Open shower styles are very on trend, and it is easy to see why.  While this type of shower may not suit every family or every bathroom design, it has many benefits that make it a desirable feature.  What is an open shower, what are the benefits, and what do you need to know before installing one?  Let’s find out!

What is it?

Not every open shower is a wet room.  From fully open showers to semi-enclosed, doorless showers, there are many options available to suit your individual needs. With doors and sometimes also walls removed, this shower style contributes to an open, airy atmosphere in a bathroom design.

bath design with open shower

What are the benefits?

If your space and lifestyle are a good match for an open shower style, then it is a solution that can really enhance your bathroom design. Here are a few of the key benefits:

  • Space: in any size bathroom design, this shower style creates a feeling of more space by removing barriers in the room.
  • Light: no door or possibly no walls means light can shine through the room, adding brightness to your bathroom design.
  • Accessibility: the more open the shower style, the more accessible it is. This shower design is ideal for universal bath design for use by people of all ages, as well as wheelchair users.
  • Cleaning: no glass shower door and possibly no walls means fewer surfaces to clean. Glass shower enclosures are beautiful but can be difficult to maintain unless you adhere to a daily maintenance routine.  Remove the glass enclosure and you remove the need to clean these surfaces!
  • Value: an open shower is a custom feature that is considered a luxury, and therefore contributes to the resale value of your home.
shower with rainfall showerhead

Are there any downsides?

There are, of course, downsides to this shower style, but for every negative there is a bathroom design method to mitigate it.

  • Stop the splash: a fully open shower style has the potential for water splashing onto other surfaces, like the vanity or toilet. In a large bathroom design, this can be mitigated by making sure there is enough buffer around the shower area.  Correct positioning of the showerhead will also help.
  • Manage moisture: an open shower naturally means there is greater potential for moisture throughout your bathroom, so make sure you stick to moisture-resistant materials. This is important in any bathroom design, but even more when you have an open shower style.
  • Control the chill: the more open your shower, the more exposed you are to drafts and chill. Manage this by making sure your bathroom heating is up to the task. Consider adding underfloor heating and perhaps a radiator towel warmer nearby so you can wrap up in a warm towel after your shower.
  • Lack of privacy: there is no getting around it, when you have an open shower design you give up on privacy. If this does not bother you, then forge ahead with your plans for as open a shower as you can manage.  If you are concerned about privacy, then a fully open shower may not be the best option.  Add a half wall or even create a three-wall alcove with no door to get the effect of an open shower while maintaining some separation from the rest of the bathroom.
  • Understand the cost: an open shower style is non-standard and therefore tends to be more expensive. The shower must be customized to the space since it does not use a standard shower pan, and therefore requires a custom-built, tiled floor.
large walk in shower design

What else do you need to know?

There are a few special considerations when it comes to installing an open shower style as part of your bathroom remodel.

  • Showerhead: to minimize splash, the ideal showerhead is an overhead rainfall model, but a standard showerhead positioned to point toward an opposite wall would work as well.
  • Drainage: the floor of your open shower should be angled to ensure water flows toward the drain. You could include two drains to promote better drainage, or perhaps look at a linear drain.
  • Options: there are several options to consider for your open shower. A wet room style is fully open to other fixtures in the room.  Or, opt for one that has no door and is semi-enclosed by a half wall, three-wall alcove, or a corridor with two parallel walls. Since an open shower is non-standard, you can build it to suit your space and your style preferences!  You could also consider incorporating a built-in shower bench, which works particularly well in a semi-enclosed model.
  • Style: the more open your shower, the more visible it is to the rest of the room. Take this opportunity to make a style statement by choosing colors, patterns, or textures that create an eye-catching bathroom design.  Either choose a material that you will carry through the rest of the room for a sleek, fluid appearance, or select contrasting colors or patterns to set the shower area apart from the surrounding space.

If you are craving the open, airy feel of a doorless or even fully open shower, talk to one of our experienced bathroom design professionals today!

McDaniels Kitchens and Bath

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