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From rinsing off after a day at the beach to simply being at one with nature, outdoor showers are an excellent option for bringing luxury to your home’s exterior. When selecting an outdoor shower, you will want to take a few key factors into account.
An outdoor shower is exactly that—a shower that’s installed outdoors. If you have the space and the capability to install one, it’s worth considering. The concept is becoming increasingly popular due to the benefits they offer beyond just providing of a refreshing open-air experience. They’re also great for rinsing off after a dip in the pool, bathing your pup, and washing mud off your kid’s shoes before tracking it into the house. This guide will teach you the types of outdoor showers available, features to look for, and tips on how and where to install one.
Freestanding outdoor showers are standalone fixtures that attach directly to the ground or a built-in shower tray. This type of unit allows you to install the shower almost wherever you’d like, such as in your garden area or in a remote location, since it doesn’t need to attach to a wall.
For this style, you need to set up the water supply prior to installation. Because the mounting hardware attaches directly to the surface it’s set on, you may have to drill into concrete to provide a sturdy foundation for the shower.
Wall-mount showers attach directly to your fence, the wall of your home, or any other solid structure. These units are usually simpler to install than a freestanding one because they don’t require drilling into concrete, which makes the plumbing connections easier to complete. A popular type of wall-mounted fixture is a shower panel.
These all-in-one outdoor shower kits are easy to install and can include a combination of luxury features like jets, hand showers, and rainfall shower heads. If you prefer something more traditional, though, install an exposed pipe system or a basic pull-chain shower.
To narrow your selection, start by determining your needs and how you will use your outdoor shower. For quickly rinsing off dirt or sand, a simple shower head or foot spray may be the answer. If you would like a more luxurious shower experience, shop for shower panels that include those spa-like jets and sprays. Models are available with integrated shelving to store all your shower essentials, making it very easy to find everything you need all in one piece.
If you value aesthetics, then you’ll want to find an outdoor shower that meets your style needs and complements its surroundings. Since these units are exposed to the elements for all or most of their lives, you’ll want one that’s made of a durable metal like aluminum or stainless steel, or a treated wood such as bamboo.
Whatever material you choose, select a finish that suits your taste. Showers made of metal are often offered in neutral colors like white or black powder coat, or an unfinished brushed or polished sheen.
Before you begin shopping, you need to know where you plan to install your outdoor shower. Consider plumbing and drainage. A total overhaul of your outdoor living space might give you some flexibility here, but if not, you will need to work with what you have available. Make sure your shower is in a location where the water will drain efficiently and has easy access to a water supply.
Something else to consider when determining location is the natural landscape of the surrounding area. If privacy is not an issue and you have a great view of the mountains, ocean, or a lake, take advantage of the locale and install your shower in a place where you can enjoy the beauty of nature. However, if the fixture will be used for daily showering, make sure it’s in a location with plenty of privacy. You won’t want it to be so exposed that people can easily see you.
If you live in a four-season climate, you’ll need to bring your shower inside for storage in the colder months and drain the water pipes to prevent freezing. If that’s your situation, then a wall-mounted shower panel will be your best option since these simply hang on a wall using brackets and can easily be taken down and hung back up when you’re ready to use again. Regardless of the climate you live in, you should never install a shower outside that’s meant to be installed indoors. Use only parts and kits that are designed specifically for outdoors.
Many outdoor showers only have one inlet, meaning only one water line can be connected to the unit. This isn’t an issue if you want your shower to offer cold water only. However, if you prefer warm showers then you’ll want a fixture that has two inlets. Those with two inlets work much like a standard in-home shower where you can adjust the water temperature.
If you don’t have a hidden location to install an outdoor shower, then you’ll probably want a privacy screen or an outdoor shower enclosure. You can purchase one online, however, many people build their own from wood, galvanized metal sheets, vinyl fencing panels, or creative materials like reclaimed surf boards. For a simpler solution, hang a shower curtain rod.
If the location where you decide to install your outdoor shower doesn’t have proper natural drainage, you’ll need to install a drainage system to prevent water from pooling at your feet. Outdoor linear shower drains are made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and come in many different sizes and designs to suit any space. Their grates are easy to remove to clean out any dirt and debris that falls in over time.