If you’re designing a bathroom for your new house or doing a remodel of an existing space, one of the key elements of your finished product will be your shower. Since it is something you’ll be using almost daily, you’ll want it to be not only effortless functional, but also an inviting space that you’ll actually want to spend a little time in.
With that thought in mind, here are a few key considerations for choosing the shower that will fit your needs, while taking advantage of some water-saving technologies that are widely available on the market today.
If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably unaware of the fact that your water pressure will affect the type of shower that will work in your bathroom. If you have a combination boiler and water heater, you will get a higher water pressure, enabling you to take advantage of a wide variety of shower models, such as “mixer” models that mix hot and cold water at equal pressure. A gravity-based system, which doesn’t require a pump, will produce a lower water pressure. This will be in most cases the cheaper and more economical solution. Whatever the case, it is a good idea to consult with a plumber or licensed contractor that specializes in bathrooms to give you guidance on your water system.
The Type of Shower
You’ve probably seen the many variations on showers up close or in magazines—walk-in, over-the-tub, frameless doors—a seemingly never-ending collection of ideas on that timeless tradition of taking a shower. But which one should you choose? The answer to that question will be largely driven by the space you have available. Just about all homes built these days, at least in the master bathroom, have an enclosed unit that employs some configuration of glass doors. Depending on your tastes, budget, and of course, space, you can choose from showers that employ sleek, curvy designs, such as walk-in units, as well as the more traditional rectangular framed design. But even with that, you can go frameless for a more contemporary look. Whatever design you choose, a key part of your plan will be to take accurate measurements and sketch out the design, and this is best accomplished with the aid of an experienced professional.
The Shower Tray
A high-quality shower tray will be an important part of your shower design, as this is the component that will prevent leakage of shower water from the bathroom to the other parts of your house. Like the shower units themselves, shower trays come in a variety of shapes and sizes—pentagonal, quadrant, rectangular, and square. They are usually made of either acrylic or resin stone, both of which are durable and hold up well under pressure. Regardless of the material selected, having a professional installation is the most important requirement, as getting this part of your shower project wrong can you cost you significant water damage and money.
Since showering can account for up to 30% of a home’s total water consumption, the fact that there are many water-saving shower head configurations on the market today is good news for homeowners. Low flow shower heads, which come in a wide variety of unique and creative looking designs and offer selectable spray patterns, are an easy and inexpensive answer for cutting down water bills.
These days, many builders and designers are opting for linear drains over the traditional point drains. With the traditional drains, all water flows to a single point, usually centrally located on the shower floor. This configuration requires that the floor be “pitched” on four sides, so that the water cascades downward to the drain. In a linear drain model, the drain is like a narrow trench, placed flush with one wall of the shower, thus requiring the floor to be pitched in just one direction. The result is very functional, economical, and aesthetically pleasing, and can be installed as a grate, tile, “knife slot”, or other elegant design. Your contractor is more than likely very familiar with these, such as the ones offered by LUXE Linear Drains, and will be able to help you determine which one will best suit your bathroom design plans.
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