Idea File: Outdoor Showers

It’s not only beach dwellers that would appreciate an open air shower. Even if you’re landlocked, an outdoor shower is great for grimy gardeners, sweaty little leaguers and even suburban soccer moms and dads! People are discovering that having an outdoor show is not only practical, but can also be quite luxurious and a unique way to connect with nature and the great outdoors. Showering in the open air can become your new bathing ritual, and a relaxing stress reliever that can make a normally mundane task much more appealing.

Maybe you’ve been considering adding an outdoor shower for a few seasons now, but just weren’t sure where to start? While an outdoor shower can be as elaborate (and expensive) as their indoor counterparts, most are relatively affordable and not overly complicated to install. A basic hot/cold water outdoor show like the one below can run in the $1000 range, while a more moderate set up with a fancier enclosure can run up to $4000 and above.

One option is to go with a pre-assembled wall mounted or freestanding outdoor shower. Many companies, such as Signature Hardware and Fantini, sell affordable options that are worth considering.

This option from Signature Hardware comes with a teak surround and retails for $677

There are some important considerations when planning an outdoor shower. First off, how do you intend to use it? Is it for a quick rinse off after the beach or pool or to clean your dogs? Perhaps you live with mild weather year round and plan to use it for your daily shower? How you plan to use the shower will help determine how simple or elaborate to go.

Other major considerations are site selection and plumbing requirements. It’s best to locate your outdoor shower close to existing plumbing. Adding a shower on a ground floor deck or patio near the kitchen or bathroom can tap into existing hot and cold water lines. Locating your shower away from the house can better utilize the natural surroundings, but will also require running underground water lines to the location…and most likely a permit and contractor.

Other than plumbing, other factors to consider in the location of your shower are privacy, sun exposure and surroundings. Perhaps you want to incorporate views of a pretty garden or cluster of trees? The best outdoor showers will take advantage of the natural beauty of the surroundings but will also be in a convenient location to promote their usage. Creative enclosure design can provide privacy while maintaining the feeling of being outdoors.

Except for the simplest of outdoor showers, you will most likely want to hire a contractor that can do the job correctly and avoid problems later. A contractor can handle any necessary permits as well ensuring proper plumbing, excavation and drainage requirements.

Here are more examples of some very unique outdoor showers for inspiration!

Feel like you’re showering in your own secret garden

Get creative with your surround materials. Here, bamboo provides a tropical feel while maintaining privacy

Here is an example of a simple outdoor shower with a rustic, Mediterranean feel

This functional outdoor shower utilizes existing house plumbing and adds visual interest with the galvanized steel surround.

This shower incorporated into an upper deck provides the feeling of bathing in the trees.

If space is tight it’s easy to tuck a wall mounted shower in an out of the way corner.