Shower benches can be helpful in various circumstances. A well-installed shower bench can serve as a shelf for toiletries such as shampoo and soap, as well as an area on which to rest or relax in the shower. Individuals may wish to build and install their own shower bench rather than spending money on hiring someone to do it for them. A well-made shower bench can be constructed in a weekend and will provide years of use if properly built.
Install backerboard ceramic tiles in the corner of your tiled shower up to the height of where you want your bench to be installed. Follow the backerboard manufacturer’s personalized instructions, as many brands of backerboard differ in both installation and clean-up techniques. These instructions should be followed to completion to ensure a tight fit and proper waterproofing.
Use the plywood, hammer and nails to build a simple box-shaped frame out of the plywood. This will be the frame of your bench. For this reason, construct the box-shaped frame to be the width and height of your bench.
Screw the back of the plywood frame to the backerboard you installed in Step 2.
Caulk the edges where the frame meets the corner backerboard. This will keep the frame’s edges waterproof.
Wrap the entire plywood frame in backerboard, and allow to dry.
Install ceramic tiles over the backerboard. You now have a tiled box shower bench that is completely waterproof and secured to the wall of the shower to reduce slippage.
Tips & Warnings
- Shower benches can also be constructed by laying cement blocks in the corner of the shower and tiling over them, or by painting a pre-made wood bench with waterproof lacquering.
- Do not use water-resistant sheetrock for your shower bench or shower walls, as it is not fully waterproof and will fall apart when put under the constant moisture of a shower.
- 1/2-inch thick, water-resistant ceramic tile backer boards
- Ceramic tiles (matching your original shower)
- 6-inch long nails
- 2-by-4 inch plywood
- Electric drill
- Caulking gun
- Silicone caulk
- Special Thanks to Ricardo Marquez for the lovely photo!