Jan 132011
 


VIDEO VERSION

Just like its name says, the built in shower seat is a seat which is permanently built into the shower. The base can be made of ceramic or concrete. The seat is then finished with tiles or granite. The beauty of the built in shower seat is that it is both attractive and a very convenient way of making a shower more comfortable.

Some built-in shower seats run the length of the shower. Others are simply built into the corner of the shower. (For more info, read Choosing a Corner Shower Seat.)

You can have this type seat constructed either during the building of a house or during the process of remodeling a house.

Shower Bench Benefits

The basic purpose of the shower bench is convenience. It can be used for sitting while taking a shower. This is very important because people who are ill or weak may need the support the shower bench provides while they shower. But even healthy people can also use the bench to more easily shave their legs or when using a pumice stone, for instance.

Other uses of the built in shower seat include the fact that it can serve as a safety measure. Without a seat or bench in the shower, the user is more likely to slip and probably have a bad fall if he or she has to stand amid the slippery water and soap suds. With a shower seat, this is less likely to happen.

If the shower bench is long, it can also be used for storage. Shampoo bottles and brushes as well as kids toys can all be left on the bench. Using the bench for storage means you won’t have to have any of those plastic accessory holders hanging from your shower head.

Another important element of the built in shower bench is its visual appeal. The bench can be covered with different sizes and colors of ceramic tile. But other materials, such as marble and granite are available. Depending on your design choice, you can add quite a bit of style and class to the shower.

Shower Bench Installation

In terms of the actual installation of the shower seat, it makes a lot of sense to use products of the highest quality. Attention should also be given to the fact that the shower seat will be in a place that is constantly wet. Therefore, durable and water-resistant material should be used.

Installing a shower seat in the shower after the house has already been built will involve a bit of remodeling. Therefore, it makes sense to apply the basic rules of architecture to the process. Be sure you plan for a seat height and width that will be comfortable for all users.

You should also plan for a slight slope in the bench to allow the water to run off and into the shower.

You must also install moisture proofing along the top of the shower bench and seal all spaces that water can get into. This will ensure that there will be no leaks. More to the point, this will make the whole system last longer and function more effectively.

The shower bench is not really a complicated thing to build into a shower. In some cases, it may be possible for an individual to construct one without the services of an expert. There are many online sites that offer construction advice.

For best results though, it might be better to involve professionals to get the job done. This ensures that you will get the best use of your built in shower seat.

Cost

The built in shower seat will be more expensive than the fold-down shower seat or the standalone shower seat. That’s because of material and construction costs. But for your money you do get a long-lasting and visually appealing addition to your shower.


Video Version

Nov 232009
 

Installing grab bars in your bathrooms can greatly reduce the risk of people ever falling on the slippery surface. Not only is water slippery, but the soaps that you use have a tendency to build up on the shower floor, causing a very slimy residue that can become incredibly slick when it’s wet.

A slick and/or wet floor poses a danger when you enter or leave the shower as well as when you move around in the shower. A slippery bathtub also presents a danger when someone is getting in or out of it.

Someone can even lose their footing or slip when getting up from a toilet.

Having a grab bar to hold on in these situations can greatly reduce the risk of slipping and falling. This is especially important for adults over 65. For them, falling is the leading cause for emergency room visits. But don’t forget the problem someone can have if they are temporarily disabled such as when their foot is in a cast.

There are two primary types of grab bars: the wall mounted and the portable.

Wall-Mounted Grab Bars

The wall mounted grab bar is a cylindrical bar that is permanently screwed into the shower or bathtub wall. It will help people remain steady while getting into and out of the bathtub or shower and when they are moving around in the shower. It will also allow them to raise and lower themselves should they use a shower seat or built-in shower bench in the shower.

Before attaching the portable grab bar make sure the enclosure surface is smooth, non-porous and free of oils, dirt, or anything else that would prevent a tight fit. Then press firmly down and make sure the release levers are locked in place. Test the bar to be sure it can keep you steady before actually using it.

If the suction cups on these types of grab bars are made of mostly natural rubber, they can be incredibly strong. As long as you prepare the surface properly prior to installation, you should be easily able to use the bar to keep yourself stable when getting in and out of the shower.

Summary

Everyone can benefit from using grab bars in the bathroom, not just seniors or people with disabilities. Using a grab bar can save people a trip or two to the chiropractor, and possibly even the emergency room.

Nov 232009
 


If you are elderly, physically disabled, or handicapped, getting in and out of the shower can often times be a real hassle for you, or at other times, almost completely impossible. The good news for you is that there are now solutions to this problem, as more and more shower manufacturers are investing time and money into producing shower stalls that you can more easily get into. They understand the difficulties that you have because of your age or disability, and know that you require a more convenient shower entry option.

Basic Requirements

Basically, handicap accessible shower stalls do away with the high lip entry that is standard in most showers. By getting rid of this step, the shower floor is then either level with the bathroom floor or is at a small slope (about 2%).

This flat or barrier free shower entry allows seniors and people with limited mobility to more easily walk into their shower stall. It also allows caregivers to more easily transfer people in wheelchairs to the shower using a transfer bench or shower seat.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has published standards for this type of shower enclosure. Their standard (4.21.7) says that shower stalls that are 36 in by 36 inches (915 mm by 915 mm) should not have an entry higher than ½ an inch (13 mm). Shower stalls that are 30 inches by 60 inches (760 mm by 1525 mm) should not have any curbs at all.

You can read all the ADA standards by clicking on this ADA link and then selecting the PDF with all the standards.

Other Considerations

There are other considerations for installing a handicap accessible shower. The shower floor should be treated with waterproof material and include a non-skid finish. These precautions can also help prevent falls. Also make sure the water controls are located at a convenient height, especially if the person using the shower will be in a wheelchair. As far as the shower door goes, a large glass door can be difficult to maneuver. Consider having no door or a moveable shower curtain.

Also, remember the location of the shower faucets. Because the person using them will be seated, they must be low enough to reach while sitting. A separate water pipe and faucet can be built in for this low height. Or a flexible showerhead that moves up and down on a vertical bar can be used. This arrangement can also be very convenient for younger children who want to use the shower.

If building or remodeling a shower to accommodate handicap access is too big a deal, think about using a waterproof shower seat, shower chair, or built-in shower bench. For people in wheelchairs, shower commode chairs or sliding transfer benches are available that allow easier access to the shower.

For more information read What Type Shower Seats are Available?

Using a handicap accessible shower can provide seniors, the disabled and physically challenged people the safety, freedom, and comfort they want when taking a shower.