Metro Detroit’s Most Trusted Tub to Shower Conversion & Bathroom Remodel Experts

The Pros and Cons of Built-In, Fold-Down, and Moveable Shower Seats or Chairs

When it comes to shower seats, there are various options available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Whether you’re renovating your bathroom for accessibility reasons or simply looking to enhance comfort and convenience, choosing the right type of shower seat is essential. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of three common types: built-in, fold-down, and moveable shower seats or chairs. By understanding the unique features and considerations of each option, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision that meets your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize durability, space-saving design, or versatility, there’s a shower seat option out there to suit your lifestyle and enhance your bathing experience.

Built-In Shower Seats

Built-in shower seats are permanent fixtures that are integrated directly into the shower walls during the construction or renovation process. They are typically made of the same material as the shower walls, such as tile, stone, or acrylic, to ensure a seamless and cohesive look. Here are some pros and cons of built-in shower seats to consider:


  1. Seamless Integration: Built-in shower seats blend seamlessly with the surrounding shower walls, creating a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing look. They can be custom-designed to match the style and color scheme of your bathroom.
  2. Durability: Since built-in shower seats are constructed using the same materials as the shower walls, such as tile or stone, they are highly durable and long-lasting. They can withstand daily use and are resistant to water damage and mold growth.
  3. Stability: Built-in shower seats are securely anchored to the shower walls, providing a stable and supportive seating surface. This is especially beneficial for individuals with mobility issues or those who require assistance while showering.


  1. Lack of Adjustability: Once installed, built-in shower seats cannot be easily adjusted or relocated. This means that if your needs or preferences change in the future, you may need to undergo another renovation to modify or replace the seat.
  2. Cost: The installation of built-in shower seats requires professional expertise and may involve additional labor and material costs. This can make them more expensive compared to other types of shower seats.
  3. Limited Design Options: While built-in shower seats can be customized to match the design of your bathroom, they offer fewer design options compared to freestanding or fold-down seats. You may have limited flexibility in terms of size, shape, and style.
  4. Permanent Space Occupation: Built-in shower seats occupy permanent space within the shower enclosure, which may limit flexibility in terms of shower layout and design. This can be a drawback if you prefer to have the option to reconfigure your shower space in the future.

Overall, built-in shower seats are a popular choice for homeowners looking for a permanent and durable seating solution in their showers. They offer seamless integration, durability, and space-saving benefits, although they may require a higher initial investment and offer limited adjustability compared to other types of shower seats.

Fold-Down Shower Seats

Fold-down shower seats offer a versatile and space-saving solution for those who require occasional seating in the shower. These seats are typically attached to the shower wall and can be folded up when not in use, providing extra space and accessibility within the shower enclosure. Here are some of the pros and cons of fold-down shower seats:


  1. Space-Saving: Fold-down shower seats can be easily folded up against the wall when not in use, allowing for more space and maneuverability within the shower area. This makes them ideal for small bathrooms or showers with limited space.
  2. Adjustable Height: Many fold-down shower seats come with adjustable height settings, allowing users to customize the seat to their preferred height for optimal comfort and accessibility.
  3. Removable for Cleaning: Fold-down shower seats can be easily removed from their mounting brackets for cleaning, making maintenance and upkeep a breeze.
  4. Versatility: Fold-down shower seats are suitable for users of all ages and abilities, making them a versatile option for multi-generational households or aging-in-place renovations.


  1. Installation Requirements: Installing fold-down shower seats may require professional assistance, particularly if modifications to the shower wall are necessary. This can add to the overall cost of the installation.
  2. Weight Limitations: Some fold-down shower seats may have weight limitations, so it’s essential to choose a seat that can support the intended user’s weight safely.
  3. Limited Seating Area: Fold-down shower seats typically have a smaller seating area compared to built-in or freestanding seats. This may be less comfortable for users who require more space or support while showering.
  4. Design Considerations: While fold-down shower seats offer practical benefits, they may not always blend seamlessly with the overall aesthetic of the bathroom. Design-conscious homeowners may need to carefully select a seat that complements their bathroom’s style and decor.

Moveable Shower Seats or Chairs

Moveable shower seats or chairs provide flexibility and convenience for individuals who require assistance or prefer sitting while showering. Unlike built-in or fold-down seats, moveable seats can be easily repositioned within the shower area to accommodate different users or preferences. Here are the pros and cons of moveable shower seats or chairs:


  1. Flexibility: Moveable shower seats offer the flexibility to be placed anywhere within the shower area, making them suitable for users with varying mobility needs or preferences.
  2. Adjustable Height: Many moveable shower seats come with adjustable height settings, allowing users to customize the seat to their preferred height for optimal comfort and accessibility.
  3. Easy Installation: Moveable shower seats typically require minimal installation and can be easily assembled and placed in the desired location within the shower enclosure without the need for permanent modifications.
  4. Portability: Moveable shower seats are portable and can be easily removed from the shower when not in use, allowing for convenient storage or transport as needed.


  1. Stability: While moveable shower seats offer flexibility, they may not provide the same level of stability as built-in or fold-down seats. Users with balance or mobility issues may require additional support or assistance to safely use a moveable seat.
  2. Space Requirements: Moveable shower seats may take up valuable space within the shower area, particularly in smaller bathrooms or showers with limited room for maneuverability.
  3. Maintenance: Moveable shower seats may require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent the buildup of mold, mildew, or soap scum. Proper care and upkeep are essential to ensure the seat remains hygienic and safe for use.
  4. Weight Limitations: Some moveable shower seats may have weight limitations, so it’s important to choose a seat that can safely support the intended user’s weight. Users should also be mindful of weight distribution and balance while using a moveable seat to prevent tipping or instability.

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