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Article 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:

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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 eddelgrande.com or write eddelgrande@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

Scripps Howard News Service

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