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posted: 12/29/2013 1:02 AM

Ask the plumber: Shower bench could be the best seat in the house

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By Ed Del Grande

Q. We're looking to install a larger shower stall in place of our bathtub. My wife and I agree that adding a shower bench would be a comfortable option. Since we're still in the planning stages, what information can you give us about adding a bench to a larger shower stall?

A. Remember, we're discussing a bench as an option for a new shower stall. This is important because we do have special circumstances where a shower bench would be installed as a necessity for mobility issues. In that case you should work with a health care professional to choose and install your bench. To include a shower bench in a new shower, here are three basic choices:

1. Built-in tile or stone bench. Decide on shape, size, height and location of the seating area to best fit your tiled shower stall. Corner seats are very popular. A tile professional takes time to make sure the bench is well supported and all waterproofing materials are installed.

2. Integral molded seat. This is a fiberglass-type shower base with a molded-in seat to create a very clean look. Since this is a shower base only, the walls can still be finished off with tile or stone.

3. Complete seated shower. This is a full fiberglass-type shower enclosure and base complete with a removable bench that locks in place. Great all-in-one solution. Final note: Follow all shower seating codes so you don't get "benched" by your local building inspector!

• Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and hosts TV and Internet shows. Visit or write Always consult local contractors and codes.

Scripps Howard News Service

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