Custom Showers: The Endless Options

Your shower - especially your en suite shower - is a retreat from the stress of everyday life. It’s a great spot to unwind and relax after a long day, or wake up and get your brain going again in the morning. If you are lucky enough to be thinking about redoing your shower (or building a brand new one!) here are a few things you should definitely be thinking about:

Be warned, this post is a long one

Size. My drafting professor once told us that you learn a lot about a couple when you are designing their bathroom. And she was right. How many people will be in the shower at once? Will you need somewhere to sit? Would you like dimmable lighting or built-in speakers? A lot of people think that bigger is always better when it comes to your master en suite shower. But there are a couple of downfalls to having a giant shower: there’s always going to be cold spots that the hot water can’t reach; the expense of having a large shower, especially if you won’t be using the whole space; lastly, cleaning! No one likes cleaning the shower, especially a giant one. The key is to think about how you will be using the shower and how much space you have in the bathroom, and plan accordingly.

Bench. A bench is a great feature for a shower, if you have the space. Most people won’t spend a lot of time sitting in the shower but it’s super convenient to be able to put a foot up while you’re shaving your legs. They also work really well as a storage shelf for your shampoos and soaps.

Niches. Niches are also a wonderful addition to showers. They keep all of your shower products off of the floor (or bench) and within reach. Keep in mind that there are a couple of limitations when it comes to installing them. 1) Since the niche is the depth of the wall, they cannot go in front of plumbing or drains. 2) They “can” be installed in exterior walls but you are creating a cold spot since you cannot put proper insulation behind it.

Shower heads. This one is all up to personal preference. Some people love all of the different heads, some people hate them. One things that seems to be pretty consistent is that men love ceiling mounted fixtures, and women hate them (I’m sure not ALL women hate them, but it has been a popular opinion with my clients). Another option that people either love or hate are body sprays (wall mounted jets). Always make sure that the person who will be using the shower has the final say in the placement of body sprays - you don’t want them hitting a sensitive place! One fixture that I recommend for almost all showers is a handheld or wand head. Not only is it great to have a head that has an adjustable height, it also makes cleaning your gorgeous shower so much easier!

Controls. There are two main types of shower controls: pressure balance and thermostatic. Pressure balance are the basic valves that you will see most often - they twist to the temp you want and then pull out to turn on. These are great for basic showers, especially for kids and guests because they are so simple. They are also about half the cost of thermostatic valves. Thermostatic valves allow for much more control and are great for showers with multiple heads since they help ensure that your temperature and pressure are consistent between different shower heads. My favourite feature with these is the separate dial for temperature - you set it once and never need to find that perfect temperature again. Diverters are the next step in planning out how you want to control your new shower. Diverters let you pick and choose what heads you want on (rain head + body spray, or just hand held, etc). Because you might love all of your shower heads, but you probably don’t want them all pelting you at the same time.

Extras. There are always new extras coming out to make your shower even nicer. Some of the most common ones are: steam units, built in speakers, aromatherapy,  and chromatherapy. Each of these could be their own article, so we’ll save those for another time!

Long story short, there are endless options for your new shower! It can be a very daunting task to make all of these decisions on you own, likely with a contractor breathing down your neck wanting to wrap things up. Needless to say, I would love to help you navigate the process - reach out today and let me know about your project and your questions!