What is a good size shower

Planning a shower: the best tips for all things wet

For many, a shower in the morning is the ideal start to the day. And it has many advantages not only from a health point of view, but also from an ecological point of view. Compared to a full bath, a shower uses only a fifth as much water. From planning to purchase and installation to cleaning: this is how your shower becomes pure pleasure!

Plan a shower

The layout of your bathroom determines the space, size and shape of your shower. Some plans, especially for small bathrooms, take a long time to ponder until you finally move the shower somewhere. Often a niche or the open space between the end of the bathtub and the wall is ideal. You don't really need a lot of light to shower, but you shouldn't banish it to the darkest corner of the bathroom. If there is no other way: Specially developed lighting systems for damp rooms - as bathrooms are called by architects - bring light into dark niches. The minimum size for a reasonably comfortable shower is an area of ​​75 x 75 centimeters, bulky people need more space. Where square meters are irrelevant, the shower is placed freely in front of a wall.

Tips for installing the shower

Make sure to protect walls behind and next to the shower with a permanently elastic coating. Otherwise moisture seeps into the rock in the splash water area and causes severe structural damage, which can even occur behind tiles. If you want a floor-level or walk-in shower without an extra shower tray, the floor also needs a barrier layer against water. Place a film on the bare ceiling, overlap the strips well and pull them up about 20 centimeters along the walls. The screed is laid on the foil and tiled over it. Installing a floor drain is a complex affair - leave this precision work to a professional. With prefabricated elements made of hard foam, the right slope and an integrated drain, installation errors and structural damage can be avoided.

Do you already know our podcast?

Every Thursday, editor-in-chief Gaby Miketta discusses important questions about home ownership with her guests in the HAUSfreunde podcast.

If the floor slopes too much, you will slip in the shower; if the slope is too shallow, the water will not run off. If you want to be on the safe side, get a shower tray. In the past there were only shower trays made of enameled steel, today there is a large range of acrylic trays. The material can be easily pressed into shapes, even in unusual ones, so that many shower dreams can actually be realized. Acrylic shower trays cost less than enamel showers and refute all prejudices: the material does not give in when entering the shower, even if the heavier people, as long as the bath is correctly lathered in or sits in a rigid foam support. Contrary to popular belief, the surface of an acrylic pool is no more slippery than enamel. The only catch: If you have already decided on an enamelled bathtub for cost reasons, an acrylic shower may not quite match it in terms of color.

In addition to the standard square, you can choose from a quarter circle, pentagon or hexagon, circle or oval. The external dimensions vary from 70 x 70 centimeters to 120 x 120 centimeters, for small bathrooms there are special sizes with a leg length of 65 centimeters and even less. Cup depths from super-flat 2.5 centimeters to around 35 centimeters are possible. Basins with an integrated apron are practical. This covers the visible front of the shower tray - there is no need for walling in or tiles.

Seal the shower

Anyone who takes a shower distributes splashes of water over the entire bathroom - the shower cubicle and the bathroom floor should therefore be properly sealed. If you do your own work when building a house or renovating a bathroom, you can even seal the shower yourself.

A splash guard is also essential. A shower curtain can be hung up quickly and is inexpensive, but unfortunately tends to mold, especially at the hem. A partition wall for the shower costs around ten times as much, but is considered durable and hygienic. You can recognize good quality by the doors: They should move easily and silently and close precisely. If possible, test in a bathroom exhibition whether the partition of your choice is any good. There are different shower doors: models that slide, pull or push. The place in the bathroom often decides which door is the right one for you. Sliding doors do not take up any space in front of the shower and usually don't bump into anything. However, they usually cannot be opened as wide as swing doors, for example, and are therefore more suitable for slim showers. If there is more space in the shower cubicle than in front of it, a two-part wing door that opens inwards can be the ideal solution. A large swing door looks chic, but when opened it protrudes far into the room. But no matter which door you ultimately choose, the seals should be easy to replace - because they wear out over time, become dirty and leaky.

All that remains is the choice of shower profiles. The following questions arise: Broad, stable and inexpensive or filigree and more expensive? What color? Note that a high profile sill acts as a dam between the shower and bathroom. The higher the threshold, the tighter the car door. It's less likely to trip over flat profiles, but they also let the odd shower splash through. To prevent this, many manufacturers clip a plastic seal to the bottom of the door. Unfortunately, there is also lime (an optical problem) and moisture (health hazard from mold). You can avoid this by peeling the sealing strip off and drying it often. Shower cubicles without a profile on the threshold are considered the ultimate for aesthetes and look very classy. However, you have to accept the shower water's thirst for freedom.

Plastic or glass door?

The material the shower doors are made of plays an important role. You have the choice between plastic and glass doors. Plastic weighs and costs less than real glass. The panes of real glass showers must be made of toughened safety glass (ESG). It is ten times more resilient than conventional glass. If it does break, it won't break into sharp pieces, but into small, blunt crumbs. On request, there are special coatings for glass cabins: They allow water to run off quickly so that limescale, dirt and soap residues hardly have a chance to stick. But not everyone feels comfortable behind a transparent partition. If you want a more protected atmosphere, you should choose a partition with a structured or printed surface.

Warning: cheap offers tempt you to buy. The manufacturers of branded products, on the other hand, give a guarantee - provided that a professional installs the shower. You also have the option of buying replacement parts or door seals if the worst comes to the worst.

Buying a shower: the most important questions

The choice of showers is huge. Before you decide on a model, you should have answered the following questions for yourself:

Do you also want privacy in the family bathroom? If you don't want to see through, you need walls made of opaque glass, decorated with screen printing or etched or sandblasted onto the patterns. So you stand undisturbed in the shower while the children brush their teeth - and everyone gets ready on time in the morning.

Do you want a clear view in the bathroom? Do not use wide profiles and frames. However, you have to put up with puddles of splash water, because a frameless shower without profiles is never completely airtight.

Is the shower in a dark corner? LED lights, embedded all around in the tiled floor, make things bright. Cabins with integrated light strips also beautify dark corners.

Is the edge of the shower tray too high? A floor-level shower removes hurdles. Non-slip tiles provide additional hold. Don't save on space: the wider the entrance, the easier it is for you to get into the shower with a support frame or in a wheelchair.

Do you want to take a shower in the bathtub, but the tap is in the middle of the long side? Have a 2-part flap door installed to the left and right of the fitting. When not in use, it lies flat against the wall.

Do you only have little time and inclination to clean? A coating based on nanotechnology allows water to roll off faster, limescale and residues from shower gel or shampoo cannot adhere in the first place. The coating sometimes has to be refreshed every one to two years.

The shower is used by four people a day? Don't save at the wrong end! A branded shower often lasts longer and the manufacturers give an availability guarantee of up to ten years. Not unimportant when wearing parts such as magnetic and sealing strips, pivot bearings or water-repellent strips are constantly subjected to heavy loads.

You don't want to do without a shower or a bathtub in the mini wet room? Some manufacturers offer combination options for confined spaces. Bathtubs and shower tubs nestle closely together, making optimal use of small niches and short walls. If the shower cubicle remains open to the bathtub, a tap is sufficient.

Is it difficult for you to stand? Take a seated shower! Have a folding seat mounted on the wall or put a stool in the cabin that can withstand water. Not only grandma is happy about that when she comes to visit. And if your leg is in a cast after a sports accident, daily cleaning is also easier.

Do you sometimes get dizzy in the shower? A cabin with strong profiles to hold on to provides sufficient support. Partitions with TÜV badges were tested for stability.

The best way to clean your shower

Every time you step into the shower, shower gel, shampoo and lime stick to the glass, frame and profiles. Regular cleaning and care keeps your shower enclosure clean and increases the service life of wearing parts such as sealing strips and magnetic strips. The longer dirt and limescale stick to the panes, the more difficult it is to remove them - and the view becomes cloudy. Before you start, however, be sure to follow the manufacturer's care information. The following tips have proven effective for cleaning shower stalls:

Once a month: Pour 100 milliliters of vinegar essence into a bucket with five liters of water, wash the walls and door carefully. Then shower off with clear water and dry with a glass squeegee or a soft cloth. If the smell of vinegar bothers you, use a mild bath or glass cleaner.

Do not clean toughened safety glass (ESG) with a microfiber cloth, scouring sponge, hard bristles or steel wool - they leave ugly scratches. Strong cleaning agents, scouring powder, alcohol or nitro thinners also attack the surface.

Glass door with screen printing: The closed, fine-pored surface is relatively insensitive, the usual bathroom cleaner and a little water are sufficient. Use a soft sponge or chamois leather. Work on stubborn stains with a steam cleaner or alcohol. Caution: oil, grease and silicone leave permanent traces.

Artificial glass: Must be cleaned after every shower, otherwise it will be milky and cloudy. Do not clean the scratch-sensitive material with sharp cleaning agents or coarse cloths.

Chrome surfaces of hinges and fittings: water and mild soapy water clean things up, everything is wiped dry with a leather cloth, for example chamois leather. Do not use disinfectants containing alcohol, chlorine or acid.

Plastic parts: treat waterproof strips, sealing strips, decorative corners with neutral soap or a mild vinegar cleaner, then rub off with silicone spray or a special plastic care product.

Dirt-repellent coating: You can equip shower partitions made of real glass with a coating that allows water to run off faster. This means that dirt and limescale cannot even get stuck. Refresh the coating every two to three years. Avoid harsh cleaning agents.

What type of shower are you?

The design of the shower wall determines how tight it is. A frameless shower always lets water through, it lacks the lower profile strip. Tiles should be laid around the shower and there should be no sensitive furniture or accessories. Suitable for design-oriented quick or occasional showerers.

A shower with frame-reduced walls is airtight and only allows little splash water to escape. Slim profiles make the cabin look light. Ideal for relaxed morning or evening showers.

Shower walls with a fully framed, solid profile hardly let any water out, not even what is pent up. They are the right choice for families with splash-happy children and friends of extensive permanent waterfalls.

The positive effect of showering

Showering is primarily for hygiene and washes away dead skin as well as dirt and sweat. But it is not only in the Far East that it is believed that water flowing over the body enhances the “chi”, the body's positive energy. A hundred years ago, Pastor Kneipp developed special water cures to help the body heal itself. Regular alternating showers - this has been scientifically proven - increase the body's resistance to colds and stabilize the cardiovascular system. The principle of the warm-cold application: shower three to five minutes at 37 to 40 degrees Celsius, then as cold as possible for 30 seconds. Repeat this as often as you like. It helps against headaches by taking an intensive hot shower on the neck area and refreshing the face with cold water for ten breaths in between. Showering also relieves stress.