Design your perfect shower

By May 8, 2020Bathrooms

With so much uncertainty in so many areas due to the global health crisis, many house-moves and renovation work projects are, rightly, paused for now. 

However, to the extent it’s possible to do so, we suggest continuing to work on finalising the planning/ designing/ decision-making during this ‘on hold’ period.  When normal-ish life resumes, you can have made (most of) the remaining design/ choosing, etc. decisions and obtained related costings, with less time pressure than usual, and be ready to start ordering and getting on site at an appropriate time. 

Working on your renovation project may also be a welcome distraction…  We’ll continue to share content to advise and inspire.

Choose your perfect shower

A beautiful, ergonomic shower space is key to achieving your dream bathroom. Here’s what to consider;

Plumbing

A great shower experience depends on having the right water pressure and a boiler/ cylinder set-up that meets the demands of your household. Before splashing out on new fittings and decoration, work with a qualified plumber to get the ‘basics’ in place. This could include upgrading the power of your boiler, getting a larger cylinder or fitting a water softener/ purifier.

Fittings

Good quality fittings are crucial for a shower that works well and lasts. See our guide to creating a luxurious bathroom for our advice on choosing the right fittings. 

Be sure to choose thermostatic valves to help prevent scalding, and consider whether you want an overhead shower head, adjustable fitting and/ or hand shower. A hand-shower is always useful for cleaning the space as well as washing, but will generate more splash (see enclosure style below…)

Samuel Heath shower controls
Tactile shower controls by Samuel Heath
Shower with curved wall and slot drain - designed by Absolute Project Management
This curved wall makes a compact but comfortable walk-in shower
Curved shower screen and towel radiator in compact bathroom design by Absolute Project Management
Overhead & hand shower, in a smart curved enclosure.

Enclosure style & shape

Pinterest is littered with images of walk-in showers in so-called ‘small bathrooms’. 

In reality, a proper walk in shower needs nearly as much space as a bath to allow for a comfortable entrance with a  screen wide enough screen to prevent splashing. 

We love the appeal of minimising the glass area to clean… but not if it comes at the cost of constantly mopping up shower spray. An enclosure with a door is often a better option.

The good news is, stylish, good quality and sturdy shower enclosures are available, so you needn’t spend every morning wrestling with a flimsy folding door! If you choose a bespoke option, you can select hinges and handles to match the other bathroom finishes, as well as fluted, coloured or frosted glass.

Crittal style shower enclosure
Crittal-style shower screen
Rose pink shower screen by ex.t at Maison et Objet
Rose pink screen seen at Maison et Objet Paris
Fluted Glass shower enclosure
Fluted glass shower screen

Storage

Take stock of your ‘shower clutter’ and decide how much in-shower storage you (realistically) need. Will a single streamlined shelf do, or do you need a multi-shelf niche?

Walls

The whole shower area will get wet, so should be appropriately tiled. Consider ease of cleaning as well as aesthetics – read more in our tile guide.

Modern shower cabinet with green glass doors styled by Absolute Project Management
Top: A little storage niche and green screen make this a dreamy shower!

Middle: Lovely tiles, high quality fittings and a space-saving curved screen add luxury to a small space.

Right: Sliding shower enclosures needn’t be annoying to use – just choose a good one!
Shower enclosure with curved door, Samuel Heath fittings and storage niche - by Absolute Project Management
Shower enclosure with sliding door

Floor

Tiled or shower tray? If your shower area is a standard size, a shower tray will be your lowest cost (and probably most leakproof) option. If you want the seamless look of a fully tiled floor, consider:

  • If your bathroom is built directly onto a concrete slab, you may need to raise the floor or to do accommodate the drainage.
  • Conversely, if it’s on a timber joisted floor, ensure this stable (and not prone to movement)
  • Your contractor will need to fit a ‘tanking kit’ and wetroom base under the tiles  (and up around the sides) – and ensure sufficient slope towards the waste to allow water to drain/ prevent puddling.
  • Choose tiles that will remain slip-proof when fully wet.
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