Walk in Showers

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A Splish-Splasher’s Guide to Walk in Showers

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Perspiration trickles down my back and legs as I step out of the jungle onto the swinging bridge that leads to the dock and to my home. I’ve been photographing the rubber plantation and rain forest since 5:00am; it’s now 8:00 and too hot to continue. There’s a light sea breeze wafting over the dock carrying a scent of salty seaweed and shellfish. In the distance, on the other side of the bay, I can make out the fishing boats unloading shrimp and lobster for morning market. I reach the end of the bridge and the dock greets me with a creek. To the right is my bungalow, on stilts over the mangrove tangled water (where I hang my camera on a nail and leave my tripod in a corner), and to the left is my private walk in shower…

…I step from the bamboo flooring inside the bamboo enclosure and let the cool water spray over my skin. No bath or shower ever felt so good. I can smell the wood as the water sprinkles the walls, and an earthy freshness rises from the stone floor in a little cloud of vapor. I let myself drip dry for a moment, tie a sarong around my waist and plop into my hammock. Aaaahhhh, yes! This is what I think of whenever anyone mentions a “walk in shower”.

Walk in Showers Around the World

As a journalist I’ve had a few walk in showers over the years: in Indonesia with teak walls and marble floors, in Spain with mosaic tile and Moorish arches, in China with silken partitions and a foot massaging pebbled floor, and in Japan within a glass enclosure and digital shower controls. However my strangest shower experience was in a Taipei apartment where the landlord proudly presented me to the Taiwanese version of a walk in shower. Yes indeed, the tiny bathroom was a wet room. By positioning myself just right on the toilet, and balancing my elbow on the edge of the bathroom sink, I could in fact hold the hose that came out of the wall above the toilet tank and take a pleasant hot shower.

Why all the fuss about showers?

It’s simple. A shower isn’t merely a place to wash dirt off our bodies; it purifies and refreshes us within. It’s a private moment of renewal, a way to let things go, to watch the dirt of the day flow away with the water and disappear down the drain.

Practical and Inexpensive Walkin Shower Splish-Spalsh

You needn’t go to Bali for a marble-teak splish or to Tokyo to take a high-tech splash, and you needn’t live in the jungle to smell bamboo and stone as you scrub. You can have a walk in shower as Caribbean-tropical or as Asian-chic as you desire right in your own home. Don’t settle for squatting over a toilet or standing inside a tub when you can dance to your own beat in a walk in shower that’s both practical and inexpensive.

You can buy a walk in shower cubical or a modern walk in shower enclosure made of glass or you can build walk in shower stalls from wood, stone, mosaic tile or marble. The secret to a walkin shower is how well the area is sealed and how well the drainage in the floor has been designed. To show you how simple and inexpensive it can be here’s an example: One innovative gentleman who ran a small 2 room B&B on an island in the South China Sea, simply left the cement shower area open, painted the back walls with a water-resistant bright color and filled the floor (up to the outer cement lip) with about 4 inches of medium sized loose gravel (not sand)and seashells. The water ran between the gravel and shells, draining as normal.

The Chinese owner said he had been inspired to create this shower by one he had seen when he lived on Australia’s Gold Coast. He said it cost him the price of the cement to make the area, the price of the taps and shower head, and the cost of the water-resistant paint; the pebbles and shells he gathered from the beach.

Handicap Showers

Walk in baths and showers are not just for the artistic or modern shower-goers who want something exotic. They are also practical solutions to facilitate access to disabled showers and handicapped showers in walk in bathrooms. A walk in bathroom, deigned extra wide and with no steps, can be combined with manual or electric showers. Elderly people or anyone needing level access showers, without a cubical enclosure, should consider a wet room made entirely of stone, tile or wood. A walk in bathroom/ wet room is not just for spas or hotels; they are practical for residential use and may resolve issues for designers who must create a bathroom for a handicapped individual.

Here at Home Walk In showers I will help you with tips and ideas for YOUR walk in showers so you can spend your time splish-splashing!

Walk in Shower Enclosure

Monday, August 17th, 2009

!Walk in shower! sounds a little strange especially when you consider that you walk into all showers; you don’t fly or slither or slide into some, and crawl or climb or sit into others.

So what’s the difference between “walk in showers” and “showers”?


Tywford Walk In Shower

Showers often have a step or a lip or are part of a bathtub/shower combination that makes you step up into or onto a shower on a platform or down into a tub. Walk in showers, in the true sense of the word, are level access showers and do not require you to step into or onto them. They also are meant to be more spacious and often totally open like a wet room.

However, the definition I have just given isn’t true when it comes to some of the newer models of so called walk in showers that are actually cubicles, enclosures or stalls and not totally open. This is a mere technicality because most of these modular unit shower stalls and enclosures are made almost entirely of transparent plexi or glass, or have huge glass doors, that makes them appear to be open and therefore “walk in”.

Walk in Showers with TV

Bathroom walk in showers don’t even need to be in the bathroom if they’re of the new high-tech kind that come completely enclosed. A walk in shower enclosure these days looks a little like a huge capsule you might imagine using for time travel. They are not level access showers because in most cases you must step into them and close the door which seals snuggly behind you. And inside is a whole new world of shower power!

I have seen one model made by a Chinese manufacturer that not only offered a complete digital console to control everything (including perhaps opening the garage door) but also had a TV inside the Walk In Shower Enclosure. Some are not so high-tech as to have a monitor, but most offer a variety of showerhead options and multiple nozzles and hoses to reach every inch of your body.

Shower Enclosures not ideal for the handicapped

Enclosed showers are not ideal handicap showers. They are not designed as disabled showers because the entrance is usually elevated. If you need a level access shower consider walk in shower stalls that also come with digital controlled consoles and multiple shower heads but do not require stepping into because the tray or floor should be flush with the ground and the only thing that separates them from the room is a glass door. These come with sliding shower doors or hinged doors and still offer an encapsulated feeling without the difficult access.