If you’re planning to refurbish your bathroom, you may be thinking of switching from a shower over the bath to a walk-in shower. Installing a shower might seem like a fairly simple thing to do, but when considering removing the bath and putting in a large shower, then there are few points to reflect on.
However, I hope you will find this useful and beneficial. It originates from one of the head designers at Ripples, who goes through this worksheet with all her clients.
It seems noticeable, but I find this again and again (mainly with kitchens). You need to really think about who is using this room and how they use it. Do you have adolescent bathroom hogs? Do you have small children, in which case losing the bath is not an alternative? Do you have elderly parents visiting who would find a walk-shower easier than stepping over the side of a bath? Think about it and be straightforward. I am always amazed by the number of people who design a kitchen for the life they want rather than the life they live. In addition, if you imagined taking a deep bath with cool music and candles, but the reality is a quick shower before work, then think about installing a huge shower and getting rid of the bath. That way the shower becomes the amenity treat (you can still light the candles around the room).
You might like the idea of a large overhead shower, such as what you’d find in a luxury hotel, but there are two rather large negatives.
1. They’re much harder to clean since the shower head is fixed.
2. You cannot move the shower head around to obtain a comfortable flow.
If you’re looking for a shower head that offers flexibility, but is also easy to clean, then think about having a hand-held shower attachment which can mount on the wall.
3. WATER PRESSURE
This one is for the plumber, but again, there’s no point wasting hundreds of pounds on a huge dinner plate rainfall shower head if the water pressure is rubbish. Do you need to install a pump? If this is a second bathroom, will your boiler be positioned to provide two hot showers at once?
This is also functional. Is this your constant apartment? In this case, do you need to think about non slip tiles? They’re more fashionable than they used to be. Can we put a seat into the shower? Walk-in showers are healthier for older people as it can be difficult to climb over the edge of a bath.
This one’s easy: installing the biggest shower you can fit in the space. Glass doors can be custom made, so you don’t need to worry about that. Bigger is better; it’s simply more comfortable. It’s more “hotel”.
If you’re thinking about having a walk-in shower, then make sure you can keep the towels within reach, but not so close that they can get wet. Alike with the loo seat and anything you keep by the sink.
It’s better not to have a step into the shower if possible. This is true forever. The more flush the edge of the shower drain fitting is, the better; this makes it easier to clean. You will be surprised how smudgy soap gets, and it’s frightening to remove all the tiny nooks and crannies in a shower. Also, if it’s little, it reduces the trip hazard. If possible, go for a flush fitting that can be set into a tiled floor that is on a slight gradient to allow the water to sewer, or a very shallow tray.
This is a cautionary tale: When we rebuilt our shower room, the builder advised that we have underfloor heat. We weren’t having a shower tray, but were installing a drain in the surface floor (see above). It’s a tiny room, and underfloor heat wouldn’t have been costlier. We didn’t do it since we did not want to spend any more money; we figured that it not a very cold room, so the heat towel rail would be appropriate. Well, here’s the thing: underfloor heat dries the water up faster and stops it sitting on the floor making lime scale and being slippery until it has disappeared. We should have gone with the underfloor heat. We didn’t. Coulda, shoulda, woulda if we’d realised.
You always need more than you consider. It’s like sockets in the kitchen. You might think you’re going to exist in a minimalist haven of attractively packaged bottles and jars, but you just aren’t. At some point, that giant bargain size bottle of shampoo just isn’t going to be emptied. And you have to put that large bag of cotton wool somewhere. Think about installing a niche in the shower for the things you need every day. You can have it lit with LED lighting strips, which will make a really good feature of it. Then, make sure you have cupboards or shelves built elsewhere. You will need them.
Do you want a dimmer? Do you want the light to come on automatically in the shower? Do you want a chandelier? There are lots of options. Some years ago, we were staying in a hotel with a shower that had different color decorations that changed in rotation, as well as a radio. My husband and I found it quite stressful, but our 12-year-old, who was about seven back then, called it the Disco Shower and it was very hard to get him out of it.