Designing Bathroom Shower Systems That Rock

Designers often talk about bathrooms in terms of a triangle: you have your sink/vanity, toilet, and shower/tub. Yes, there are certainly variations to this model (for example, some of today’s modern bathrooms include freestanding tubs and then a shower/steam room tucked inconspicuously in the corner), but those three main elements—sink/toilet/bathing area—are standard.

Today, we’re going to discuss the element we know best: bathroom showers. As you’re getting ready to renovate your space, here’s what to think about so you end up with a bathroom shower system that truly rocks.

1. Ask yourself if you actually need to renovate the shower.

Here’s a secret that you might not know: you don’t necessarily need to gut your shower in order to spruce it up. A retrofit shower system will provide a new look at a fraction of the cost of a full renovation (and retrofits work in residential and commercial spaces).

2. If you do decide to remodel your shower, be realistic about costs.

Figure out your budget before you get too deep. This will help you avoid falling in love with showers beyond your budgetary reach. If you do it backwards, meaning you choose a design, materials, and accessories that add up to an “OMG” price tag, then you’re only going to be disappointed as you whittle down your list to one you can afford. By the way, if you’re unsure about the cost of residential bathroom renovations in your area, check out Remodeling Magazine’s annual “Cost vs. Value” issue.

3. Check out places like Houzz and Pinterest for ideas.

This seems to contradict our previous point, but hear us out. It’s important for you to get a sense of styles you love (and ones you don’t). Definitely create Pinterest boards and ideabooks on Houzz with examples of showers you like, but don’t become too attached to any one photo. Instead, collect the images, take a step back, and see if you can determine any themes. For example, after reviewing all of your boards and ideabooks, perhaps you discover you favor showers that are a certain shape or color. It’s these sorts of details you want to share with your designer/builder (or keep in mind if you’re doing it all yourself).

4. Be incredibly choosy about materials. 

We sell Meridian Solid Surface shower products, so we’re definitely partial to this material, but we know there are many materials on the market and it can be confusing and overwhelming as you consider them all.

When you’re evaluating materials for your bathroom shower systems, ask yourself these questions (and these questions are true for residential and commercial applications):

  • Is the material hygienic? Your best bet is a non-porous material since it won’t absorb dirt, germs, and bacteria.
  • Is it water-resilient? Again, non-porous materials are your best bet since water can’t infiltrate them.
  • Is it easy to clean? Keep in mind that any material requiring grout, such as tile, is harder to clean (not to mention grout can harbor germs and crack, which can lead to shower leaks).
  • What sort of warranty does the manufacturer offer? Not all warranties are created equal. Read the fine print.
  • What sort of reviews does the material garner? Read what real people are saying about their showers. Pay attention to any negatives, especially if a certain negative keeps popping up. Read what the pros have to say as well. Consumer Reports often rates different materials used in home renovations so that’s a good place to start.
  • Do you like the way the material looks? You want a material that not only meets the above criteria, but also matches the vibe you’re trying to achieve. In other words, you need to like it.

By the way, we’re partial to Meridian Solid Surface shower products for good reason: it meets all the requirements above, meaning it’s hygienic and water resilient (since it’s a non-porous material), it’s a cinch to clean, it has a great 10-year warranty, customers (residential and commercial) love it, and it looks great.

5. Don’t forget about shower accessories. 

Your shower is so much more than a boxy stall. Think about everything that would make your shower a true oasis, one you love stepping into day in and day out. For example, maybe you have a shower seat so you can relax and/or stay safe.

Remember, today’s bathrooms offer so much more than the ones many of us grew up with. They offer flair as well as function, if you’re mindful about how you design and build this room. Follow the above guidelines and rest assured you’ll be well on your way to creating a bathroom shower system that gets the job done right, and in style, every time.


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