Every bathroom shower has focal point and relaxation-station potential. When outfitted with appealing materials and specialty showerheads, even compact showers become spa-like sanctuaries.
Bathing-beauty indulgences come in all shapes and sizes, but bathroom shower designs usually fall into one of three categories: easily accessed walk-in showers; shower-tub combinations; and luxurious wet rooms.
Walk-in shower designs continue to grow in popularity. You can build a shower that suits any setting or opt for prefabricated shower kits (many newer models come equipped with multiple showerheads, steam options, water jets, and stereo equipment) that are installed on site. These showers are accessed via pivot doors, which swing outward, or bifold or neo-angled doors with two panels hinged in the center that work well on corner showers.
Shower and tub combinations suit small spaces and family bathrooms. Set into a three-walled alcove, this setup is enclosed with a shower curtain or a door that slides on a tub-top track. Less conventional, claw-foot tubs outfitted with a standing shower and a wrap-around shower rod enhance cottage-style bathrooms.
European-inspired wet rooms are spacious chambers featuring multiple showerheads, body sprays, and floors sloping to a drain. These shower rooms might open to other sections of a bathroom or be partially enclosed with half-walls or glass doors.
No matter its type, a bathroom shower can make a big statement or quietly enhance a room's overall design. Take time to choose surfaces, add-on conveniences, and enclosures that combine to create pretty, practical, and personalized showers.
Generally, doors and enclosures are made of clear, etched, or frosted glass or resin that are either framed or frameless. Gold, black, or silver frames finish sides and doors on framed constructions; frameless enclosures run seamlessly from ceiling to floor. Frameless enclosures recede to make small baths appear larger and let a shower's interior take center stage.
Think of a shower's interior as a blank canvas awaiting your artistic touch. Though you'll save money by creating walls from sheets of acrylic, cultured marble, or solid-surfacing, you'll produce more interesting perimeters and floors if you work with ceramic, stone, glass, or marble tiles. Use varying sizes and shades of the same type of tile to create contrasting borders, fetching niches, and mosaic murals on shower walls. For natural interest underfoot, install river rock or pebbled tile floors. Arrange inexpensive ceramic tiles (in a monochromatic mix or a bold blend) on the walls above a prefab shower unit or across the walls of a walk-in cubicle.
Include relaxing rhythms by installing massaging sprays, rain showerheads, wall-mount water jets, and steam systems. Add a built-in bench within the shower or keep a waterproof bench nearby that moves in when it's time for you to kick back and enjoy rejuvenating water therapy!