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When choosing a shower for a fitted bathroom there are typically three styles for you to choose between. There are shower baths, integrated bath/shower units and stand alone showers. When you have decided the style of shower you want you can then make other design decisions such as matching taps and other fittings such as towel rails to the style of your shower because they are generally the main feature in a bathroom. Below is more detailed information on the styles of shower available to help you decide which would be best for your needs.
Probably the most common kind of shower today is the shower over a bath tub, this is where the shower is plumbed in to stand over the bath. They are usually positioned between two walls with a shower curtain or shower screen on the third side to stop spray going on the bathroom floor. If this style doesn't meet your needs, there also combined bath/shower units. A stand alone shower and a simple bathtub combined, these pieces are gaining in popularity. Finally, there are stand alone showers, and as the name suggests it is a shower that doesn't include a bath tub.
Once you decide on the shower style that best suits your needs, there are things to take into consideration. If you are planning on using a swinging door for your shower, make sure there is enough room in your bathroom to allow it to open. Also be sure that there is some device in place to keep water from dripping out onto the bathroom floor.
Size is also an essential element when choosing a shower. Prefabricated showers have standard sizes, the smallest being 32"x 32". It's always a good idea to measure halls and doorways to be sure that the unit will fit through all passageways on its way to the bathroom.
It facilitates the process having an idea of what kind of materials you want. When choosing a bath with a shower, the three enclosed sides can be made of fiberglass, vinyl or, most commonly, tile. Stand alone showers are generally made of acrylic, fiberglass, stainless steel or enamel steel. The benefits of using acrylic include its affordability, light weight and the fact that it is easy to repair.
While easy to clean, it is also easily scratched and discolored. Fiberglass is the most economical option available. It is lightweight and easily installed and repaired. However, it will show wear after ten to fifteen years. Iron is the most durable and the most expensive material around. Its finish is preferable to other materials, but its heavy weight necessitates a smaller unit.
There is also always the option of having your shower custom built. These showers may use materials such as porcelain, ceramic or stone tile. Building and safety codes require acrylic or tempered glass for the shower doors. Experts generally recommend tempered glass because it is more scratch resistant and easier to clean.
Also keep safety in mind when choosing your new shower. All showers should have slip resistant flooring or floor tiles. Be sure to check for at least two grab bars, although more is better.
There is an array of shower options out there. Prepared with the proper shower knowledge, the only difficulty you'll have will be in choosing your favorite design.