Many people with reduced mobility opt to replace their standard tubs and showers with walk-in tubs and showers instead. And while walk-in tubs all come with a pretty similar upright seat, walk-in showers have a few more options. If you’re installing a walk-in shower, here are a few seating options you can consider.
Portable Seat or Bench
Your first option is not to have a seat installed in your walk-in shower at all. Instead, you can purchase a separate, portable seat placed in the shower stall for your use. The benefit of this is that it allows you to remove the seat when someone else needs to use the shower. For example, if you have limited mobility, but your spouse does not, they can remove your shower seat to give themselves more room in the stall, then replace it when you need to shower.
Of course, the downside of this is that the seat might need to be placed in the shower for you before you can get in. And if you have limited mobility, this can be difficult for you; because many people opt for walk-in showers to maintain independence when tending to their hygiene, asking for assistance with moving a shower seat may not be something you want to deal with.
A second option you can consider is a fold-down seat. These are mounted to the wall of your walk-in shower and can flip up or fold down much like the seats in a movie theater. This allows you to more easily get the shower seat out of the way for anyone who doesn’t need it. These also tend to be more comfortable than portable shower seats or benches because they can come with thick padding on the seat and backrest and even come with padded armrests.
While more expensive than a portable seat, these can frequently have their costs built into the installation cost of the walk-in shower itself. This can minimize the added expense while providing you with a more comfortable, more permanent seating option.
This final option is generally only available if you custom-build your walk-in shower. If you’re planning to do this, you can have a bench built right into the shower stall. These can be beautifully stylish and blend with the rest of the stall’s materials. Many homeowners with full mobility still opt for this beautiful bathroom addition!
Of course, a custom-built walk-in shower will be more expensive than a pre-built one, so that a custom bench will be more expensive as well. They also don’t typically have comfortable padding like fold-down seats do.
If you’re looking at walk-in tubs and showers for your bathroom, be sure to purchase one that has a comfortable, secure seat for your safety and convenience.