In the past, showers consisted of little more than a shower head and a shower curtain installed inside a bath tub. Today, there is a vast range of shower designs to choose from. One that has been gaining popularity is the open shower. Open showers provide the luxurious feel of a spa retreat, making them especially popular for master suites.
Open showers, also called doorless showers, are just that. They do not have a door or enclosure. They are not confined by walls, doors, or curtains. Due to the lack of enclosure, open showers make the bathroom look and feel larger than it is.
To prevent your bathroom from becoming a lagoon, careful planning is required when installing an open shower. Splashback and drainage are key issues. Because there is not a door or enclosure, water can end up going all over your bathroom if your shower not designed correctly.
Open showers are larger than traditional showers and require significant space. A lack of space will leave you with water splashing off every surface in your bathroom. Most contractors recommend a minimum of six feet of distance from the shower entrance to the plumbing wall. If you don’t have that much space to work with, you can get by with less space by incorporating either a half-wall or a full wall around the splash zone to keep water contained. A half-wall is a good option as it maintains the open feel while still containing the water to the shower.
The next issue is the floor. To ensure proper drainage, the floor in the shower area needs to slope slightly toward the drain. Mosaic tiles that are two inches or smaller are frequently used. This type of tile flooring helps with the slope of the floor for drainage purposes and the grout lines help create a non-slip surface. Because you don’t have an enclosure or curb to provide a visual division between the shower and the rest of the bathroom, you should continue this same flooring throughout the entire bathroom.
Open showers also require special consideration when selecting a shower head. A shower head that shoots straight down is ideal, as it limits where the water goes. If you opt against an overhead shower head, be sure that you do not point it directly at the opening of the shower.
Open showers are much more visible than other styles of showers and act a design element and focal point of the bathroom. The design of the shower becomes much more important due to the absence of a curtain or doors to conceal it. For this reason, you need to pay extra attention to the details and include design elements in your shower design. Use the wall facing out into the bathroom as an accent wall. Select decorative tile or consider incorporating a pattern into the tile.