How Big Should a Shower Bench Be? The Definitive Guide

The shower benches are fantastic. They are a great asset for every bathroom, making it more functional and often better looking. Almost everyone could use one in their home, but how big should a shower bench be?

The perfect size mostly depends on the size of the user. That measurement is the best way to find out how high, wide, and deep a perfect shower bench should be. The bench should be big enough to be comfortable, but compact enough to leave enough space for a comfortable shower. To find out how to measure it, read the rest of the article.

I hope that you have a better sense of what is required to know how big should a shower bench be. In the next few sections, I’ll explain the process of measuring and choosing the right shower bench in more detail.

How Big Should a Shower Bench Be?

How High Should a Shower Bench be?

You probably can guess what mostly decides how high should a shower bench be. Yep, it’s the height of the person that will be using it. The rule of thumb is that a shower bench should be 1 inch lower than the back of your knees.

What if more than one person is using it regularly? In this case, it should be measured to fit the shortest person. If someone’s much taller, they can always use a shower cushion.

When making a built-in bench, make sure to measure everything several times. Cause once it’s finished, there’s no turning back. You can use a stool or a chair as a reference to see what fits you the most.

You can get adjustable stools too if you go for a regular wooden or plastic one. This way it can fit everyone perfectly, you’ll just have to tweak it before use.

In general, the recommended height for your bench should be between 17 and 19 inches. You’ll find that most of them will fit within these measures. Also, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommends the same height.

ADA also recommends the seat rear edge be 2 ½ inches maximum and the front edge between 15 and 16 inches from the seat wall. They should also be placed within 3 inches of the compartment entry and leave enough clearing in front of it.

How Wide Should a Shower Bench be?

When it comes to how wide should a shower bench be, you will have a bit more freedom than with the height. You just need to have in mind that it needs to be big enough so you can sit comfortably. Yet, it can’t be too wide and take up too much space in the shower.

ADA does not have minimum requirements when it comes to the width of the seat. I highly recommend that you buy or make one that’s at least 14 inches wide.

It’s worth adding that 14 inches wide seat is enough for a person of a smaller build. For obese persons, it should go up to 36 inches, so a body build plays a good part too.

Regardless of how wide you want it to be, you need to make sure that will fit your shower space. Measure it several times to be sure it will fit, especially if the bench is wider than 30 inches.

How Deep Should a Shower Bench be?

The depth of the shower bench is much more important than the width. How deep should a shower bench be will affects good posture as much as it will affect comfort?

Most of the recommendations that the ADA suggests for people with disabilities are related to the depth of the seat and the spacing. So if the bench is meant for people with disabilities, make sure it’s compliant with the ADA regulations.

According to ADA, the depth of the shower bench should be between 15 and 16 inches. This way you’ll have plenty of space to sit comfortably, but not too much so you struggle to get up.

On the other hand, L-shaped seats are often a bit narrower since they provide more space at the corner. They usually require 14-15 inches in seat depth.

Foldable seats are a great way to save some space, especially if your bathroom is cramped. If you choose one of these, make sure that the depth will fit you since some of them are only 12-13 inches deep.

What is The Minimum Weight Capacity for Shower Benches?

Now that we’ve covered how big should a shower bench be, let’s see how much weight it has to support. To hold you safely, the weight capacity of a shower bench should be at least 10 lbs higher than your weight.

However, stools and benches lose some strength over the years too, so there’s another reason not to get too close to the max capacity. You don’t want to injure yourself due to a shower bench breaking.

When it comes to ADA, shower benches should hold up at least 250 lbs or more, depending on your weight.

How Big Should a Shower Foot Stool for shaving be?

If you are looking for a shower bench or stool just for shaving or as a footrest, it can be much smaller.

The shower footstool for shaving should be a similar height to the regular stool or bench. The surface, on the other hand, can be way smaller since it only needs space for your foot.

The average depth and width of a shower foot stool for shaving can be between 10 and 13 inches. In case you need a bit more space for razors and lotions, you can go up to 15 inches, but that should be it.

You can check this article for a detailed shower stool for shaving guide.

Final Thoughts

I hope that now you have all the information you need to make the right choice. How big should a shower bench be will depend on two things, your size, and the shower space?

Measure everything at least twice and follow these guidelines to have a comfortable seat in your shower.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or comments about the article or if you need some extra information.

Oliver is a talented cabinet maker who defies limitations with a disability. Passionate about woodworking, his craftsmanship shines through creations made from the finest teak wood. With a unique perspective and unwavering determination, he's trying to improve bathroom safety for everyone.

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