A Guide to Buying Corner Showers
Looking for a more economical use of space in a cramped bathroom or for a stand-alone shower in a master bathroom with a separate tub? A corner shower makes the most of unused nooks. Learn some buying basics with our guide to the four most important features of corner showers.
In a small or awkwardly shaped bathroom, a corner shower can be a smart space-saving solution. There are many choices with a wide range of price tags.
To help whittle down the options, prioritize your needs based on these four key distinguishing elements:
The first step in choosing the best corner shower for your bathroom is picking a base, or pan. Corner showers are available in several shapes, including triangular, round, square, rectangular, or neo-angle. The smallest design is a triangular base, which has three equal-size sides, with one being used for a door. A round pan is shaped like a slice of pie with a curved front for a rounded door. The design allows for more interior elbowroom but takes up only slightly more floor space than a triangular design. Square and rectangular units have four sides and often have a large enough footprint to accommodate a bench or dual showerheads. The most spacious (and priciest) option is a neo-angle shower, which has a diamond-shape base for a door, two back walls, and two beveled sidewalls.
Next, you need to decide if you prefer the ease of installing a prefabricated stall or want to pay more for custom-tiled corner walls. Off-the-shelf corner shower units are made of fiberglass or acrylic and come in many colors and textures, including faux tile with simulated grout lines. On the upside, these units are affordable, can be installed by novice DIYers, and are easy to keep clean. On the downside, prefab units can look cheap and come in limited design options and preset sizes that might not suit your exact tastes or needs. Tiled showers, on the other hand, are completely custom creations. After walling the corner with cement-based board, you can add tile of any size, shape, color, and style to create walls of any width and length. Negatives of tiled showers include a hefty price tag, potential for leaks, a very difficult installation that's often best left to professionals, and grout lines that can be hard to keep clean.
Most prefab corner shower enclosures include a glass door with frames made of stainless steel, brass, or other metal. More expensive units have frameless doors supported by brackets. If you are installing a custom-tiled shower, you can choose either type of door. Framed doors are less pricey and easier to install, but the metal can corrode if not cared for regularly. An unframed door looks more modern and can make a room seem larger, but it typically requires professional installation. Either type of door can be installed to swing open left or right. There are also etched- and frosted-glass options for added privacy.
As corner showers continue to gain popularity, even the premade enclosures now often include many of the same amenities that can be found in larger or custom showers. Whether you build your own walls or buy a kit, consider how you will use the shower and make sure it provides the necessary features, such as a bench seat, ample shelving or caddies, a grab bar, and unique or additional fixtures.