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Q: We’re looking to install a larger shower stall in place of our bathtub. My wife and I agree that adding a shower bench would be a comfortable option.

Since we’re still in the planning stages, what information can you give us about adding a bench to a larger shower stall?

— Al, California

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A: When including a shower bench in a new shower, there are three basic choices:

Built-in tile or stone bench. Decide on the shape, size, height and location of the seating area to best fit your tiled shower stall. Corner seats are very popular. A tile professional will make sure the bench is well supported and all waterproofing materials are installed.

Integral molded seat. This is a fiberglass-type shower base with a molded-in seat to create a very clean look. Since this is a shower base only, the walls can still be finished off with tile or stone.

Complete seated shower. This is a full fiberglass-type shower enclosure and base with a removable bench that locks in place. It makes for a great all-in-one solution.

When a shower bench is being installed as a necessity for mobility issues, I also suggest you work with a health-care professional to choose the bench that’s right for your needs.

And remember: Follow all shower-seating codes so you don’t get “benched” by your local building inspector.

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. For more information, visit

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