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Thread: Shower seat?

  1. #1
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    Shower seat?

    I've been asked for a shower seat, probably in teak. I'm leery of putting wood where it is going to get wet every day, but there are plenty of teak shower seats on the market. Does anybody have long-term experience with one? Do they stay together? Do they grow mold? Has anybody here built one? Any advice about joinery, glue, or finish?

  2. #2
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    Jamie,

    I retiled a shower 2 years ago. I considered a built-in tiled shower seat. I went to the supplier for the granite countertops in our kitchen to get a slab of rock of some kind. The lady designer there asked me how big the shower was. I told her. She said not to talk myself out of business but unless the shower was extremely large, I suggest that you get a bench that could removed or put it when needed or desired. I bought a removeable teak shower bench from Amazon. Later that summer a visiting granddaughter broke her ankle on our trampoline. She was here for the summer. She used that seat exclusively when showering to keep the cast out of the spray until we took her, her twin sister and their brother home. This summer the same visiting 3, the other 13-year-old twin granddaughter likes to take long hot showers. (It's cheaper than counseling.) She used that bench all summer while here. It's worked quite well so far. That shower is in the basement so my wife and I don't use it often, but I have used it to sit on while washing the bottom of my feet when showering. I weigh over 270lbs. Here's a link to the one I bought. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 11-13-2023 at 5:59 PM.
    Ken

    So much to learn, so little time.....

  3. #3
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    It's a tough choice when Costco has them for $100. I can't buy the teak for that. I can attest that our teak seat has held up well for 3 years, no mold, etc. but we do squeegee down the shower and run a properly sized fan.
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".


    Samuel Butler

  4. #4
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    While teak/wood is visually attractive, the commercial seats are cleanable with the normal disinfectants used in a bathroom and don't absorb "stuff". They are also darn inexpensive.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    It's a tough choice when Costco has them for $100. I can't buy the teak for that. I can attest that our teak seat has held up well for 3 years, no mold, etc. but we do squeegee down the shower and run a properly sized fan.

    They used too..........then a few of them collapsed , suits were filed; and a recall issued.

    Let that be a lesson to you.


    Any seat in a shower that is used regularly will need constant maintenance of its oil finish. You should also construct it so that you do not rely on the adhesive as a structural element- if you use adhesive at all.

    Also keep in mind that you WILL NOT be able to purchase teak for anywhere near the cost of a bench like Ken and Glenn mention.

  6. #6
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    I have built a couple of shower benches. I used tropical deck hardwoods, ipe and afromosia, I believe. The first one I made for my wife and myself and it's held up for four years or so without any problems. All joints were glued with epoxy and I put nylon glides on the bottom of the feet to keep the end grain out of the water. No finish. The second one I build had problems, mostly, I believe, due to the fact that the gentleman I built it for weighs over 300 pounds. I rebuilt it with stainless steel corner braces and hardware and as far as I know it's still together.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    I've been asked for a shower seat, probably in teak. I'm leery of putting wood where it is going to get wet every day, but there are plenty of teak shower seats on the market. Does anybody have long-term experience with one? Do they stay together? Do they grow mold? Has anybody here built one? Any advice about joinery, glue, or finish?
    We installed a teak stainless tilt down unit 6 or 7 years ago. Chinese factory used plated ss screws vs stainless. Replaced them, works fine. Brian
    Brian

  8. #8
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    My one reservation about a wooden shower seat, already mentioned here is disinfection between different users. The cheapest shower seats local to me are at Walgreens for about $80, easy to disinfect.

    Do think of your various guests and their sizes. I would not buy a shower chair (or similar DME, sorry durable medical equipment) without a weight rating on the box. Higher capacity chairs cost more $.

    I think of a shower chair as a thing you (I, we, somebody) sits on after they are in the shower. In my lexicon a "Shower Bench" has two feet inside the tub, and two feet outside the tub. With a bench someone with a wheelchair or walker can be seated on the dry end and then slide over on the bench seat into the shower.

  9. #9
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    As mentioned, cleanup and disinfecting should be your major concern. Not all teak is the same. Removing soap scum and possible lime build up between the slats is going to be a huge maintenance task. Current plantation teak has a fraction of the rot resistance that the old growth teak characteristics, where the reputation was built. Redwood is even worse! We had to get one for post joint replacement surgery for my wife. Spent $40 for a plastic and metal version from Amazon and are very pleased with it.

  10. #10
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    All you nay-sayers, come on!. This is the perfect opportunity for an epoxy, river pour shower seat! At least that's an epoxy-pour project I can get "behind".

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Burnside View Post
    All you nay-sayers, come on!. This is the perfect opportunity for an epoxy, river pour shower seat! At least that's an epoxy-pour project I can get "behind".
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    When I was in the Navy we cleaned teak with Wisk laundry detergent. It worked really well and rinsed off very cleanly. We also used Wisk to clean showers for the same reason. Wisk is no longer available, but maybe there's another detergent which works just as well?

  13. #13
    I made one years ago out of Cedar and it's still in there. I used a very high quality water proof stain, can't remember the name at the moment, but it was not Tompson water seal.

    I considered Teak but Cedar lasts pretty well, is much cheaper, and most important, lighter.

  14. #14
    I wouldn't worry too much about disinfecting them between uses. Teak is naturally antimicrobial, as most woods are. They tend to be healthier than plastics or metals in this department, which is almost counterintuitive, because they're porous and absorb moisture. But that's what the science tells us.

    However, soap scum, calcium buildup, wood glue degrading, wood cracking, and splinters are all real concerns. You've got something that's going to constantly and rapidly expand and contract with, not just water, but hot water. And typically, these are made for elderly people who don't have good balance or strong bones and muscles. So if something goes wrong, it can go catastrophically wrong. And the maintenance on these would be high, as you'd likely need to power wash them from time to time and reapply oil to them fairly regularly to keep them looking nice. Or reapply the spar varnish or poly or however you finished the wood.

    So if this was for a young person, I'd say go for it. But for an elderly person, I'd be afraid that they couldn't keep up with the maintenance at the very least, and that they might get seriously hurt in an accident related to it at worse. With a decently made disposable one, it would be no big deal to throw it out at the first sign of problems. With something hand made from someone you know, you might put up with those problems a little too long.

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