To fully appreciate a shower, the enclosure needs to be large enough to bend and stretch without knocking into the sides of the bathroom. There should be a good source of natural daylight or fixed lighting and a nearby extractor to remove humid air. When it comes to selecting the type of bathroom shower, most showrooms have a technical adviser to help you choose the best fittings for your needs. They will check whether you require a pump to boost the supply of water through the showerheads and any body jets you intend to install. You must also decide whether you prefer concealed or exposed fittings and thermostatic valves.
Just about any shape of shower tray can be custom-made, but factory – produced models in coloured acrylic and mineral resin are widely available in square, rectangular, and corner designs. These are quick to install, waterproof, and lightweight. Ceramic and enameled-steel models come in a limited range of colours but are hardwearing and easy to clean. If you prefer a fully tiled shower, it may be possible to prepare, seal, and tile the bathroom floor for a flush finish. To prevent water from seeping into the room, a slight gradient will be required to channel the water away from the door, towards the waste. Tiles are by far the most popular choice for cladding enclosure walls to make them waterproof but, if your budget allows, perspex, stainless steel, marble, stone, and safety glass make interesting alternatives. Most enclosures will need some form of door or curtain to retain splashes. Shower curtains are inexpensive, but have a habit of clinging to wet skin. Glass doors are more substantial, easy to clean and give good visibility.
The choice of hinged, folding, pivot doors allows you to select one that suits you best. Curved glass doors look spectacular with round trays but are very expensive; multi- section doors are just as waterproof but more reasonably priced.
Plumbing: If the shower is to be used by different family members, it is important to site the controls where they can be seen and reached by everybody who uses the bathroom. Choose a flexible shower head and body jets so they can be positioned to suit different heights.
Surfaces: When tiling, use waterproof grout and allow it to dry thoroughly before the shower is used for the first time. Colourants can be added to grout to emphasise plain white tiles or a particular colour scheme.
Storage: Include a shelf or recess in which to place soap and shampoo. Shelves should be waterproof and narrow so that they do not obstruct your movements when showering.
Plumbing: If you prefer to have a fixed-head shower and a flexible spray with the handset, you will need to switch from one system to the other using a water diverter.