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Small Bathroom Shower

Curved quadrant shower enclosure

Small Bath Solutions
(Better Homes & Gardens Decorating)

How to fit a shower into your small bathroom design

One of the main reasons why people remodel their bathroom is to provide new or better shower facilities. I know that I had this firmly in mind when I remodeled my small bathroom even though it wasn't the main reason why I was remodeling.

Why is this the case? I think that it's because in general it takes a lot less time to take a shower than it does to have a bath and in today's society we all seem to be too busy to take the time necessary to enjoy a good long soak in the bath.

Personally I love taking a long relaxing bath but I'm rarely lucky enough to have time for one. In fact it's been a good long time since I used my bath after I installed a separate shower unit.

I think that a separate shower cubicle looks good even in a small bathroom and I'm certain that it's a selling point that will increase the value of your home. If you are remodeling your bathroom, however small it is, you must at least consider adding or upgrading your shower. So what are your options?

Replace the bathtub with a shower

I haven't used my bath for months so taking it out altogether to make space for a great shower unit seems like a good option on the face of it. However I do believe that removing a bath from a house will reduce its market value. People are so conditioned into thinking that they must have a bathtub that they wouldn't consider anything less.

Even though I don't use my bathtub much I like to know that I could use it if I wanted to and I think that I would miss it if it were not available. So removing the bathtub is an option but not one that I would recommend.

Install a shower over your bath

Installing a showerhead above your bath is an option that many people take because it is relatively cheap and simple to implement. You will also need either a shower curtain or shower screens to stop water spilling over the top of the bath into the room. Shower screens look nicer and work better but they are more difficult to fit.

Many people install showers in their baths successfully but I have to say that a number of people that I know have done this and have suffered from water leaks as a result of the installation. I'm not sure of the reasons for this but it might have something to do with the problems of sealing the bathtub to the ceramic tiles on the wall.

When a bathtub is full of water it is very heavy and the sealer can fail under the strain. Worse still, because the sealer sticks very well to the bath and tiles if applied correctly, the strain of the weight in the bath can pull the tiles off the wall and crack the grout and even the tiles themselves. This is when the leaks will start to happen during showering.

I simply don't like showering in the bathtub because it seems such a makeshift arrangement.

Build a shower into an alcove

Putting a shower into an alcove in a small bathroom can sometimes make efficient use of the space available. You have to be lucky enough to have the right shaped bathroom to use this technique though. I'm not sure that I've ever seen one myself.

Convert your small bathroom into a wet room

By converting the floor of your bathroom into a huge shower tray and drain you are left free to put a shower wherever you like because it won't matter where the water goes.

I hate this idea because it means that whenever you take a shower everything in the bathroom gets wet. That means the washbasin, toilet, bathtub, towels and the entire floor. Everything gets soaked and it's horrible. It can also be very expensive to turn your bathroom into a wet room and to my mind it just isn't worth it.

Use a curved quadrant small bathroom shower

Once I had figured out that I could just about fit a square shower cubicle in the corner of my small bathroom I knew that I was on the right track. By moving all the other fixtures in the bathroom around I could make enough room for a small, square based, shower enclosure, but it was very tight. There wasn't going to be much room to move in the bathroom once the enclosure was installed.

It was then that I discovered that not all shower enclosures have square bases. It is possible to get models with a curved quadrant and this is what I used in my small bathroom design. See the article Small Bathroom Shower - A Space Saving Enclosure. By choosing a curved quadrant model I was able to reclaim 1 foot of floor space for the rest of my bathroom with very little impact on the showering experience. Believe me, my bathroom is small and 1 square foot makes a lot of difference.

My suggestion then is to try and fit a curved quadrant, space saving small bathroom shower into your new bathroom design. You might be pleasently surprised with the result.

Small Bath Solutions (Better Homes & Gardens Decorating)

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