How to design a shower: Bureau A - The Apartment

How to design a shower

One of our favorite things to hear from a client is: “I would like to have a shower instead of a bathtub.”

You see, a problem with reconstructions is that almost every time we have space that is too small for our client’s wishes. And the thing with bathroom is that in order to make it functional, we have to respect some common dimensions of fixtures and space between them. Do you remember our post about a functional kitchen? Standard dimension of a piece of furniture or fixture can be very frustrating because sometimes you just don’t have those extra 5 centimeters.

Designing a shower area eliminates that problem. Ideally, the shower should be at least 90 cm wide, but 88 will also work, you know? That is not the case if you’re buying a shower cabin or bathtub. This is very important fact when you’re designing a small bathroom.

How to design a shower: Bureau A - The Apartment
Bureau AThe Apartment // photo: Courtesy of Bureau A *featured photo

To fit a shower in the bathroom basically means to choose a partition between the shower area and the rest of the bathroom. You need to think about the size and proportions of the bathroom and the position of the bathroom window if there is one.

Shower without partition

Here is one perfect example of a bathroom with the shower with no partition.

How to design a shower: Pedro Segurado Quintino Rogado + Sofia Saraiva - Apartment in Bairro das Colónias
Pedro Segurado Quintino Rogado + Sofia Saraiva – Apartment in Bairro das Colónias // photo: © Fernando Guerra / FG+SG

Tiles are adorable, but that’s not the point. The bathroom is narrow, 110-120 cm wide, just enough to place all fixtures on one wall. Now, do you see what we mean when we say that you just need to think about the size and proportions of the bathroom and the position of the bathroom window? The truth is, if you only think about functionality, glass partition here would be ok. But think about style. How charming is this just the way it is?

Pay attention to the position of the door and the disposition of fixtures – the logic behind that layout is a frequency of use of each element throughout the day. You should always try to imagine your routine in the space you are designing.

Shower with glass partition

How to design a shower: A&CO - Rawson House
A&CO – Rawson House

This is a lovely bathroom with so many beautiful details.  Compare it with the first one. Their layouts are very similar but this bathroom is about 170 cm wide which means that the partition can be wide enough to make sense.

Do you see that amazing point where glass, mirror and wall meet? And that linear niche underneath the mirror and how it continues inside the shower and makes practical shelve for bottles of shampoos? Architecture really starts when you carefully put two bricks together.

Shower with wall partition

Partition wall or walls can be so useful when you’re dealing with a big enough bathroom. Just look at this example.

How to design a shower: Studio WOK - OCS batipin flat
Studio WOKOCS batipin flat // photo: © Federico Villa

Not only the shower area is defined by walls, but also the toilet. It works perfectly.

Usually, in reconstructions, you are not able to do practical niches in the existing walls, so new walls are very welcome when possible. We are big fans of those niches because they are much easier to maintain and clean than shelves, and instead of taking the space, they give you the extra space. And there is never too much storage, especially when it’s so stylish.

How to design a shower: Eleanna Horiti - The White House
Eleanna Horiti – The White House // photo: © Vassilis Skopelitis

We can’t say which solution is the best, it really depends on your situation. Wall partition is probably the easiest to maintain (if you choose the right kind of tiles). But, it could make a small bathroom even smaller. You see, the wall, depending on its thickness, takes up a certain amount of floor surface.

Also, remember to consider the position of your bathroom window. Daylight and natural ventilation are important and if you are fortunate to have a bathroom with a window, use it in the best way possible.

You can read more about a bathroom remodel here.

What do you think?  Would you like to have a shower instead of the bathtub?

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