Whether you’re undertaking a bathroom renovation or in the process of building a new bathroom, at some point you’re going to be facing the possibility of choosing a shower. But given a new shower isn’t the kind of thing you shop for every day (in fact, you may only do it once in a lifetime!), it’s important that you consider your options carefully.
How much you invest in a new shower largely depends on its current usability and your individual circumstances. If you’re just looking to improve your current shower accessories, then it may be as simple as replacing a showerhead. But if you are designing and building your new bathroom from scratch, then there are whole lot more factors you’ll need to consider. The possibilities are really only limited to the style you like, the space you have, and of course the amount of money you can afford to spend. Here are some drops of wisdom (pun intended!) from the experts.
What are the things I need to consider if I’m looking for a completely new shower?
One word. Location. If you’re planning a new shower, you need to think carefully about both drainage and plumbing. Keeping all your plumbing in a central area near other water outlets like your washbasin can cut down on costs. It also means that hot water has less distance to travel, meaning it will lose less heat and you will have a more energy efficient shower.
Another important thing to consider is how your new shower will be accessed. You need to be able to enter and exit it easily and safely, and your shower door placement shouldn’t be in a position where it interferes with your vanity, bathtub or bathroom door. Sliding shower doors are a great option to consider here, and of course, our experienced bathroom designers and tradesmen can advise you on the best possible options.
What do I need to consider when choosing a shower screen?
Firstly, you need to consider the practical elements of choosing a shower screen. Inner walls need to be waterproofed which is more commonly done with tiling, and there are a wide range of amazing tile configurations and designs you can choose from. However, another creative option is to use a glass splashback that is affixed to the wall. This can be used to let in natural light and add to the overall impact and personality of your bathroom, however, you will need to consider the privacy aspects as well!
The size of your new shower screen is an important factor to think about and will depend on the dimensions you are working with. You’ll not only want to choose a shower screen that will fit into the space, it should also be a design that doesn’t overwhelm your bathroom’s other visual features.
Maintenance is another important thing to consider. Is there any aspect of your new shower screen that will make cleaning difficult? And what if your screen is damaged in any way? Is it easily replaced with minimal hassle?
You should decide on the style of shower screen that appeals to you, complements the rest of your bathroom, and visually enhances your bathroom’s appeal. Elegant glass screens date well and suit most bathroom designs, and framed, frameless and semi-frameless designs are all possibilities.
Certain types of shower screens can also make smaller spaces look bigger. Glass screens with thin frames are not only minimalistic, they create a sense of light and space, and create a transparent barrier meaning the bathroom flooring can flow ‘uninterrupted’ throughout the whole room.
And of course, there’s also the option to have a wet room, with no screen at all. Wet rooms are easy to keep clean, can improve your space usage and most definitely will up the ‘wow’ factor! These require a little more thought and planning though, so you’ll definitely need the advice of one of our bathroom design experts.
What if I’m just looking to upgrade my shower with a new shower head?
There are a wide range of shower heads available that differ in things like functionality, design and energy efficiency, and choosing the right option for your new shower can often mean the difference between a drenching and a dribble.
Types available range from affordable fixed-arm designs and adjustable hand-held showerheads that offer more control, to fixed overhead showers that offer the best way to experience the therapeutic benefits of water.
Probably one of the most important factors that should be considered when purchasing a new shower head is energy efficiency. Many of us prefer stronger showers with higher flow rates, and of course there’s nothing more relaxing than standing under a hot shower for minutes on end, however water wastage is just not environmentally viable.
In Australia, the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme (WELS) specifies that shower heads must be rated and labelled according to their water efficiency. Models with a four-star rating or with a maximum flow-rate of nine litres per minute are ideal, however choosing a new shower head with an even lower flow-rate of 7.5 litres for example, can mean saving more than 5000 litres of water per year! Plus, a number of water companies, state and local governments actually offer incentives to switch to a water efficient shower head, so saving water and being a little more environmentally conscious is actually a win-win!
Not sure how to go about choosing a new shower? Contact the experts at All Bathroom Gear today on (07) 3391 8628.