Types of Showers & Shower Setups
There are four main types of shower setups. Which one you end up with depends on your budget, your bathroom's square footage, and your personal preference. Here's a quick guide.
- Combination shower/bath sets: Typically sold as a kit, these all-in-one, modular pieces slide into a predetermined size and spot in the bath. Many are made of fiberglass and some have built-in amenities such as small seats or ledges. Prices increase with details, such as a metal frame door.
- Stand-alone: If you don't have lots of room and also aren't interested in combination shower/tub setups, consider a self-contained unit. These typically have a small ledge that contains the water but these showers don't have amenities such as shelves.
- Built-in/Enclosed/Walk-in: These custom showers can be sized to fit any spot. They are typically enclosed by tile or glass walls or doors, with a ledge to contain water.
- Open/Walk-through: An expansive, open-shower solution, this shower isn't bound by any walls or doors. Instead, there is a wall for the showerheads and any ledges/shelves.
How you enclose the shower depends on the shower's design. Here are three common methods to consider:
- Shower curtain: Shower curtains may be made from plastic or fabric.
- Glass/plastic sliding door: Modular shower units usually have a glass or plastic sliding door that's used as enclosure.
- Glass/tile doors and walls: For custom built-in units, tile or glass is often used as walls or doors. Glass doors are sometimes frameless.
Shower Extras & Add-Ons
While an ordinary shower may be just what you're after, there are plenty of ways for you to upgrade. Try these shower add-ons as a start.
- Shower and steam room combination: If you enjoy a steam room or sauna, you can create that same experience at home. It involves trapping the steam in the shower, which may add expense to the project.
- Wall-mount, multiple, handheld, or oversize showerheads: Many homeowners opt for multiple showerheads of various sizes and spray types. They may be used all at once or set up on different controls.
- Wall-mount mirror: Placed inside a shower, a wall-mount mirror can help with grooming duties, such as shaving.
- Bench seat: Even basic modular shower units often include bench seats, which can be a relaxing spot for shower tasks.
- Window/skylight: For showers with roof access, a window or skylight can add welcome natural light.
- Niches: Niches of various sizes are great spots to stash soap, shampoo, and other bathing items.
- Floor material: A different floor material, such as pebble tile, can be an excellent way to massage feet in the shower.
- Thermostatic valve: This unique shower control helps to regulate the temperature in the shower.
- Flat-screen television: Televisions protected from water can be a wonderful addition to luxurious bathrooms.
- Towel warmer/radiator/drying rails: This shower amenity heats up towels, typically through electricity or warmed water.