This 'Spa-Like' Bathroom Feature is the One Thing Designers Are Choosing to Elevate Showers Right Now

This idea is seen in the best modern bathrooms, but it doesn't just look good, it's a super practical addition, too

A shower area built with marble walls and marble bench
(Image credit: Jenifer McNeil Baker. Design: Maestri Studio)

There's nothing more instantly relaxing than a built in shower bench, usually seen in high-end hotels or spa retreats. These seats or stools add convenience and comfort to daily routines and are great for those with mobility issues, too. Plus, shower seats, especially in interesting materials can add to the bathroom's design, and make the space both functional and fashionable.

Those who are looking to redo their bathrooms this season should consider this walk in shower element for an elevated feel. Experts tell us more about this growing trend and why you need to hop on to it.

1. Use in a small shower

A bathroom with a black shower bench and black and white floor tiles

(Image credit: Jenifer McNeil Baker. Design: Maestri Studio)

Whether you have a small bathroom shower or a sizeable one, a bench, especially a built-in one provides plenty of room to sit without stealing too much standing room. Even if mobility isn't a concern, a seat can be the perfect place to rest and fully pamper yourself.

'One thing to note is that before installing a shower bench, consider space availability, material, durability, appropriate installation height for comfort, stability through secure anchoring, weight capacity, accessibility for users with mobility issues, proper water drainage, maintenance requirements, aesthetic preferences, and budget constraints,' says Lauren Lerner, CEO and founder of Living with Lolo. 'By taking these factors into account, homeowners can choose a shower bench that enhances safety, functionality, and aesthetic appeal in their bathroom.'

2. Introduce interesting material contrasts

A bathroom with a wooden shower bench and graphic wall tiles

(Image credit: Maureen Stevens Design)

Comfort aside, a shower bench is a great addition to a modern bathroom's decor and appeal. It allows you to add a lovely, textural quality to spaces, and make the shower room the focus of the bathroom.

Think of a custom seat in materials such as wood, or tile. Consider interesting colors that harmonize with the floor and shower. This will add depth and dimension to the space.

'A built-in seat allows for additional comfort for the clients' and ease of doing the essentials, like shaving,' says interior designer Maureen Stevens. 'In this space, the wood element added something organic to the space and warmth to a modern black-and-white design.'

'A teak shower bench can be permanently installed, and is very attractive, lightweight and easy to maintain,' says Julia Mack, founder of Julia Mack Design. 'It retains its finish and is naturally water and humidity-resistant and there are an abundant of sizes available to fit any space.'

3. Use them to add functionality

A bathroom with a marble wall and seating inside the shower area

(Image credit: Jenifer McNeil Baker. Design: Maestri Studio)

If yours is a shared bathroom, that requires a lot of storage opportunities, then a bench is a great solution. Apart from the bathroom storage units, you could use the bench to place small miscellaneous elements that you always need at hand.

'The bench will provide easy access to towels, shampoos, and soaps plus a convenient spot to sit down in the shower,' says Julia.

4. Create a spa-like feel

A bathroom with a built in shower bench in the same material as the wall

(Image credit: Mike Schwartz. Design: Studio Gild)

These small but highly useful elements can help create a spa bathroom appeal and remind you of high-end properties. Especially clad in tiles, the bench can give a smart finish and make the shower look bright and roomy.

'The bench was framed out and constructed for durability,' says Kristen Ekeland, co-founder of Studio Gild. 'We installed the wall tile up the face of the bench and then added a matching white Quartz stone for the bench seat. This saves money on labor and stone slab costs while achieving a serene monolithic bench moment.'

3 products to enhance the walk in shower

Design Editor

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is the Design Editor at Livingetc. She is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.