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How Much Does a Shower Bench Cost?

A shower bench can cost less than $100 for an off-the-shelf product but up to $500 for a medical-grade device.  Decorative benches can cost between $100 to upwards of $1000 or more, depending on materials and size.

For this reason, many people who are looking to put a shower bench in their bathrooms look for ways to make one themselves or find a good bargain on a prefabricated shower bench.

Shower benches are a great way to make your home bathroom look more upscale. Bathroom renovations, including shower updates, are one of the best ways to add value to your home.

Due to their expense, though, it can be very tempting to try to create this feature on your own.

Costs of Pre-Fabricated Shower Benches

There are hundreds of makes and models of prefabricated shower benches.  At the most basic level, a simple plastic shower bench can be purchased off the shelf from big-box retailers such as Walmart for less than $30.

These models tend to work well for people who are simply looking for a place to stash a few soaps or shampoos but often do not look particularly attractive, nor are they ideal for people with special needs.

Wooden and other decorative types of shower benches can be purchased at specialty retailers.  These models tend to cost between $50 to $300, depending on size and material.

While more attractive than those models available from big-box stores, these benches might not be the best choice for someone who is concerned with slipping and falling in the shower.

They are most ideal for people who want to use their shower as a place to relax.

People who need a shower bench due to medical concerns need to look for a model that is made of medical-grade materials and is designed for people with special needs.

These types of shower benches are usually equipped with non-skid materials that make the shower bench resistant to sliding along the shower floor.

They are also made of dense materials that can support the full weight of a person who is unable to support themselves. These types of shower benches usually cost around $300 to $600, but the cost is negligible when compared to the safety that these shower benches provide to their users.

It is important to note that some types of medical-grade shower benches will need to be professionally installed, adding to their overall cost.

Cost to Build Your Own Shower Bench

A shower bench can be constructed of nearly any type of wood or plastic, and as long as the wood is properly sealed, it can last for years. Many designs are relatively simple to make, making a DIY shower bench an ideal starter or weekend project for many people.

Material costs for most shower benches, however, are similar to the cost of a prefabricated shower bench.  In fact, many big-box retailers such as Walmart and Ikea sell kits to make a shower bench for little more than the cost of the materials from a general store.

Construction time for these kits can range from less than an hour to nearly three hours, depending on the style of the bench and the experience of the fabricator.  

Wood and other materials for a typical shower bench will cost between $40 and $100.  The most expensive component in the cost to construct a shower bench is the price of the wood.

While this is the main material in its construction, exact prices for this component are hard to predict due to the variability of designs and the constantly shifting price of this raw material.

After wood, the cost of a waterproofing varnish or finish for the bench is the second most expensive element. Please note that if you are constructing a shower bench, it is important not to skip this step, even for pressure-treated wood.

Shower benches, by their very nature, are exposed to a lot of water, and a solid coat of protection is crucial to protecting the time and money spent on their construction.

Other options include looking for alternative materials to build a shower bench. Bamboo tends to be one of the most popular natural materials.

It has some natural resistance to water and can be bent and shaped into a variety of configurations. In many areas, it is also relatively low cost.  Other great ways to save money on materials can involve using reclaimed wood, such as driftwood or wood from shipping pallets. 

Of course, anyone doing this is strongly advised to consider the safety of the source of the materials, particularly because it will be used in wet conditions and frequently coming into contact with bare skin. Be sure to coat the finished project with a mold-killing paint or specialized coating, and finish with a waterproofing sealant.

If you are in need of a medical-grade shower bench, it’s generally a good idea to purchase one rather than try to construct one yourself. Medical grade shower benches are made of specialty materials and balanced with precision equipment to ensure that they can hold the entire weight of a person while falling or standing awkwardly.

While it can be tempting to attempt to construct your own bench, it’s a generally good idea to make the investment in a piece of medical equipment. Note that it is particularly important to follow the enclosed instructions exactly when constructing and installing the shower bench.  

Cost to Hire Someone to Build a Shower Bench

For people who have limited time or DIY skills, hiring a professional to construct a shower bench can be a great idea. Because shower benches tend to be a custom item, however, expect to pay a lot for a custom-made shower bench.

On top of the cost of materials, which will run around $50 to $300 or more, a carpenter or handyman will bill out his or her time between $50 to $100 an hour. A typical shower bench will take between one to five hours to construct, with specialty projects taking considerably longer.

The total cost for a professionally constructed shower bench can therefore range between $150 to $700.

People who need a medical-grade shower bench are the most likely to use the option of professional construction and installation. For people who need to have this valuable piece of medical equipment, constructing and installing a bench on their own is rarely an option.

With installation costs alone costing between $100 to $200, it simply makes sense to invest a little more money into a professionally built shower bench that can add value to a home. 

Professional installation also means that a homeowner can be assured that their shower bench will be able to withstand a wide range of weight and environmental conditions.

Of course, adding value to a home is the main reason most people choose to spend the money on a professionally built shower bench.

When this improvement improves the look of a bathroom, it can often pay for itself in increased home value, making it a smart choice for people looking for small ways to improve the value of their primary home or investment property.