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ashton44 03-30-2012 10:52 AM

Building a bench at the end of a bath tub
Hi there,

I am renovating a basement 3 pieces bathroom. It will pretty much be a gut job but the plumbing/electrical will not be moved.

The main thing I am concerned about for this project is that the wall length measures 6 feet. Once I put the tub/shower in I am left with an extra foot of room. The best idea I can come up with for this 1 foot spot is to build a tiled bench at the end of the bath for the user to put all of their toiletries on. What is the best way to go about this?

Here is my rough plan - please let me know if you see any problems or have any better suggestions.

I am planning to build a box that is slightly higher than the bath tub height. I will be using cement board and then the same tile as on the walls to complete the bench. I know it must be built at a slope in order for water to run off of it and into the bath tub. I am not sure how much it needs to slope over the 1 foot of bench.

Also, at what point in the reno do I build the bench? Once I am down to framing and sub floor, what are the steps I take? I would assume it would be best to have the tub installed and then build the bench. Do the cement board for both the bench and walls and continue on with tiling, etc.

I would appreciate any advice.

Blondesense 03-30-2012 11:36 AM

I'm no expert, having done exactly one shower, but I spend way too much time here and have some questions that I believe are relevant.

Is there a shower involved here?

If so, how are you going to enclose the front?

What type of waterproofing are you planning on using?

Other than that, I believe I would:
Frame the bench as if for the third wall for the tub.
Install the tub.
Add cement board.

The first problem I see is enclosing the front. I don't see any sort of door working in that situation (not to mention being expensive -custom and all). And a curtain would have to cover two sides, cutting off the access to the shelf you want to build.
The second problem is waterproofing - if that is a shower. All those corners that the water will hit are weak points asking for water penetration. I would strongly recommend Kerdi if this is a shower.

In your situation I would probably frame in a third wall and make that extra space a linen closet or something. Storage is always good.

mrgins 03-30-2012 11:42 AM

If you have a 5' shower going in a 6' space, have you allowed for the thickness of a framed wall at that end of the shower?
I wouldn't risk all the potential angles that water could leak thru. Make a very narrow storage closet opening from the front of the shower, or just block it off

ashton44 03-30-2012 02:16 PM

I appreciate the replies.

Yes it will be a joint bath/shower. I was planning to just put a curtain rod up that would go the length of the tub/bench.

My plan was to do cement backerboard and then a waterproof membrane. Unfortunately, Kerdi is not available in Canada yet (as I was told at Lowe's last week). That was how I planned to do the shower after seeing it on DIY Disaster :)

Just so I understand you are both recommending that I skip the bench idea and frame a wall that ends at the tub/shower so it is fully enclosed by 3 walls. The reaming space between the new wall and the existing wall will be 9 inches or so depending on framing. Not a very wide storage area...but I guess it would work just with some open shelving?

The bench is the only thing I am stressing about for this entire project so maybe I should just take it out and do the wall. That would save me from any problems in the future as you say.

ashton44 03-30-2012 02:27 PM

So, decided to go right to the Kerdi website and found out it is available in Canada (not what I was told by Lowe's). However, for a 1/2" 4x8 $115 is just way out of my price range.

Do you have another economical suggestion?

Kaos007 04-05-2012 05:04 PM

Or get a 6'tub to take up the entire space

mrgins 04-05-2012 06:05 PM


Originally Posted by Kaos007 (Post 892476)
Or get a 6'tub to take up the entire space

D'uh, never thought of that. I even have one in my house!

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