I love to sit and soak in my tub when it’s cold in the winter and on weekends when I have a little more time. And like most women, I love to put bubbles in the bath, light some candles and relax with a glass of wine and good music when no one is home. But on hot days I prefer a cool shower, and when I awaken all groggy and sluggish but have to leave quickly for work, a shower wakes me up but gets me moving.
I also love to shower with my husband because he scrubs my back. The problem with showering with a partner is that few home showers are big enough. Someone ends up shivering in the corner while the other hogs the water, or if it’s a shower over a bathtub, I usually end up being the one who slips.
So, when my husband and I began planning our house renovation here in Spain we unanimously agreed on two things. 1. We must have a bathtub AND a shower. 2. The shower must be one of the walk in showers designed for two.
Because we were creating two areas, one for bathing and one for showering, we needed to keep the costs down. We wanted cheap walk in showers without them looking cheap. We wanted natural materials and a little glass, but most importantly good drainage because the shower was to be in the basement and we didn’t want water to collect and create mold.
Here are some things we discovered.
Plan the area well by going to the space you have selected for the walk in shower. You and partner should move around in the area to be sure you have selected a big enough space. Remember that a corner can be ideal and still save space.
Once you know the space is adequate in size, consult a plumber to be sure the drainage is near enough and will flow out well. The most annoying thing about showers is that the water doesn’t go down fast enough and you end up standing in ankle deep water that spills beyond the tray or shower area and takes a long time to dry. There are several ways to avoid this.
1. A walk in shower wet room. For those of you not familiar with a wet room, it is a an entire room that doesn’t matter if it’s wet all over because there are several drains in the floor, not just immediately under the shower, but in strategic places like corners or low areas where water may otherwise accumulate. The entire room is tiled or has stone or wood from top to bottom that is appropriately treated and water-resistant so it doesn’t matter if water splashes everywhere. It’s great for two or more because there are many nozzles or showerheads or hoses with sprayers so no one need stand shivering in a corner. Wet rooms are great for families with children or fun for couples.
2. A tray is a molded plastic (or similar material) unit that is installed on the floor under the shower. Since they are quite deep and beveled toward the centre, they catch the water and it flows down the drain, usually without overflowing. The small inexpensive trays are often not adequate for the amount of water and may overflow. They also may crack or break which may cause other flooring and plumbing problems later. Use a large enough tray, select a strong material and don’t jump in the shower.
3. A walk in shower enclosure is a type of shower that is spacious yet doesn’t permit water outside the enclosed area. The newest models that are prefabricated come sealed and are watertight. They are modular units that have a floor, back and usually transparent doors of glass or plexi and also have the showerheads and taps and all controls preinstalled. There are small models for one or styles that are spacious enough for two or more.
4. A tray and a built up second level is a third option that helps with drainage problems that sometimes occur with just a tray alone. This technique involves building up a walk in shower onto a platform so that below the platform there is room for a tray and the normal drainage system. Where you stand can be made of anything, usually it is treated wood, stone or tile. Its advantages are that you needn’t create a entire wet room out of stone or tile, just the area that is elevated, but the water ends up lower and so it doesn’t overfill and spill out as easily.
My husband I decided on a walk in shower wet room with stone tile from top to bottom and two shower heads. We also included a wooden bench and an area with small pebbles to massage our feet. Our walk in shower was left without an enclosure except for a large sheet of glass known as bespoke shower doors that actually was hung at the entrance to the entire wet room. I keep towels in baskets just outside the door beside a small sofa that’s great for relaxing on after showers.
It doesn’t matter if you choose a walk in shower cubical or a walk in shower enclosure or a stall; just remember to design your walk in shower big enough for TWO.