How deep and how high should your shower bench be?

jenskitchenNovember 19, 2010

We are doing a marble bench in our shower and our contractor just asked me how deep and high. He thought maybe 20 inches high and 16" deep. Does that sound right? We have room so if it needs to be deeper that would be okay.

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17-19" high, and 12-16" deep, depending on your height and how much you plan to sit on it. Many people will have the bench just for putting bottles on and so that the women who use it can hike their legs up to shave. But some WILL use it to actually sit, and for those people, you might prefer it to be closer to the 16" depth.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 7:23PM
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Twenty inches seems too high, most dining chairs are 18. Our bench is 16" high because it's an extension of the tub deck - the tiles run under the glass on the same plane. I was worried that it would be too low, but it isn't. OTOH, I have only sat on it a few times, mostly to say "Wow, I can sit down and have my fancy shower blast clear over here". I shower in the morning and am usually in too much of a hurry to get to work.... Gets used for a footrest when shaving mostly.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 10:31PM
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I plan to use the bench in our new shower to wash the bottoms of my feet. When we work outside in the soft dirt in the grove, that fine clay goes up the pant legs, down the crew length socks, and clear down into the tightly laced tennies. Unbelievable how much dirt ends up on the bottoms of our feet and halfway up our calves. I'm also planning a mudroom - what a surprise.

As for height, how tall is an ADA toilet? That's a pretty comfortable height.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 3:48AM
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The one we just did is 15" deep and about 18.5" high (measured from the floor tile to the top of the granite seat). When it's being built, make sure your contractor takes into account the thickness of the stone you're using for the seat and the elevation of the floor. (Assuming the bench is being framed before the shower bed is installed, there's going to be several inches of floor elevation for the sloped bed, thinset and tile -- and you want him to calculate the finished height from where the top of the tile will be.) Likewise for depth, if your contractor is installing the bench top stone before tiling the wall (definitely the preferable way to build it), you'll lose about 1/2" in depth of your stone behind the tile. (If your depth is 15-16", the difference of 1/2" may not matter much; if you do a narrow 12" bench and lose 1/2" you hadn't planned on, that really does make a difference.)

Our comfort height toilet is 17.5" high, from floor to top of toilet seat.

I think it's much more comfortable for the shower bench to be on the high side of seating heights. It's very different standing up in a tiled, wet shower than standing up from the dining room table, where your feet have much more traction to help you push off when rising from a lower seat. Unless you're both very short, I'd recommend going taller than 16". We're happy with ours at 18.5".

-- Eric

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 9:38AM
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Along these thoughts, have anyone of you looked into a fold-down, or retractable seat? I have seen several on eBay and online, but they don't look particulary good.
The link shows a nice example.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fold-up seat

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 9:15PM
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