How to Build a Wooden Bench for a Shower
For some people, sitting down while taking a shower is a luxury, while for others it may be a necessity. A shower bench doesn't have to be elaborate, and making one doesn't require the skill of a master carpenter. Use wood that is mold-resistant, such as redwood or cedar, and make the bench large enough to sit on while keeping it small enough to allow easy movement inside the shower stall. Spacing the boards on the seating area will prevent standing water from collecting there and encouraging the growth of mold.
Measure the width and depth of the shower stall with a tape measure and plan the length and width of your bench so that it will fit compactly inside the stall and give you plenty of standing room. Plan the height to be the same as a standard chair. If the person using it has special needs, make it higher or lower as required.
Cut 4 legs from 2-by-4-inch lumber to the planned height of the bench, minus 1-1/2 inches to allow for the seating slats. Mark each length on the wood, draw a perpendicular line through the mark with a carpenters' square and cut through the line with a circular saw. In the same way, cut 4 cross braces to the planned width of the bench.
Lay a pair of legs on the floor and space them to the width of the bench. Place the cross braces on top so their ends are flush with the edges of the legs. Place one of the braces flush with the top ends of the legs and the other about 3 inches from the bottom. Square the legs and braces with the carpenters's square to form a perfect rectangle, then screw the braces to the legs with 2-inch galvanized screws. Drive two screws at each intersection of a leg and a brace. Repeat with the other pair of legs and braces.
Cut slats from 2-by-4-inch lumber to the planned length of the bench. Cut enough slats to extend from one end of a cross brace to the other when placed perpendicular to it, allowing for spacing between the slats. Adjust the spacing so that you don't have to rip slats at the ends to fit.
Stand the legs upright and lay the slats on top of the cross braces with the ends extending 3 to 8 inches past the outside edges of the braces. Screw the slats to the braces with 2-inch screws, driving 2 screws into the slats at both intersection points with the cross braces.
Measure the distance between the outside edges of the bottom cross braces and cut one piece of 2-by-4-inch lumber to that length for a lateral brace. Place the later brace on top of the bottom cross braces, center it and screw it down.
Things You Will Need
- Tape measure
- 2-by-4-inch redwood or cedar lumber
- Carpenters' square
- Circular saw
- #2 Philips bit
- 2-inch galvanized screws
- Leave the wood unfinished. Any finish you apply will lift off in the hot and humid conditions in the shower.
- Clean the bench periodically with a mold-abating detergent to keep it free of mold and soap build-up. It's also a good idea to remove the bench from the stall when you aren't using it to let it dry out.