in the spray zone at all it will get a lot of water on it, even if it's pitched toward the drain.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 7:37PM
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What are the dimensions of your shower and the bench? I like the look of your bench but I am not sure if we have a good corner for it. That is one reason why I have been considering something movable.

We have been getting conflicting advice from our designer and some of the contractors we have been interviewing regarding where to place our fixtures. We can't figure out where to place the bench until we settle on placement of the fixtures.

So many decisions that depend on each other!! I think I'm done with one part of the plans only to discover something else that hinges on one option or the other.

By the way, Treasuretheday, have you posted a page with pictures of your finished bathroom? I have seen bits and pieces of it over the past few months, but I don't think I have seen the whole room finished.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:46PM
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Another fan of the teak bench. We are building a home that allows us to "age in place" and chose not to install a fixed bench in the shower. Today the Kohler Parity tub was installed and it is way to tall for this gal with arthritis in the hips and knees. The guys are going to love me tomorrow!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 11:34PM
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Lynne Reno

we just have a small triangular bench built into our shower, it serves the purpose which is primarily a place for me to sit when I use the handheld to wash the dogs =)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 12:09AM
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