Custom Showers

I used to live in an old row house in Georgetown that was converted into two, one bedroom apartments.   I loved my little space; however I never had one relaxing shower while I lived there.  The old pipes turned the water orange, there was barely any water pressure so I could never get warm in the winter, and I was always worried about showering at night because there was a window in the shower area that looked right onto a pretty major road.  Not the relaxing experience one would look forward to. Since then, I have come to expect more.  I can guarantee that someday I will feel that I deserve to relax in a custom shower with body sprays, a rain shower head, and steam.   Oh, and don’t forget that it actually conserves water too!  One can dream right?

fixtures2There are so many options these days for showers, from the tile you select, to the technology offered.  To avoid going overboard, really think about what you want.  The first thing to ask yourself is why you want the custom shower, what are you trying to achieve?  This answer is probably going to be different for everyone, and could even be different for all users of the new shower.  Some people may have therapeutic needs; others may just want a relaxing experience.   Obviously budget is always going to be a question.  Can you afford what you really want?  If you dream bigger than your wallet, you are not alone, so figure out what factors are the most important to you and the other users.

Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your custom shower:

  • The heights of the users.  This should correspond to the height at which the faucets and controls are located.
  • Water pressure.  Good water pressure should be 45 psi at a minimum, and in order to maintain this water pressure with multiple shower heads and/or body sprays, the pipe size needs to be ¾” wide.
  • Hot water tank size.  No one wants to run out of hot water in the middle of a shower, so make sure your hot water tank can handle the number of people showering in your home.  (On average, people shower for 8 minutes).  Don’t forget about the laundry machine and dishwasher!
  • Drainage.  If you are planning on having multiple shower heads and body sprays functioning at the same time, obviously more water will be landing on the shower floor.  Make sure to plan for all the extra liquid so you’re not left standing in a puddle.
  • Long term use.  If you are planning on living out the rest of your years in your current home, then accessibility should be considered.  Some options to think about would be not having a shower door, not having a threshold on the floor into the shower, and grab bars.
  • Shower doors.  As said above, this could be an item you want to get rid of completely, however there are many types of shower doors.  Some slide, some swing.  Some are framed, some are frameless.  Aesthetics and budget will drive this decision.
  • Extras.  Don’t forget to include a bench seat, corner shelves, and/or a niche for convenience.

When taking on a shower project, make sure you hire the right people for the job.  You will want to make sure you have someone you can design and plan the shower, not just build it.  With just a little bit of forethought, you will enjoy your new custom shower for years to come.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

by: Carin Demmon – Design Consultant