May 032011
 

You always want to choose a shower seat that is going to permit you to be able to sit in your shower in comfort and feel secure. But what if the space available in the shower is an issue?

Many homes are being designed and built with neo-angled showers. Other showers are just too small for a shower chair, especially if you live in an apartment. Even your bathtub may be too small to fit a shower seat into.

If you are facing these situations, a corner shower seat may be the only possible solution. Fortunately, there are many options when trying to pick the ultimate corner shower chair.

Teak Shower Stool

A freestanding teak corner shower stool is probably the most beautiful option. These kinds of chairs are designed specifically to go fit neatly into your shower or bath. Teak is a hard wood that is known the world over for its resistance to water. And teak shower seats feel warm and look stylish.

One of the major drawbacks of a corner teak stool is that it may not offer as much seating area as other portable shower seats. This means a larger person may feel less secure while sitting on them.

For more information read Choose a Hardwood or Teak Shower Seat for Elegance and Quality.

Poly or Stainless Steel

Stainless steel and polyethylene chairs are also available for the corner of your shower. They are sturdy and very easy to clean and maintain. They can be quickly sprayed and sanitized after each use. In most cases, you will not have to buy any special antibacterial products.

Additionally, some of the seats have holes in the top, which prevents water from pooling.
Although stainless steel chairs are not as attractive as many of the teak stools, they tend to be less expensive.

Built-in Shower Seat

Many people decide that they would prefer to have a shower seat built permanently into their showers. Once installed, this corner seat cannot be moved. Many people feel more secure using a built in shower corner seat. They do not have to be concerned about the seat shifting or moving in any way.

These type seats are usually tiled to match the décor of the shower enclosure. That makes this seat look like part of the shower design.

You can also buy a complete acrylic base for your shower which has a corner seat as part of its design. Because of its size, the base can be a much more expensive option than other types of built in seats.

One of the major drawbacks of a built in corner seat is that if the person who wishes to use it is restricted to a wheelchair, they may not be able to get in and out of the shower without help. Many of these corner seats require that the person be able to stand for a least a short period in order to get onto the bench. If the person is unable to stand, the only alternative is to have someone help to lift the disabled person to and from the corner seat.

Installation of the Built in Corner Seat

Installation of the tile type built in corner chairs must be done correctly. The seat must be securely attached to the shower wall and sealed to prevent water from seeping into the wall. You may want to hire a professional plumber to be sure the seat is built correctly.

The other types of freestanding corner seats may come already assembled or can be assembled very quickly and easily. They will then be available for immediate use.

You may also want to consider a built-in shower bench.

Summary

If shower space is a concern, but you still want the benefits a shower seat can offer, consider buying or installing a corner shower seat.

Apr 162011
 


When considering a shower seat you have to take into account the needs of the person who will be using the chair. It is important to realize that a simple shower stool may not be sufficient for the requirements of a person who has a physical restriction. But whether temporarily or permanently disabled, there’s no reason someone can’t experience the benefits of a hot shower.

Various types of shower seats are available that make it much easier for someone who is physically challenged to sit comfortably and safely in a shower.
Drive Stainless Steel Rehab Shower Commode with Open Front

First, for people who use a wheelchair, shower commode chairs are available. This special type of wheelchair can be made of waterproof PVC or may have an aluminum frame and stainless steel hardware. These chairs also have large wheels so the person in it can get themselves in and out of the shower. What’s more, many are lightweight and can be folded so they can be easily moved.

A commode chair often also has a special hole that permits the chair to double as a toilet. Underneath the chair is a removable container that can be taken out and cleaned as required.

Guardian Economy Non-Padded Transfer Bench
A person who is in a wheelchair may need, or prefer, to have a transfer bench. This is an adapted version of the standard shower seat. The design of the bench allows a person to move from their wheelchair onto the bench and then slide themselves into the shower. Many models allow you to adjust the seat height.

 

If you are concerned about water getting onto the floor, you don’t have to worry as many of these benches have a feature which allows the shower curtain to be pulled across. These benches are very useful for not only the disabled person, but also their caregiver. With this type of unit in place, the caregiver will have virtually no lifting to do. In fact, many people who are confined to a wheelchair can get in and out of the shower using one of these benches with no assistance at all. Bradley 9571 Bariatric Shower Seat, Right Hand Configuration

If you are looking at a long-term care situation, you should think about a wall mounted or fold down shower seat. These are extremely convenient and useful. Wall mounted shower seats can be conveniently folded out of the way when they are not needed. Many of these seats are made of a phenolic, which is a very durable long lasting plastic compound. If you plan to get a wall mount, there are a number of different features available, including safety locks, and arms.

A handicap shower seat is ideal for any person who needs assistance getting in and out of the shower or who just wants to have privacy for taking a shower. Replacing or modifying a shower or tub can be very costly, but the addition of the appropriate shower chair can make major renovations or alternations unnecessary. And the range of options for a handicap shower seat enables the physically challenged person to be involved in making their own choice.

The above seats can be purchased at:

Apr 132011
 


There are shower seats, then there are elegant shower seats. I own a PVC and aluminum shower seat, but someday intend to own a wooden shower seat – just because it looks good. There are actually a few different types of shower seats made of wood. The most common are:

  • Teak
  • Hardwood
  • Rubberwood / Parawood.

Teak

A teak shower seat is not only practical, but will add beauty and style to any bathroom. Due to its natural water resistance, a teak stool can be placed directly into either a shower or a bathtub. Teak is a durable hardwood which will last for many years and, over time, take on an attractive grey patina. For both its elegance and quality, there are few shower seats that can compare to one made of teak.

When selecting a teak shower chair you have three basic designs to choose from. There are teak shower stools, corner benches, and folding chairs.

Teak Shower Stools

The most common design is that of the teak shower stool. These square three or four-legged stools can be found with either all teak or aluminum legs. The seat has vents in it to allow water to drain through. Some also come with a basket feature. This permits an individual to store shower items right beside them. You wouldn’t have to stand up or move around if they need to reach the shampoo or conditioner.

Teak Corner Bench

Depending on the size and shape of your shower, you might want to select a teak corner shower seat. This will still give you the benefit of having a chair in the shower, but will take up less room and make getting in and out of a shower much easier.

Not all shower enclosures are square. Many homes have neo angle showers, and the square shape of the standard stool often makes it awkward to use. The triangular shape of the corner stool allows it to fit compactly into this type shower as well as a bathtub.

Teak Folding Chair

For those who want a shower chair they can remove from the bathroom or shower, a teak folding shower chair is an ideal solution. These can be picked up and moved easily. Additionally, a teak folding shower chair can be stored almost anywhere, when it is not in use.

Many people use these for outdoor showers or as part of their backyard landscaping. That’s because of their design and larger size.

Hinged Teak Shower Seat

There are hinged or fold down shower seats made of teak. As with other retractable shower seats, these type seats provide more room in the shower because when not being used they are folded out of the way.

But even when folded up or down, the teak seat will still provide visual interest in the shower, unlike the typical plastic hinged seat. They can also be spruced up by using fancier connecting hardware, such as brass.

For more information read The Difference Between a Fold Down Shower Seat and a Folding Shower Seat

Benefits and Features

The advantage of buying a teak shower seat is that teak is the world’s most water resistant wood. This is why you often see teak used in all kinds of bathrooms and in the construction of outdoor furniture. Teak is such a classic wood that you often only see it stained. It can be painted, but due to the natural beauty of the grain, most people prefer to not alter the color.

For additional information about teak wood, read Shower Seat Materials: PVC, Stainless Steel / Aluminum, Hardwood, and Mesh.

The price of a teak shower stool or a teak shower chair can range in price from about $45 to $70 and up. However, the cost is minimal when one takes into account that it will last for years and unlike many of its metal and plastic counterparts, teak has a look of elegance.

If you are looking to buy a chair for the indoor bathtub or shower or for your back yard, you should consider getting a teak shower seat. You will be pleased by its comfort, practicality, and attractiveness.

Hardwood

Woods other than teak are also available. These include

  • Iroko, a moisture resistant wood from Africa
  • Brazilian walnut, known for strength and durability and its resistance to moisture
  • Bamboo, a more ecologically friendly choice
  • Rubberwood, also called parawood

Rubberwood is typically grown in Southeast Asia. It is a lighter color than teak, but can be stained. It is also water resistant and less expensive than teak. If you want the look and feel of wood, but want something that is ecologically friendly, you may want to consider rubberwood.

Given all these options, why not consider a hardwood or teak shower seat now?

Feb 142011
 


Compare different Medline bariatric bath benches below. That’s followed by a summary of positive and negative online review comments about Medline bath benches. Finally, you can look at individual Medline bariatric shower chair products.


CLICK HERE FOR Product Comparison Chart

CLICK HERE FOR Product Review Summary

CLICK HERE for Individual Medline Products

Product Comparison Chart

Feature 1. Medline Bariatric Bath Bench without Back

2. Bariatric Heavy Duty Bath Bench/ Chair
3. Heavy Duty Shower Bench Bath Chair by Medline

4. Medline Bariatric Bath Benches (Without Back)

5. Medline Bariatric Bath Benches (With Back)

6. Medline Bariatric Bath Bench with Back

7. Bariatric Bath Bench (With Back)

Weight capacity up to 550 pounds
Construction

   Cross Braces
   Aircraft Rivets
   Drain Holes NO
   Integrated Handles NO NO
Assembly Required Completely assembled Completely assembled Completely assembled Completely assembled Required Completely assembled
Materials:
Blow-molded plastic seat
Dimensions listed 20.5″W x 15.7″D 20″W x 12″D None (Typical: 20″W x 12″D) None (Typical: 20″W x 12″D) None (Typical for this model is 18″W x 21.5″D) None (Typical for this model is 18″W x 21.5″D) 18″W x 21.5″D (Back Included)
Seat Height adjusts in 1 inch increments From 14” to 17” From 14” to 17” From 14” to 18” From 14” to 18” From 16.5” to 20.5” From 14.5” to 19.5” From 16.5” to 20.5”
Legs:
   Aluminum
   Suction cups on tips
Backs / arms NO NO NO NO Back Back Back
Cost Under $50
Click here for latest Amazon price
About $60
Click here for latest Amazon price
Under $50
Click here for latest Amazon price
Under $55
Click here for latest Amazon price
About $70
Click here for latest Amazon price
Under $85
Click here for latest Amazon price
About $85
Click here for latest Amazon price
Other Listed as Model MDS89740AXW No model # listed No model # listed Listed as Model MDS89740AXW Listed as Model MDS89745AXW
Item differs from photo
No model # listed Listed as Model MDS89745AXW

To TOP

Product Review Summary

The following summarizes reviews of Medline shower seats from various online sites.

Positive comments

  • Benches are sturdy and stable.
  • The cross bars on the bottom helped prevent the legs from bending or collapsing.
  • Most people said the bench was able to support their weight without any problems.
  • The chairs with backs provided extra support.
  • Some people found the chairs easy to assemble, but others like the fact that their model came already assembled.
  • No problems with mildew, mold, or rust.
  • Lightweight enough to store or travel with.
  • Easy to adjust seat.
  • Negative comments

  • Height of seat is too short. (Measure from your feet to a seat bottom on a regular chair to get an idea of how much height you need.)
  • Does not fit in shower or tub. (Check the width and depth of the seat you are buying. A Medline shower bench will typically take up an approximately 2 foot by 18” space. Make sure your shower or tub can handle that size.)
  • One person thought the bolts and screws used on the seat were “junk.” (Note: This review was from 2009, so bolts and screws may have been replaced by rivets in later models.)
  • A few people found the seat height difficult to adjust.
  • A few people found the seat difficult to assemble.
  • To TOP

    Individual Medline Bath Bench Products


    Overall note: Different companies may list different sizes for the same model number of shower chair. These differences may be due to data entry errors or different methods of measurement.

    Medline Bariatric Bath Bench without Back

    What’s Different?

    Listed as Model MDS89740AXW

    Seat dimensions provided: 20.5″ W x 15.7″ D

    Seat height adjusts from 14 to 17 inches

    Needs assembly

    Cost: Under $50. Click here for latest Amazon price

    Bariatric Heavy Duty Bath Bench/ Chair

    What’s Different?

    Seat dimensions: 20″W x 12″D

    Seat height adjusts from 14″ to 17″

    Completely assembled

    Cost: About $60. Click here for latest Amazon price

     

    Heavy Duty Shower Bench Bath Chair by Medline – Size Bariatric 550 LB

    What’s Different?

    Seat dimensions not provided (Typical dimensions are 20″ W x 12″ D)

    Seat height adjusts from 14 to 18 inches

    Completely assembled

    Cost: Under $50. Click here for latest Amazon price.

     

    Medline Bariatric Bath Benches Without Back
    What’s Different?

    Seat dimensions not provided (Typical dimensions are 20″ W x 12″ D)

    Listed as Model MDS89740AXW

    Seat height adjusts from 14″ to 18″

    Completely assembled

    Price: Under $55 Click here for latest Amazon price.

     

     

    Medline Bariatric Bath Benches with Back

    What’s Different?

    Item may differ from image shown

    Listed as Model MDS89745AXW

    Seat dimensions not provided (Typical dimensions are 18″ W x 21.5″ D)

    Seat height adjusts from 16.5″ to 20.5″

    Completely assembled

    Price: About $70 Click here for latest Amazon price.

     

    Medline Bariatric Bath Bench with Back
    What’s Different?

    Seat dimensions not provided (Typical dimensions are 18″ W x 21.5″ D)

    Seat adjusts from 14.5 to 19.5 inches

    Flat seat

    Needs assembly

    Cost: Under $85 Click here for latest Amazon price.

     

    Bariatric Bath Bench Size: 16.5″-20.5″ H x 18″ W x 21.5″ D

    What’s Different?

    Model MDS89745AXW

    Dimensions: 18″ W x 21.5″ D (Back Included)

    Seat adjusts from 16.5″- 20.5″

    Flat seat

    No drain holes

    Completely assembled

    Cost: About $85 Click here for latest Amazon price.

    NOTE: Smaller model (without back) Model MDS89740AXW also available on this page
    • Dimensions: 20″ W x 12″ D
    • Seat height adjusts from 14”-17”

    To TOP

    Feb 042011
     


    In Part 1 of this series , we considered 4 features of bariatric shower benches: weight capacity, construction, materials, and dimensions. In this part, we’ll look at 5 other important features of these shower seats: seat height, legs, backs and arms, fit in shower or tub, and cost.

    Remember, bariatric shower chairs are made to help people who weigh over 250 pounds feel safe and comfortable when sitting in a shower.

    Seat height: This measurement can be important, especially if you are tall. You want your feet to rest comfortably on the shower floor when you are sitting in your seat. Otherwise you may be off balance. While sitting in a comfortable chair, measure the dimension from the floor to where your bottom is on the chair. This is usually from 14 to 19 inches. Some shower chairs have seats that are adjustable. Make sure the seat can adjust to the height you need.
    Drive Deluxe Bariatric Heavy Duty Bath Bench with Backrest

    Legs: You don’t want your shower chair slipping around in the shower. Make sure that the legs have rubber tips or suction cups on them to hold the chair in place when you’re using it in the shower.

    Backs and arms: Some models are available with backs and some come with backs and arms. People find that having a back or back and arms provides added support, especially if you are overweight. The back prevents you from leaning too far back in the seat and the arms can help you get into and out of the chair. Attached arms can limit the width of the seat, so if you do want arms, make sure the width of the chair will still accommodate your body. Medline Bariatric Bath Bench without Back

    Fitting in shower or bathtub: These bariatric shower chairs are designed for use in a shower. But remember that they will take up space in your shower. So check the chair dimensions against the dimensions of your shower so you know you’ll have enough space left to get in and out of the shower. Also, if you are going to use these chairs in a bathtub, check its size, as bathtubs are often smaller than showers. What’s more, some tubs are curved on the bottom, making it difficult for the shower chair legs to stay flat. Some people find that they have to turn the chair sideways to use it in their tub, which can decrease your stability when sitting on the seat.

    Cost: You will probably pay a little more for a shower seat with bariatric support. But it is well worth it for the comfort and safety. Also, chairs with backs and arms will also cost more. You can find these chairs on Amazon and in local pharmacies or large chain stores. Prices can vary a lot, so be sure you are comparing similar models with similar dimensions and features.

    NOTE: Some overweight people use wheelchairs. For you, bariatric transfer benches are available. These transfer benches are long seats that provide extra support legs in the middle. You can then more easily move from your wheelchair to sit in your shower.