Shower Planning

4 Shower Enclosure Design Considerations You Might Not Have Thought About

1. Make sure there’s enough room for what you want

A shower means different things to different people. For some, it’s simply a place to get clean. For others, it’s a comfortable space to relax at the beginning or end of the day. During the design process, it is important to recognize what value you place on a shower. This will help you in deciding how much space to allocate.

If you opt for a swing door, make sure there is enough space for the door to fully swing outwards. There are plenty of people who’ve forgotten to check and ended up with a door blocked by their toilet. On that note, it’s a good idea to also check that your preferred glass panels will fit through your house’s doorframes before you bring materials in for installation. It would be a shame to design the perfect shower, only to find out you can’t get the pieces into the bathroom.

2. Make sure the wall is prepared

For the glass shower panels to form a watertight seal with the wall, the wall must be plumb (fully vertical, or straight up and down).

Your shower renovation might involve turning a regular bathroom wall (made of sheetrock) into one of your shower walls. Simply tiling over the sheetrock will not work, because any water that reaches the sheetrock will cause it to expand and warp the tile. A proper shower backer board will need to be installed with a waterproof material over it, such as tile, glass, fiberglass, or acrylic.

A new innovation in shower walls allows you to forgo traditional tile for a digitally-printed glass wall. A glass wall can look however you want, resembling any type of material, while still being one solid piece of glass. For example, Satori™ printed glass by Cardinal creates custom designed patterns that can look like tile, marble, or even wood. This means you can have all the aesthetic benefits of luxury materials, without having to worry about the unsightly problems caused by mold or deteriorating grout.

3. The importance of hardware placement

When deciding where to place certain hardware, keep two things in mind: you may not want to step fully into the shower to turn the water on, and you may not want to step fully out of the shower to grab your towel. It’s important to think about where you’re going to be standing when using certain things, like knobs and towel bars, and plan the design accordingly.

Additionally, the shower head should always be aimed towards the wall rather than the shower door. If you have a sliding door, the gap between the sliding panels should be facing away from the shower head. Together, these two steps will minimize water leakage.

4. Don’t forget about safety

Safety should always be considered when designing a shower enclosure. Even if you prefer your swing shower door to open inwards, it must also be made to open outwards. This ensures that someone can easily reach you if an emergency arises (falls, for example) and you can’t get out of the shower yourself.

It’s not something people want to think about, but glass panels can shatter, causing injury to anyone in and around the shower. To avoid this, be sure your new glass panels are certified by the Safety Glazing Certification Council (SGCC). Glass must meet high standards to be SGCC-certified, ensuring that if broken, it breaks down into smaller pieces with duller edges than does standard glass. Check for an etching on the bottom corner of your shower doors to ensure that the glass is SGCC-certified.

The fun part of installing a new shower enclosure is picking out the style and design. However, the process often involves more planning than one might think. This post outlines a few important but commonly overlooked points that you should consider when designing your shower. These tips, along with ideas on privacy and aesthetics, will help you build a shower that is beautiful, safe, functional, and well suited to your bathroom.


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