Elements to Consider Before Installing Your Shower
The shower enclosure is the all-in-one solution!
There are 3 main types of showers:
- The classic shower (above-ground shower tray)
- The Italian shower (underground shower tray)
- The shower enclosure
A shower enclosure kit
The shower enclosure is a set bought in a kit and ready to install. It is composed of a minimum of elements:
– a shower tray
– a mixer tap
– a shower head or a shower column
– the walls
– a drain plug
Depending on the size of the shower stall and your budget, additional elements can be found:
– folding seat ($70 to $100 extra)
– mirror ($30 extra)
– storage shelf
– hydromassage jet
– duckboard ($45 to $100 extra)
– aromatherapy, chromotherapy.
Materials for a shower enclosure
Most shower enclosures in kit form offer a thermoformed acrylic tray and opaque enclosures. Even if it is always the same material, a low-end choice may cause the tray to sag over time.
Good to know: don’t worry, the tray will move slightly under the weight; this is normal. It is possible to insert polyurethane foam in the voids under the tray to reinforce it.
The glass can be acrylic or tempered safety glass:
– Acrylic is lighter and less expensive but will have a shorter life span than glass.
– The safety glass of the door must be thicker than the walls. The thicker the glass, the heavier and stronger it is. At least 5 mm for the door and 4 mm for the walls.
Plastic enclosures are reserved for entry-level shower enclosures.
Shapes and dimensions of the shower enclosure
Depending on the space you have in the bathroom, the shower enclosure can be positioned:
– in a niche: (between two walls);
– against a wall;
– in a corner;
– along a bathtub.
In all cases, the walls of the shower enclosure are self-sufficient, and the positioning of the enclosure is only an aesthetic and practical choice.
Good to know: if you wish to build in the shower enclosure, make sure that it is possible to intervene in case of a leak: either because the enclosure can be dismantled or because the piping is accessible from the inside.
The dimensions and shapes of the shower enclosure depend on the constraints of the bathroom:
Generally speaking, a shower enclosure requires a ceiling height of 200 cm (it is still possible to find a shower enclosure of less than 190 cm).
– Surface area
Whatever the shape, there are two dimensions: width and depth.
Good to know: when we talk about the dimensions of a shower enclosure, we are talking about the outside dimensions and not the inside.
The standard dimensions are as follows:
The shower enclosure opening: which door?
As with most showers, you must choose the type of opening that suits your needs and space.
You can choose between a sliding door, a pivoting door, and a swinging door, with the opening towards the inside or the outside.
Shower enclosure fittings
The shower enclosure fittings will be made of chrome or brushed metal. Here, it is only a matter of taste.
Most shower stalls are equipped with a thermostatic or mechanical mixer tap. The former is more expensive and increases the final cost.
The hydromassage shower enclosure
This function is more and more requested and proposed. Indeed, who does not dream of a relaxation center at home?
The hydromassage shower cabin is integrated into a classic cabin with simple nozzles (jets) positioned vertically in order to have a massaging effect. The jets can be controlled:
– or with electronic control.
In the second case, an electricity supply is required.
The hydromassage has several advantages:
– Relaxation and relaxation of the muscles;
– pain relief;
– Stimulation of blood circulation;
– soothing, stimulating, and firming the body.
Choosing a hydromassage shower enclosure rather than a conventional one requires a much larger budget. Such a shower enclosure can offer other functions, such as aromatherapy (diffusion of scents) or a steam room.
The main disadvantages of this type of shower enclosure are:
– the high purchase price: between $1,000 and $1,500, with prices rising to several thousand dollars
– the high water consumption (300 liters of water in 10 minutes knowing that a bathtub is, on average, 200 liters)
However, you can opt for a shower stall with a recycling system.
This type of shower stall operates in two different modes:
– normal mode allows you to shower with “new” water.
– recirculation mode: a 50-liter water reserve is filled and used in a closed circuit, which allows you to stay in the shower and enjoy without wasting water. Up to 150 liters of water can be saved for a 15-minute shower.
Installation of a shower stall
Installing a shower enclosure is not very constraining, and it adapts to all bathrooms. As for any other shower, you need a hot and cold water supply and water evacuation with adapted flow rates.
It is possible to install it yourself, but you must be a rigorous do-it-yourselfer with some knowledge of plumbing. Leakage problems can lead to serious water damage.
If you want to go to a professional
A professional is committed to following your project through to its complete installation, guaranteeing that deadlines will be met and that the people involved will be competent.
Good to know: the shower enclosure must be fixed to the wall with suitable anchors to prevent it from tipping over.
Price of the shower enclosure
The price of a shower enclosure varies mainly according to the quality of the materials and the integrated functions and, more significantly, according to the dimensions. Here are some indications:
– Entry-level is between $200 and $300 with plastic walls and doors.
– The mid-range is between $400 and $600, with the option of hydromassage on certain shower stalls.
– At $700 and up, you enter the high-end category with an elegant finish and a hydromassage function.
And for several thousand dollars, some shower cabins can have a steam room, sauna, and multi-seat cabin.