How do I make sure I get the awesome shower I want?
December 12, 2003 7:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm gutting a bathroom and getting a new shower installed (double-length). I know this is the only time in my life I'll ever get EXACTLY the shower I want, so I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what to build in there. So far I'm thinking, stereo speakers in the walls, two nozzles (one in front, one overhead). There must be something I'm leaving out. Help me prevent a "d'oh" moment two weeks after it's done -- what am I missing?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to Home & Garden (27 answers total)
LCD screen for watching tv, a phone, don't cheap out on the lights - they do make a difference, also shelving for your washing supplies - think concealed...maybe it has it's own curtain.

And use nice tile...if you skimp on this, you will be sorry. I don't remember how many clients went for the cheap stuff, and they weren't happy with it. Plan it all out, so you know what you want, and then categorize it. Are speakers and a tv really important versus tile which will last for 30 years and nice Kohler [or equal] hardware?
posted by plemeljr at 7:14 AM on December 12, 2003

Well, if there's a woman in your life, or will be at some point, or if you are a man who likes to shave his legs, a corner seat in the shower is very, very appreciated by all of the above.
posted by jeremias at 7:14 AM on December 12, 2003

I've always thought that having shower heads on both ends (or sides) of the shower would be great for when there are two people in the shower.
posted by bshort at 7:29 AM on December 12, 2003

I've seen showerheads which had two outlets, one at the wall and a second on an adjustable armature. Those are pretty cool. I'd also suggest adding a bench or something to sit on in the shower, which is useful for legitimate as well as hanky-panky purposes.

But if you're looking for something that will make your bathroom feel wonderful, look into radiant heating for the floor. (Or at least an in-wall heater of some kind).
posted by majick at 7:46 AM on December 12, 2003

the european shower head on a flexible cable thing is cool too--you can shower up, down, sideways, etc.
posted by amberglow at 7:49 AM on December 12, 2003

In Europe they have these different shower controllers than we have in the US and I love them. Instead of turning on the water and adjusting the temperature at the same time (either with that one swivel nozzle or the two hot-and-cold handles), in Europe (at least in France, Belgium, Spain in the parts I've visited) there are two controllers: one turns on the water, one sets the temperature. So you set the temp. and leave it. Then when you get in in the morning, you just turn the water switch. No more fiddling to get just the right mixture of hot and cold. No more trying to remember the exact spot to spin the swivel nozzle to. Just turn and you're in the shower at the perfect temperature, every time. Whenever I use one of these Euro shower controls, I think, "when I get my dream bathroom, it will have this." Not sure if you can get them where you are.
posted by megnut at 7:53 AM on December 12, 2003

Don't forget enough shelf space to accommodate various bottles, potions, soaps, etc. There is NEVER enough shelf space in any shower that I've ever used.
posted by davidmsc at 7:56 AM on December 12, 2003

I'm definitely going to track down that digital temperature thermostatic flux capacitor thing. And the phone jack in the shower is brilliant! Thanks, Ask Metafilter!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:05 AM on December 12, 2003

I lurve multiple head showers. Here's an example.

This company manufactures a temperature controlled valve, mentioned above.

Also, be sure to include a pressure-balance valve. No more owies when someone starts a load of laundry (grrr).
posted by bonehead at 8:15 AM on December 12, 2003

You definitely want multiple shower heads. Westin has them now - the "heavenly shower" - and it turned out to be much more excellent than I imagined it would. Having one of those shower heads be on a removable arm is useful for cleaning the stall and oh, so much more.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:27 AM on December 12, 2003

2 shower heads wastes an awful lot of water.
posted by corpse at 8:51 AM on December 12, 2003

Everyone seems to be raving about having their own steam shower if you watch many home improvement shows, but I've never had one so I don't know what's so great about them (are they like a mini-sauna or what?).

I'm lucky in that my new shower has a control like meg describes in europe. The heat setting is separate from the on/off and I love it to death.
posted by mathowie at 9:00 AM on December 12, 2003

Make sure you place the shower head(s) up high. Mine is set at 6 feet, but the pipe curves down and then has the length of the shower head. I am only 5'7" but I often bump my head on it. Very annoying.
posted by j at 9:11 AM on December 12, 2003

2 shower heads wastes an awful lot of water.

This is very true. Make sure that your hot water tank is large enough to accomodate extra shower heads. My folks had a shower with some ridiculous number of shower heads in their old house (the previous owner has installed the shower), and they rarely if ever used them because they drained the hot water tank in just a few minutes.
posted by iceberg273 at 9:13 AM on December 12, 2003

How about putting low-flow heads on 2 shower heads? Then you'd use the same amount of water as one normal head, but having it coming from 2 directions.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:30 AM on December 12, 2003

You definetely want something that makes cleaning easier, whether it's an extra head on an armature or the showerhead on a hose type deal. I lost my hose showerheads when I moved and cleaning the shower is a big ol' pain in the butt now.
posted by Shoeburyness at 9:51 AM on December 12, 2003

Screw the low-flow, we're Americans!

OR, maybe think about setting up a gray water recyling system
posted by Mick at 10:30 AM on December 12, 2003

Better yet, install a Tankless Hot Water system, and enjoy your hot water for as long as your wallet holds out.
posted by Irontom at 10:37 AM on December 12, 2003

Heavy glass showers and marble are heavenly - you'll get that 'every day is a holiday' feeling. Make sure that the floor heater has a timer so that the marble floor is warm when you wake up in the morning.

Other things that help make life more pleasant:
1) bathroom phone (speakerphone)
2) grab bars (if you decide to add something to sit on)
3) anti-fog mirrors
4) anti-scalding device
5) good lighting (that is adjustable)

Shoeburyness makes a good point about hose showerheads and cleaning. If you decide to go with the glass shower, you will definitely want a long hose.

Meg and Mathowie make good points about keeping the heat setting separate from the on/off - those are pretty common here in Japan, too.
posted by cup at 10:47 AM on December 12, 2003

I've seen showers with a bench to sit on or, even if you're not so inclined, to place your foot while you clean your toesies. Here's an ugly one, but you could build one in, too.
posted by sixpack at 11:07 AM on December 12, 2003

Gas powered on-demand tankless hot water heating systems can be very efficient to run. Especially if you don't use tons of water.
posted by anathema at 11:42 AM on December 12, 2003

Everyone seems to be raving about having their own steam shower if you watch many home improvement shows, but I've never had one so I don't know what's so great about them (are they like a mini-sauna or what?).

We have one. My quality of life has improved by approximately one zillion percent since it was installed. (It's exactly like a mini-sauna, except that it only takes a few minutes to warm up. Excellent way to recharge after a long day, especially if you live in a cold area.) *Highly* recommended. (Make sure you include someplace comfortable to sit down, though, that isn't directly over the steam valve. Ouch.)

The multiple-shower-head thing, on the other hand, didn't get a lot of use after the first "oh, wow, we have multiple shower heads" experience.
posted by ook at 2:11 PM on December 12, 2003

Dumb things you can do with a shower: put the soap dish or shelves underneath the nozzle where water flows over them, use tiles on the floor that get slippery when wet, forget to put an incline and a ledge to force water to flow into the drain, use too fine a drain grill that catches hair and clogs up, forget to put a towel rack in easy reaching distance of the shower.
posted by fuzz at 5:33 PM on December 12, 2003

Help me prevent a "d'oh" moment two weeks after it's done -- what am I missing?

The racking guilt that surely follows spending that much money on a fucking shower and the subsequent and well-deserved immolation of western civilization.

Also, some sort of waterproof Barca Lounger and maybe a giant fog-proof mirror that you can pose in.
posted by The God Complex at 10:49 PM on December 12, 2003

1) bathroom phone (speakerphone)

No. Fucking. Way.

NO ONE wants to talk to you while your taking a big ol' shit on the toilet, letting loose with an elephant-sized stream of piss, or soaping yourself all nicey-nice in the shower.

There is no excuse for that sort of thing. There are no phone calls that are so direly important that you simply must answer them while in the can. You have an answering machine: let it do its job. If the call really is important, you can be sure the caller will be ringing the phone again within a few minutes of stepping out of the bathroom.

posted by five fresh fish at 11:05 AM on December 13, 2003

When I said bathroom phone I meant just that - a phone that can be used in the bathroom while you are taking a nice, long bath at the end of a busy day. In Japan the daily bath is an important part of one's day and can take a fair amount of time. If a friend phones or if someone presses the intercom button it is nice to be able to answer without getting out of the bath.

In Japan, the bathroom is usually separate from the toilet - two different things. A phone in the toilet? Now that would be gross. :P

I can think of many reasons to take a long bath but I cannot think of one good reason to stay on the toilet any longer than is absolutely necessary. :)
posted by cup at 12:03 AM on December 17, 2003

This is something I wouldn't have thought of but I just returned from a stay at a really nice boutique hotel and inside one of the best bathrooms I'd ever seen, they had installed halogen spotlights all over the ceiling. For some reason, the quality of the light hitting the white tiles was eminently satisfying and appealing.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:27 AM on December 19, 2003

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