Shower Envy

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ April 5, 2010

Americans are finicky about their showers. It's said that President Lyndon Johnson had a shower-head installed in the White House with a force so strong it knocked over anyone else who tried to take a shower there.

For some of us, a simple rectangular stall with ample hot water and glass or plastic curtain is enough. Some need a waterproof radio and no-fog mirror, and older Americans prefer support bars and seats. At the high end of remodeling and renovation, the simple shower stall is about to become an endangered species.

According to HGTV, standard shower stalls-like the old fashioned telephone booth-are on the way out. Walk-in showers and door-less showers with entries at least 42 by 60 inches wide are the new trend.

Or, if you are adding a bathroom and don't have the space for a large shower, new designs for "wet rooms"--bathrooms that have no division between the bathroom and shower space--are also in vogue. These rooms have sloped floors, splash guards, and extra drains. Trends also include adjustable sprays, controls, seats, non-slip flooring, and built-in cabinets or shower niches.

If pressed for space, you may also want to do away with the traditional bathtub-shower combination. But you do so at the peril of family members who love to soak in a hot tub.

You might consider a renovation that includes a small room with a toilet, sink, vanity, and sunken Jacuzzi. For those who still love stalls, Omega has an idea: put the seat and shower together and sell it as an independent unit. Worried about the cost? Then consider discount shower doors.

Anthropos is selling a "Steam Shower Cabin:

Small Bathroom Alternatives

One way to streamline the shower is to install a sliding door or screen, rather than a door that opens out and requires clearance. The glass door can also give the appearance of a more open space. Curved quadrant shower cubicles can eliminate the need for a special, size-gobbling enclosure when installed in an alcove. Even if you're really strapped for space, you can buy an enclosure you can live with. You just won't be taking long, luxurious showers.

You can also consider installing a round shower unit without walls or doors, with a round shower curtain atop a built-up tile base. While you're at it, opt for shower and bathroom safety features for you and your loved ones.

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