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?

Nov 052010
 

If you’re short on space in your shower, but still want a place to sit while in the shower, the fold down or retractable shower seat may be your best choice. Another name for this type shower seat is the hinged shower chair.

The fold-down seat is attached to the shower wall. The seat can then be lifted up or down and locked into place when you want to use it. When not being used, you again fold the chair down or up. That means that when not in use the seat will lie flat against the wall, taking up little shower space.

This type shower seat is very convenient because it stays in the shower where it’s handy for anyone who needs to use it. But if someone taking a shower doesn’t need it, the seat is out of the way. For more information about the benefits of shower seats, read What Are the Benefits of Shower Seats?

Attachment of the Seat

Since people are going to sit on this type shower seat, how it is attached to the shower enclosure is important. These chairs should NOT be attached to a shower wall enclosure that is only a hollow type surface such as drywall, fiberglass, acrylic, or sheetrock.

These seats need to be attached to a reinforced backing such as wood or steel that is behind the shower enclosure wall. The mounting or anchoring bolts or screws should be appropriate for the type of backing they are being attached to. If you are not comfortable doing this type of construction, consult a plumbing professional.

As an alternative, some fold down shower seats are sold with legs. The legs will provide added support to the person sitting in the chair and fold up with the chair. Some of these legs are also adjustable so the seat can be used by people of different heights. Adjusting the legs also lets you take care of shower floors that slope downward toward the drain in the middle.

Features

Here are some of the key features you should consider when buying a new fold down shower seat.

Weight capacity: Assuming it’s attached correctly, a typical seat can hold about 250 pounds (113 KG). With legs, seats can hold more weight, such as 400 pounds (181 KG). Always check the weight capacity of any fold down shower seat you buy to be sure no one will get hurt while sitting in it.

Seat size: Seats come in different lengths and widths, so be sure to find one that will fit the bottom that’s going to be in it. A typical length is 18 inches (45 cm), while a typical width can be from 16 to 18 inches (40 to 45 Cm).

Seat material: You will have many different options when it comes to the material you choose for your retractable shower chair.

Teak is a stylish and popular option. It’s a brownish wood that is strong and resistant to moisture. It typically costs more than any of the other seat material options.

Rubberwood, also called parawood, 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.

Both teak and rubberwood seats usually have slats in them to let the water drain through.

Phenolic is a water resistant plastic often used in hospital fold down shower seats. It is a hard and strong material. It will also have slats to allow water to drain through.

Some manufacturers offer phenolic seats with padding for greater comfort while sitting.

Hardware: There are also many options for the mounting bracket and hinge materials used for these chairs. In addition to stainless steel, chrome, brass, and brushed nickel are often available options.

With the combination of hardware and seat material you can be sure the fold down seat fits in with the décor of your shower and bathroom.

Be sure the hardware you use has no rough edges so it will not cut anyone using the shower seat. Also, some shower chairs come with covers for the metal hardware.

Other options:

Some fold down seats are sold with backs and arms. A chair with a back offers greater support to the person using the chair. Arms allow people to sit more comfortably. These are especially useful when this type chair is being used by a physically challenged person who requires caregiver help when taking a shower.

Commode type chairs with U-shaped cutouts are also available for handicapped people who need the additional convenience.

Summary

The retractable shower seat is a great solution for a small shower that needs a shower seat. Choose the features you need before buying. When installing, be sure all the hardware is attached securely so the seat can be used without any worries.

Don’t confuse this seat with the folding shower seat which does not attach to the shower wall.