Bathroom design combines your tastes and budget, and you must look for fixtures and features that work with the available space. Finding the perfect shower will give you a cornerstone for the ideal design, and take your bathroom renovation project from standard to spectacular.
But what's so special about a shower? This bathroom fixture will get used nearly every day (if not a few times each day) and provides your family with a spot to unwind, clean up and relax. Tubs have a place in modern bathrooms, but more and more manufacturers are focusing on luxurious, contemporary showers that bring technology and forward style right into your home.
Check out the steps you need to take to find the perfect shower for your home.
Step # 1 - Take Measurements
Bathroom renovations allow for some flexibility; you may be able to knock down a wall or move the plumbing, but it still helps to begin the process with original measurements. Write down everything and draw a 3D sketch if possible, providing you with the floor space (length and wide of the room), ceiling height, distance to doors and windows, and the location of any obstructions such as floor vents and bulkheads.
Use these measurements to lay out the various bathroom fixtures, including sink and vanity, toilet and bathtub (if applicable). Figure out how much space you have left for the shower. If space is limited, decide how you can reconfigure the room or renovate to create more space in the optimum location.
Showers do not need to be located near a window, although natural light is attractive. Keep in mind that you will need to install a floor drain and plumbing behind the wall for the showerhead and faucet.
Step # 2 - Decide on the Ideal Shape
Plumbing retailers offer a wide range of shower stalls, including:
- Bathtub/shower combos - standard in many homes, this type of shower works well in a family bathroom with limited space. Look for a brand that offers a solid tub surround and high quality, durable tub.
- Neo-angle showers - popular for the last two decades, neo-angle showers are molded and triangular to fit snugly into a corner, with three panels of glass facing out and two panels of poly walls installed against the drywall. Doors can be clear or frosted and the shower tray is molded onto the walls for a seamless stall.
- Glass Shower Enclosures - often square or rectangular, these showers are installed with tiled walls for a built in look. Create a shower room by using longer walls and include various features like benches, shelving and drying areas with different glass wall configurations. The design options for a frameless glass shower enclosure are nearly endless, while framed enclosures and semi-framed enclosures have more limitations based on the available wall sizes.
Step # 3 - Choose the Showerhead
Perhaps more important than the shape and size, the perfect shower includes the perfect showerhead. Earmark part of your bathroom remodeling budget for a high quality showerhead; you will never regret the enhanced performance and efficiency levels of high end showerheads from reputable manufacturers. They create a shower experience like no other.
You'll find four major types of showerheads at your local plumbing retailer, including:
- Fixed showerheads - standard in many new homes, fixed showerheads are economical and come in wide range of sizes with various features. Look for one with an even, wide spray pattern and consider installing two fixed showerheads at different heights to create a dual shower for an affordable price. The height of fixed showerheads cannot be adjusted, since these products are permanently attached to the wall.
- Rainshower heads - rapidly growing in popularity, these showerheads use gravity and an extra wide design to deliver the look and feel of rainfall. Some users complain that the low pressure makes rinsing difficult, but some higher end manufacturers offer rainshower heads that use a self-pressurized system to create a more pleasurable experience. Consider installing a rainshower head along with a fixed head to provide the best of both worlds.
- Handheld showerheads - useful for washing children and pets, handheld showerheads offer a hosed system that can be unhooked and directed as you like. The wall-mounted hook can be adjusted along a vertical bar and some handheld showerheads have adjustable spray options as well. Look for good quality kits with a pliable, yet durable hose made from quality materials.
- Vertical spa shower kits - a combination of showerheads, these systems provide a luxurious fixed showerhead, along with various body jets to comfortably soak the occupant and a handheld showerhead for any missed spots. Most vertical spa systems come with touch controls for temperature and pressure, as well as programmable settings to make mornings even easier.
Step # 4 - Hire a Professional Plumber or Shower Fitter
Some portions of your bathroom renovation may be suited to DIY, but installing the perfect shower requires a professional. Not only does the plumbing need to be properly fitted and connected, but the shower itself also has to sit level and be firmly mounted. Leaky showers create major hassles down the road and could cost a significant amount of money for repairs.
Ask for recommendations at your local plumbing retailer or talk to your general contractor. Most often they have access to a licensed plumber that can fit all of the important components. Tiling and installing the shower floor and walls can be done by an experienced contractor, who will ensure the system fits well and operates smoothly.
Finding the perfect shower for your bathroom renovation requires a little bit of legwork on your part. Take your measurements, choose a shape, pick your favorite showerhead and hire an experienced plumber and/or contractor for the project. These steps will help you create the optimum bathroom design that includes a shower you'll enjoy every day.Posted by: TrustedPros