May 062011
 

The shower is a wet environment where moisture can accumulate and lead to the growth of bacteria or mold. Black mold and other fungi in your shower can become a health risk. Shower chairs and shower seats, whether built-in or freestanding, are at risk of attracting mold and mildew. Even the rubber tips on the legs of many shower seats can allow bacteria to grow.

Additionally, some shower stools and shower benches have metal screws that may be prone to rust. To ensure that you reduce the chances for mold to grow or rust to develop, you are going to want to keep your shower chair clean.

How to Do It

Every time that the shower is used, make certain that the chair is wiped down. One of the best ways to do this is have a shower cleaning kit handy. Antibacterial cloths are available and all that really needs to be done is a simple wipe and dry. The idea is to get as much water off the chair as possible. Germs love to get into small humid places and a moment of your time can prevent this from happening. Be certain that you dry the top and bottom of the seat. If possible, remove the chair from the tub between uses so it can further dry off.

You should make certain that you include the chair as part of your regular bathroom cleaning routine. (Read Steps to Clean Your Shower for more details.) For best results, have a good antibacterial soap on hand and a number of brushes. Germs are able to get into the smallest of places and you need have brushes that will permit you to scrub and clean around screws and between cracks. A cloth will not be sufficient.

Most shower chairs also have drainage holes. You may want to use a bottle brush to be sure you can clean inside those holes.

 

Cleaning Teak Shower Benches

Teak is often the wood of choice for consumers who want to display a stylish type shower bench or seat in their bathroom. However, it is important that you make certain to follow all of the cleaning instructions that are recommended by the manufacturers. Any brushes or cleansers you use need to be able to kill germs and also be safe for the teak shower seat. Be certain that you do not to use any kind of brush or cleaning product that may leave scratches. Scratches and grooves are ideal germ breeding grounds.

When trying to clean teak do not use any kind of product that is an acid base. This will destroy the finish and may even ruin the wood. This applies to all acid bases including clouding vinegar. If you have a steam cleaner, you can use it to clean the wood, but make certain that the pressure is not so high that is going to damage the surface of the wood.

Shower chairs are going to be prone to germs. If you want to keep them bacteria free, remember to take them out of the shower when you are not using them and to keep them as dry as you possibly can. Proper care and maintenance will lengthen the life of any shower chair.

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.

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.

Feb 042011
 

The term “bariatric,” if you are not familiar with it, refers to weight. Simply put, a bariatric shower seat can hold more weight than the standard shower seat which typically can hold someone up to 250 pounds.

These heavy duty shower seats are available for people who weigh over 250 pounds up to about 900 pounds. These chairs are built to provide extra stability, allowing the larger person to enjoy the benefits of sitting while in the shower.

There are a number of factors to consider when you are about to buy one of these bariatric shower chairs. All bariatric chairs are not the same. By matching your individual needs with the considerations below you will be able to find a safe and comfortable chair.

The features you should consider are similar to the ones found in The Benefits and Features of Shower Seats.

  • Weight capacity
  • Construction and Materials
  • Dimensions
  • Seat height
  • Seat Legs
  • Backrests and Armrests
  • Cost

Weight capacity

The key feature to consider is, of course, how much weight the chair can hold. Chairs are available that can hold 350, 500, and even up to 900 pounds. This is the first thing to look for when buying a bariatric shower chair. A shower seat that is labeled “bariatric” or “heavy duty” should list its weight capacity. That’s the first thing you should look for.

And when you first get the chair, sit on it before you use it in the shower to be sure it’s stable and the seat legs do not bend in any way.

Construction and Materials

How the seat is put together will give you a clue about how sturdy it will be. Most bariatric shower chairs will have cross-braces going across the legs. This key feature is what helps the chair support the extra weight. If you have to assemble the chair yourself be certain these braces are tightly in place.

You need to consider what material the seats and legs are made of. You want the legs to be made of aluminum, rather than steel. Aluminum is less likely to bend and it will be more rust-resistant. The seats are usually made of vinyl or plastic which helps prohibit mildew.

You also want to know the materials used to hold the chair together. Is it screws, rivets, or all plastic? Screws must be securely tightened. Rivets must be welded properly. And the PVC must be solidly glued together.

Other questions about the assembly of the chair include:

  • Does it have drain holes in the seat to let water through, reducing the chances for mildew?
  • Is the seat curved or straight? Which one will you feel more comfortable sitting on?
  • Does the seat come with other construction options you want such as handles in the seat or padding on the seat?

Dimensions

The size of the seat is important because each of us has a different shaped body. Check the width, length, and depth of the seat. You want the measurements to be large enough to accommodate your bottom.

I recommend actually measuring how much space your bottom takes up when sitting in a chair. Then check to make sure your shower seat is wide enough for those measurements. If you don’t fit comfortably on the shower chair there is a danger of you slipping off, even if it can hold your weight.

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.

Chair 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.

Backrests and armrests

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.

Bariatric Chair Cost

A shower seat with bariatric support will typically cost a bit more than a standard shower chair. The additional cost is for the added bracing used on these type seats. 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 online 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 them, 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. Read more in Bariatric Shower Seats, Shower Commode Chairs, and Shower Transfer Benches

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