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ShowersIn the past, manufacturers offered little variety when it came to showers. Today, the perfect design and style for any ensemble is available. This includes all your shower fixings, such as valves, doors, and showerheads, handle bars, jet sprays, etc. Your perfect shower is well within reach.

Shower Surrounds

Because of the moisture and excessive water usage in a bathroom, all surface materials that will be used should be installed on top of a waterproof or water resistant material. Water-resistant drywall is very commonly used for this purpose. It is sometimes referred to as "green board." Cement-board is also common because it is more durable, but is more expensive. The expense seems worthwhile with the peace of mind that comes along with it. Below is a list of various available shower surrounds.

These surrounds vary from fiberglass, acrylic, vinyl, plastic laminate, and synthetic stone. You can purchase one-piece kits or multiple piece kits.

This material is lifelong and easily cleaned because of its smooth acrylic surface. Price is compared at $40 to $75 per square foot installed.

Price for fiberglass units compare at $200 to $400. This makes fiberglass material the least expensive of all. It is also entirely waterproof, very durable, and easily cleaned. Most manufacturers offer three-piece and five-piece units in multiple sizes.

Shower Doors

While you may desire a simple shower curtain for enclosure, they can tear easily and are not always the most efficient way to keep water in the shower area. A simple solution against water leakage is a fixed door. Because of new designs and styles, fixed doors can also enhance the look of your shower. Due to the layout of your specific shower, you may choose from a variety of configurations. You may desire a one-piece enclosure over a tub or a custom doorway. You also may choose a sliding door, swinging door, or combination of the two. The key is to determine the best door for the layout of your bathroom.

Sliding Doors
Most commonly used, sliding doors glide on a track installed on either the floor of a shower or mounted on the tub. These doors require much less space than any other and may be purchased in two of three sections. They can be difficult to clean though, due to the track.

Bi-Fold/Curved Doors
Also requiring minimal space, bi-fold doors are made of accordion shaped folding sections. This allows full access to the shower. Although spacious, this type of door may also be difficult to clean and excessive use may cause the track to jam. Curved doors take up little space as well and are perfect for corner showers. The curved glass panel is attached to the top and bottom frame, which allows smooth and stable operation. It is also right and left reversible.

Swinging Doors
Available from 36 inches to 48 inches, these doors are secured with magnetic catches. They are offered in a pivot style of hinge-mounted.

Glass Options
Glass doors are available for a more unique style. Generally clear or opaque, you may also desire a doorway that is obscure, fluted, etched, beveled, or stained.

It is important to remember your ventilation fan. This will reduce condensation, which could eventually damage materials in your shower. You may choose from various styles, but make sure to choose the proper size.

Shower Sprays

Sprays range from soft-aerated, deep, strong, massage, pulse, mist, concentrated, and a mixture of strong and pulsating. Now, the most common fixture for sprays is a fixed showerhead. This may have adjustable water direction and also adjustable spray styles as above. This all depends on the manufacturer. Another possibility is a handheld spray. In this case, you will have a hose connection in which you can mount to the shower wall or a sliding bar. These sprays are quite convenient and usually have two adjustable spray styles. Lastly, you may choose a body spray. This unit is most commonly installed below shoulder height and in groups of two or more. Spray style and water direction vary from unit to unit, but all of the above spray styles are available.

Custom Showers

Today's new trends are showerheads with multiple spray patterns and multiple valves. Unlike single-spray showerheads, these elaborate systems require a great deal of additional plumbing. If you desire a state-of-the-art shower system installation, you must consult with your plumber before construction. This will ensure your designs are correct and the system is possible. Some well and septic systems are unable to handle these units because they use an extreme amount of natural resources.

Two of the main custom showers are full body spas and carwash showers & shower towers. These consist of multiple-heads, valves, water outlets, volume controls, and handheld or body sprays.

Carwash Showers/Full Body Spas
A full body shower has vertical mounted spray nozzles, "his" and "her" temperature control valves, and a possible 6 or more water sources. It is designed to spray the entire body with adjustable volume and pressure.

Different choices available include the body spa, which is a re-circulating stand up whirlpool with a waterfall, or you may desire and electronically controlled system. This shower includes pulsating and pivoting body sprays and the possible addition of a showerhead. Usually, spas and carwash showers use approximately 80 gallons of water per minute. That is 25 times the water flow of a standard showerhead.

Another possible addition to your system is a steam generator. In this case, consult with your electrician before construction to plan out the additional layout and wiring needed.

Shower Towers
If you are trying to avoid the complicating plumbing designs, then you may prefer a shower tower. These showers are fountains that are integrated as one-piece custom units. They combine valves, body sprays, handheld sprays, and water jets using one single water line connection. If desired, multiple units can be installed. Whatever your desire, you will have a unique and luxurious custom shower.