A modern bathroom can be much more than a small, cramped space dedicated solely to hygiene and grooming. We live in the age where people are spending more and more time in these pristine rooms, engaging in a variety of activities such as, chilling out and reading a book.
As a result, bathroom furniture is gaining traction. There is no shortage of excellent options in the market and they come in all shapes, forms, and styles. This means that we also have a host of vanity stools and benches at our disposal.
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Make no mistake: Adding furniture is a perfect way to incorporate seating into a room that is likely designed for it. Those who think they are redundant need to think twice.
And when it comes to designer bathroom accessories, it's not about age, but aesthetics, beauty and comfortability. You don’t have to be beyond retirement in order to have such luxury in your bathroom. Anyone can benefit from adding a little luxury to your daily routine. After all, standing in a shower for a long time is a blissful experience, so why not add some safety and comfortability to your experience.
Another advantage of introducing seating is that you can fulfill your style vision. So, if you are feeling uninspired in your bathroom, it’s time to turn a new leaf and witness the true joy and excitement. Have your moment of peace and bathe in style and elegance. The trick is to find a solution that meets your everyday needs and speaks to your sense of style. In addition, you also need to consider who is going to use the furniture, what is its purpose, and how much of an investment do I want to make to bring inspiration to your bathroom. Keeping that in mind, this means that it might not be as simple as it seems at the first glance.
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Considering a wide range of products, you should strive to blend function and beauty, the two cornerstones of swell design. Whether you want an eastern Zen flair or a contemporary edginess, designers and manufacturers of today have got your covered.
1. Initial Considerations
For a long time, shower benches and stools saw only a limited use in bathrooms. They were nothing more than a functional addition for those in need of extra support. Some designers used them as a luxury appendix to their style and only few could recognize their full potential.
Today, though, shower seating is undergoing a resurgence of popularity with homeowners of all ages, backgrounds, and financial means. It has also become an integral part of a bathroom design, a feature that compliments the overall design and style of the space. With the help of it, a bathroom easily becomes the favorite place in the household.Not everything in the garden is rosy, though. When implementing shower seating into the bathroom, one faces a big challenge and that is the lack of space. Indeed, a tiny bathroom makes it really hard to fit a piece of furniture in. Some people also don’t want a stool or a bench to be in the shower at all time and struggle to find a suitable space to store it. However, these are far from insurmountable obstacles.
Rest assured that in most cases, it’s possible to squeeze some space for seating, at least in the corner of the stall. Benches and stools are highly portable solutions, so you can always move them in case it starts getting in your way. This is certainly simple to pull off with corner stools that should fit even the smallest of layouts, as well as foldable stools that are lightweight and easy to store away if needed.
Some corner solutions even resemble tables and can be utilized in that fashion should you wish it so. There are also models that fit nicely in corners and awkward spaces, although they were not designed specifically for them. A triangle-shaped corner shower bench with foldable aluminum legs is a great addition to any space. It enables easy maneuverability and keeps you quite comfortable.
And if nothing works out, it is not the end of the road. You can decide to repurpose the bought piece for the time being. One of the options is to use it as an entryway shoe bench. This brings us to the point that benches and stools, unlike chairs, tend to have multiple functions. We are going to address this aspect later on because first and foremost, this type of furniture is supposed to enhance your showering experience.
Of course, those who are blessed with a large bathroom have many more options to choose from, both in terms of furniture placement, style and dimensions. A long padded bench in the middle of a bathroom is a nice centerpiece, besides offering a plenty of seating space.
2. Dimensions and Stability
Checking the dimensions is always a top priority, especially if shower space comes at a premium. Right off the bat, you need to factor in their height and width. This is one of the least glamorous aspects of picking your stoolor bench, but it has to be handled first.
Those who plan to let shower stools and benches double as furniture for general use in the bathroom have additional things to worry about. Using a stool for a vanity as well, for example, calls for ensuring that heights are coordinated. You want to be able to sit without jamming up legs or doing something that makes you uncomfortable.
Keep an eye on the width as well because it would be nice to, if possible, occasionally slide the stool under the vanity and keep it out of the way and your sight. In case of using shower stools and benches just for the purpose they are designed for, you do not have to preoccupy yourself with dimensions that much. The most important things is to own a piece that provides the most comfort.
That being said, you should definitely check out adjustable height shower benches and stools. They have several levels to set the height too, which is likely to satisfy all personal preferences.
When faced with uneven shower floors and slopes, it pays off to keep eyes peeled on stools and benches that have leg levelers. On the other hand, we also have stools that have flared legs for extra stability and tipping prevention.
3. Picking the Right Material
Another issue, which dissuades many homeowners from adding furniture, is that bathrooms are humid, hectic, and slippery environments that are far from ideal for materials like wood.
Well, the good news is that if you opt for quality products, this should not be a problem. Let us introduce one combination that is tried and tested, and that is the stainless steel bench and teak wood benches. It can withstand heavy use and prolonged exposure to humid indoor climate. Indeed, a solid teak wood is many homeowners’ and designers’ darling. The reason is quite simple: this type of wood is naturally resistant to moisture.
Moreover, bamboo stools and benches are also worth considering as they are well-suited for both indoor and outdoor use. It is important to ensure that bamboo is 100% genuine. This organic wood possesses both moisture-resistance and antibacterial properties, it is one of the fastest-growing woods in nature; therefore, furniture made from it is considered to be highly eco-friendly. If you care about this property, then a sustainably-harvested, plantation-grown teak also poses a good option.
Along the similar lines, it should be mentioned that any hardwood solid does the trick when it comes to performance in high-humidity environment. Many consumers seek acacia stools and benches that can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Wood is not the only viable option, but the decision-making process in this stage usually does revolve around committing either to a wooden or a plastic/metal product. We have already mentioned some of the pros of wood, but one must be aware that wood is hardly close to the sturdiness of a metal construction. As for acylic, it can hold up too, if you purchase a prime-quality product. In other words, something in the league of hard acrylic bathroom stools and benches.
Truth be told, it is still nowhere near the quality and appeal of solid wood, polycarbonate, varnished aluminum, and other, sturdier paragons. You have a freedom of choice and it goes without saying that you can embrace anything that is not rust and corrosion-proof on top of being moisture and mildew-resistant.
Oh, and one more piece of advice. Don’t overlook that habits of a bathroom user also play a key role. No matter what material you choose and regardless of how sturdy it is, pointy objects could scratch the surface. You don’t want this to happen, even more so if you paid good money for you bench/stool.
One final thing to remember is that many bathroom stools and benches often come with a layer of protective coating that mitigates the impact of wear and tear. Therefore, even if you are concerned about longevity, the choice is not as nearly as narrowed as some people deem it to be.
4. Back and Arm Support
Beyond deliberating on the material, dimensions, and other elements, one of the main dilemmas is how to find a solution that best suits your needs, as well as the layout of your space. Well, let’s make it clear from the get-go that stools and benches tend to be compact and neat. Their functionality is one of the main pros when compared to larger pieces of furniture.
Alas, the flipside is that they often lack backs or arms, which may impede your comfort and enjoyment. Many of these pieces are simply not designed for prolonged use. Therefore, if you are seeking good support for your body, you are better off picking a chair. There are many models of chairs that involve a design for leaning low to mid-height back.
Then again, those who are fine with benches and stools being a backless option should definitely consider investing in them. Don’t fret if you crave some extra utility because you can gravitate towards products with foot rest ledges that make shaving, scrubbing, washing your feet and legs a breeze. Likewise, you can search for benches that have small, lift-aid arms.
Besides that, know that there is one advantage of not having arms and that is the ability to effortlessly slide on and off the stool/bench. Also, let us not overlook that you usually have a tile wall to act as support.
Even better, there are also built-in and wall-mounted benches that are gaining popularity. Some of them are foldable: It really doesn’t get better than this if you want prime functionality and space-saving feature in your bathroom. Most often, they are put to good use in walk-in showers and sauna spaces.
I am glad to point out that recently, some models that include a small back support have also been spotted. As a result, customers are blessed with well-designed products that work like stools and benches, yet manage to overcome their main drawback.
5. Other Functionalities
To wrap up the functionality topic, let’s turn our attention to some other properties you should seek.
Firstly, stools and benches should not be moved around, which can easily happen due to the slippery surface in the shower. This suggests that models with grip tight bumpers on the base of the legs have an advantage over those without this function. Similarly, there are products that feature anti-slip rubber feet.
Secondly, keep in mind that it helps if the furniture has integrated handles for easy transport. The lack of this is offset in instances when the stool or bench itself is lightweight or compact.
Thirdly, there is an issue of drying. Here, the advantage of wooden stools with open slots becomes evident: They allow the water to run through, enabling quicker drying. Similarly, there are other patterns that facilitate the leaking. The drawback is that they are less comfortable than counterparts with cushioned seats.
Speaking of cushions, you should decide whether you want this luxury experience in the shower. Padded seats include many different solutions such as flame retardant sponges. Some manufacturers champion an innovative design that goes beyond standard flat surface. For instance, there are wide concave benches that fit body curvature better.
In any regard, if you value comfort and want something you can sit on for an extended period of time, then a seat with padding is a priority. Another good thing about padding is that you can change it and change the look of the stool, chair, or a bench.
Naturally, the best type of fabric is the one that does not deteriorate under the constant beating from water and is easy to wipe. In addition, the seating surface should never be too slippery itself because that increases the risk of sliding, resulting in potentially perilous falls.
6. Assembly and Extra Capacities
It also pays off to check whether the assembly is required or not.
Usually, putting together a piece is simple and involves following step-by-step instructions. Sometimes, attaching the legs is completely hassle-free and takes only several minutes. In other cases, there’s a bit more hardware (ideally in the form of stainless steel) to work with.
Another aspect to factor in is a load capacity: See to it, that it matches the weight of all people who are going to use the bathroom. For instance, a load-bearing capacity for wall-mounted benches, floor standing stools and benches is around 350 lbs.
Stools and benches can fulfill various purposes, provided that they are designed with versatility and practicality in mind. In general, a bathroom bench is a tool for elevating showering experience to the next level. However, this is just one of the possibilities. What is more, they can hold your bathroom accessories, tools, and toiletries, keeping them all within easy reach.
This is certainly the case with compact products that let you boost your storage capacity, provide a space to sit down, and allow little ones to reach the tap without assistance of adults.
Moving on, we see that using shower furniture as a vanity seating solution is one of the most popular uses of benches and stools in bathrooms. It is a must for those who spend a lot of time doing makeup and want to makes their time in bathroom feel like a short trip to a beauty parlor.
Likewise, a corner shower seat can have an additional value for some segments of the population. It helps elderly and those with limited mobility take a shower without problems and hardships. This is especially the case with stools and benches that are ADA-compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act) or adhere to other international standards and regulations.
As we have indicated, there are also versatile products such as stools that double as storage for towels or other toiletries. This is a great way to gain extra storage without investing in something larger and more expensive. You can keep your bathroom organized. Therefore, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, furniture pieces in the league of spa-like benches with shelves should be considered first.
Similarly, shower stools with an open, built-in shelf are more and more popular. Note that this kind of furniture can be moved around the bathtub and hold items like books and towels. At last, I would not overlook handy furniture that allows you to store smaller items in the seat itself. This solution makes it simple to move the piece around without everything falling off.
It is clear that there is a wide range of products in the market, which is to say that you have an opportunity to customize solutions fully to your needs and wants. Do your homework and shop around for the best deals. Note that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for the sake of function or the other way around.
It’s not too hard to find something that embodies the best of both worlds.
7. Aesthetic Standpoint
One thing you have to swallow is that many stools and benches look rather barebones. They may not be the most style-conscious choice, but I would argue it possible to achieve every major objective, including the one of boosting the visual appeal of a bathroom.
So, be aware that modern design at its best also encompasses sublime features and functionality. It is high time to realize that small pieces of furniture make a big difference in the interior realm and in more than one way.
They can certainly do wonders for the comfort and appeal of the space. A designer or luxury bench is a prime example of this. One of the most refreshing products is an upholstered bench that looks like a piano seat is sure to make a style statement.
But, first things first: The spectrum of products is wider than the eye can stretch.
It is great that design has progressed so much and that stools and benches come in a slew of styles. They vary from grand and attention-arresting, to discreet and compact. Some of them look so amazing that you could say that decorative intention was the guiding light for their designers.
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Thus, you have the freedom to choose sleek and modern or classy and vintage, as well as everything in between. A stool or a bench can be the main star in your bathroom. For example, a mirage acrylic look is an amazing addition to any monochromatic bathroom that oozes contemporary sophistication. It almost blends with the background as it sports transparent and multi-step finish white components.
The same can be said about backless, shiny acrylic design, which is making a big splash on the market right now. And this is not by some sort of accident. In general, due to the lack of arms and back support, a bulk of modern products leans towards minimalist and contemporary side of design. They draw attention with smooth and curvy lines as well as pristine white tones.
This kind of aesthetic is clearly best suited for those who adore fresh and clean looks. At the same time, the smoothness has one other advantage: Such a surface is quite easy to clean and maintain. This is another demonstration of the multi-faceted nature of modern design school.
We must also mention one of the most innovative designs seen recently is pre-formed rectangular shower bench. Made out of lightweight, extended polystyrene, it can be tiled upon and integrated with other features such as shower trays. Natural acrylic stone (natural stone powder plus acrylic resin) is having the moment and it is expected to see more quality products that involve it.
8.The Visual Splendor
On the other hand, the solutions that evoke images of the olden days are making a comeback. What goes around, must come back around! If this statement rings a bell for you, look no further than a vintage stool with intricate wooden details and fawn suede fabric that emits savor of the bygone. We have also seen the rise of stools and benches that capture the charm of the old-school Hollywood and bring it to your space.
One other design style that is worth noting is Asiatic, eastern-look curvy bench. It is an amazing solution for those who crave to immerse in Zen experience and design a bathroom under a Japanese influence. This look may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but stained in dark brown, these benches can even match with modern bathrooms and décor.
The pull of polished chrome and silver-finished chrome can lead you to the other direction, though. And here lies the beauty, in the great freedom of choice. Whatever you envision, there must be an embodiment of that on the shelf somewhere. The only issue is how to find it. To solve it, do an online research and don’t hesitate to order a product from a trusted vendor.
Compare the prices and always read the customer reviews and testimonials. They are telltale signs that always help when lost on the customer journey.
One thing is for certain: We are poised to see a plethora of other striking solutions new arrivals hitting the market soon.
And if you start feeling overwhelmed with all the different styles, as well as bells and whistles attached, you should take a step back and get down to the basics. A blend of simplicity, sturdiness, and elegance is always something to look for. Also, it pays off to take a good look at your own bathroom.
Pay close attention to the layout, colors, finishes and all other aspects that make or break a feel and design of the space. You can play it safe but also be a bit more daring.
On one hand, a simple white appearance is a safe bet. It matches most décor solutions and design layouts in contemporary bathrooms. Then again, making everything white can make the room feel sterile and boring. Do not make the mistake. Try to avoid this, and leave room for putting a creative, personal stamp.
There is one bolder approach as well: Using brighter colors and contrast to draw the eye and make a whimsical design mark. A pop of brightness always breathes life and puts a nice twist on a white or light backdrop. Also, some products are available in both white and black colors. This could pose a great way to make a statement and create a wow effect with a contrast.
Ultimately, the decision revolves around the overall style of the bathroom and personal design preferences. Of course, you can always go for something classy and coordinate the colors to pull off a coherent look.
Finally, we should not forget that budget could inhibit your vision. I mean, it would be a real shame for that to happen, but the prices of shower furniture do vary wildly: From dozens to hundreds of dollars. If you ask me, it is perfectly fine to splurge a bit.
All the investment of time, creativity, and money will be more than worth it in the end. You will spend much more time in your soothing oasis and also enjoy that time immensely more. As for designers and other professionals, they have a chance to use stools and benches as crown jewels of their signature style and blow customers away.
10. Final Thoughts
There are a lot of things to consider and some money to put into them, but shower furniture pays dividends in the long run. Don’t hesitate to explore this design area that often does not receive the attention and love it deserves.
A seating is a good idea regardless of your age, health, bathroom layout, and style preferences. You have a chance to support relaxation and pastime as well as all your bathroom needs. Why would a bathroom be reserved just for functional utility? How about you foster a rejuvenating spa feeling and immerse in your striking bathroom environment?
Let your imagination run wild. Also, remember that you have to consider different aspects such as materials and storage space. It is a good idea as well to make certain that the stool or bench is capable of withstanding heavy moisture exposure.
See if you can find something that is as safe, as it is chic. Identify the features that are a must for you and then narrow down your search. You need comfortable height and ample seating space. These are non-negotiables and everything else could be compromised on.
So, we have presented the guide that you can use as a roadmap. We encourage you to cherry-pick furniture that enhances your enjoyment, boosts visual bliss, and provides unparalleled practicality. Find a design that you love and will feel good sitting on for years to come. Bear in mind that it should reflect your personality and echo your lifestyle aspirations.
The ultimate reward is taking your bathing experience to the whole new level. Sit down, relax, feel the water soothing your body and soul, and melt all your worries away.