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Outdoor Shower Ideas

The outdoor shower is showing up more and more on my clients' wish lists - people like the idea of being able to bathe al fresco," says Scott Cohen of The Green Scene, a landscape design and construction company. Outdoor showers have long been popular for rinsing off before or after a swim. They are also handy for washing off sand if you live near the beach or a lake. However, in recent years people's ideas about outdoor showers have morphed. Many homeowners now want fully functioning shower designs that allows for bathing in the privacy of their own backyard.

Outdoor Shower Considerations:

  • Use
    • Is the shower just for rinsing off or do you plan to use it for bathing?
  • Placement
    • What spot in your yard is convenient for an outdoor shower?
  • Privacy
    • Do you want an enclosed shower that makes bathing suits optional?
  • Drainage
    • Are you going to employ natural drainage techniques or will a drain be necessary?

Outdoor Bathing Showers
If you plan to use your outdoor shower for bathing you will need to have a drain installed that attaches to your home's sewer system. Without a drain, the chemicals in soap and shampoo will harm the plants and soil around your shower. This type of shower also requires a privacy enclosure. These can be solid walls built of masonry or lumber. You may also use a privacy screen or shower curtain. If your shower will not have a roof, you should make sure that it is placed in an area where no one will be able to look down on bathers from a neighboring balcony or window.

Placement Ideas:

  • In a corner for an efficient use of space
  • Against an exterior wall where there is warm water access (bathroom or kitchen)
  • Stand-alone with walls or a privacy screen

Outdoor Shower Design Ideas
An outdoor shower can be designed to suit an style. If you want something contemporary try a combination of Ipe wood, stainless steel and colorful glass mosaic tiles. Another modern option is to use sheets of corten steel as the shower walls and river rock as permeable flooring. If you are looking for something inspired by the al fresco lifestyle of the Mediterranean try Spanish tiles in colors such as yellow or blue. Finally, your outdoor shower can reflect your personality and be totally unique, such as the one featured in the video on this page that was built using 450 recycled wine bottles. A less permanent option is to purchase a free-standing outdoor shower that attaches to a garden hose.

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