It’s a Shower Bench

The shower in the family room bathroom is large. It takes up the whole side of the room about seven feet. There is plenty of room for a shower bench on one side. I want to use a leftover piece of granite for the bench top that is only 11 inches wide. It is also a bit shorter than the full width of the shower.

I considered buying a Schluter bench which is made of foam. Another idea was to build a concrete block bench. But I had several pieces of steel studs and track left over from building the ventilation duct. So I built the bench from galvanized steel studs. The Schluter membrane will water proof all of it.

Bench from steel studs

Bench from steel studs

The recessed area for the shower floor was made with an old door so it is only 80 inches long. The bench had to step down from the floor level  to be against the shower wall. I bent the track to fit the two levels and cut the corners to put in screws to keep it square.

Bending track to fit the floor

Bending track to fit the floor

The front edge of the bench is 1/4″ lower than the rear edge so that water will run off into the shower. When the bench was installed I used the Ramjet again to drive nails into the floor. I used 3/4″ nails and didn’t even think about the pex tubing in the floor. Luckily either the nails were too short or the pex was not in the area I nailed.

Bench for two level floor

Bench power nailed to the two level floor

The rest of the bench was screwed into the 2 x 4’s in the rear wall. The metal was easier to fit in the space than other materials like wood or blocks especially since the walls are not exactly square.

Bench fits edge of shower

Bench fits edge of shower

I had some leftover Denshield cut from the wall for the niches so I used a piece for the bench top. For the side and front I used 1/4″ cement board because I had some on hand for the living room post. (Which will be covered with manufactured stone.) I didn’t plan for the added width of the sheathing to the full measurement of the bench so 1/4″ is a good backer without adding too much width.

Bench top with tools

Bench top with tools

I was able to quickly cut the sheathing boards with the great PacTool cement board shears that I bought for cutting the siding. I had to shape the pieces a bit to get them to fit correctly. I used 1 inch drywall nails to screw the boards onto the metal frame. It feels quite sturdy and ready for the Schluter membrane. The granite is a bit too small for the seat, but with a bit of clever piecing it will probably work out OK.

Finished bench with granite pieces

Finished bench with granite pieces

I have to get the membrane on this shower this week because my nephew-in-law, a fantastic tile guy, is coming out to tile the showers! We are so lucky that he is finding time in his busy schedule to do the work for us. He is a true artist with tile. Bill Boyd Tile: Work you will recommend!

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