The Better Bench by Innovis Corporation is a great option for a solid mounted shower seat that will actually hold a larger weight capacity than most preformed shower seats. This product will hold a 400 lb. load capacity (Be sure to check all their product specs before ordering with your tile contractor). Although foam seats and accessories are becoming an industry standard, there are plenty of tile setters left that cater to old style methods using fat mud for shower pans, seats and even walls. Since I have mud on every job… it only takes an extra bag to fill up one of the triangular seats which keeps the overall cost down with adding features like this to a shower install.
The units come with pre-drilled holes to mount on a wall. It also has anchors for when stud framing is not meeting the hole locations. I prefer to plan out all framing in the shower walls so that anything mounted with screws will definitely fall in place of stud blocking. This usually makes any of my customers feel warm and cozy about the installation which I prefer.
Depending on the type of waterproofing product I use on a specific job will dictate how I install the bench. For a full Hybrid Shower, I will mount the bench right after the cement board is installed and then paint the whole shower with the liquid membrane. Sheet fabric membranes like Schluter Kerdi or NobleSeal TS are applied to all the flat walls first. After applying the fabric, I will then mount the seat. After the mud cures, I can then flash of the seat area with either fabric or liquid waterproofing to integrate it with the walls.
Tiling a Better Bench is fairly simple, too. I typically make sure to order a case of large 18″x 18″ tile so I can cut it out and fit one solid piece on the top and underside of the seat which extends a few inches from the edge… The top and underside will then be capped with something like a 3″x 12″ Bullnose trim to cap it off and the very front is filled in with one or two strips of field tile. There’s plenty of ways to do it, however, I try to have minimal cut edges and grout joints on any seating area.
Overall, Innovis has a nice product that cuts down on installation time and easy to execute so I can’t say a bad thing about them. If I may offer some constructive criticism, I’m hoping they come out with a few more shapes and sizes in the future. Every job is different and this product isn’t needed all the time but it is something to consider when mapping out your shower design.
SHOP FOR THE INNOVIS BETTER BENCH!