Outdoor trends such as kitchens and living rooms are all the rage in every part of the country, but there is something special about an outdoor shower.
“Not surprisingly, outdoor showers are well-suited and highly functional for coastal homes,” TMS architects writes on its blog. “They’re novel enclosures that allow one to rinse off after a swim or enjoy a proper shower while remaining outdoors. Other uses of outdoor showers include washing hands and tools after a gardening session, showering after exercise and cleaning a pet’s muddy paws.”
But outdoor showers are not only good for coastal homes. It’s easy enough to design and install one in a suburban home, an urban rooftop, or a row house backyard. It’s all in the details.
First, privacy should be your number one concern. Some designers prefer a simple screen (made from any number of materials) that's high enough to block anyone from spying on bathers but high enough to permit views (assuming there is one). Depending on your area of the country, it’s also possible to use foliage. Evergreens are always a nice option if your clients live in a warm climate and are able to use the shower year round.
The materials you use also are important. It must be able to stand up to the elements, including the obvious (water). For the screen, hearty, weather resistant wood species such as ipe, mahogany, pressure-treated wood, cedar, or heat-treated ash will all work well. Corrugated metal, corten steel, and copper are also ideal for an enclosure.
Wood is also good for the shower floor, but a low maintenance material such as natural stone will also work really well.
Finally, the plumbing system you use needs to stand up to the weather, so stainless steel or PVD finishes are great options. Copper and brass are good options, and if the finishes are “living” they will develop a nice patina.
One important note: The outdoor plumbing hook up is more less like an interior setup, but if you live in a cold climate, it will be necessary to be able to drain the pipes for winter.
Here are faucet options to consider for your next outdoor shower.