Designing a Custom Shower
It is not difficult to imagine the benefits of being surrounded by soothing jets of warm water. If the contortions and calisthenics of trying to wash under a conventional showerhead are no longer appealing to you, then a Custom Shower System is the answer.
A Custom Shower is a shower system that you have the freedom to design. The system brings together traditional accessories like a showerhead or handheld shower, with a collection of smaller, wall mounted body sprays. The number and placement of the body sprays depend on the size of your shower chamber and your personal preference.
Your Custom Shower System can be a modest affair that features two body sprays on the wall below your existing showerhead. Your shower chamber can also be customized into a complete “surround shower” experience as multiple body sprays, front and back, operate in concert with a full range of other shower accessories.
If you would like a premade custom shower you can consider our wide selection of shower panels
and vertical spa sets
, but if you would like to design your own from the ground up keep reading for the products required.
Custom Shower Systems Typically Include the Following Components:
- Thermostatic and Pressure Balancing Valves
The first thing you need to consider before anything else is the type of valves you will be using. There are thermostatic valves that control the temperature of the water and sometimes the pressure as well, and pressure balancing valves that control the on and off function of the shower. You need to pick out one that will work with the shower you have envisioned because each trim has a matching valve that must be installed in the wall and they are hard to easily switch out if you change your mind later.
A great example is the new Danze Thermostatic valve which offers a separate volume control handle that allows you to easily turn the water on and off. Like all Danze shower valves, it features scald prevention technology which allows you to limit the highest water temperature allowed in the shower.
- Diverter Valves
Next you will need to consider both how many different water streams you will want running at once (shower head, body sprays) and whether you want them to run independently as well. A diverter will control this function. The Shower Diverter valve determines where the water will be “diverted” or, simply put, where the water will come out. Most diverters can control up two to three different water outlets. They generally have a turn based knob that allows water to run to either of the products independently and a third setting to run both at once. The diverter is one of the most integral parts of the custom shower set up so make sure you pick the correct one, and the roughing valve it requires.
- Body Sprays
The most obvious component of a new Custom Shower installation is the wall mounted body spray. Most Body Sprays are adjustable so you can aim the water to where it will do the most good. Many body sprays are also packaged in pairs. The body sprays can be arranged in whichever pattern suits your needs best.
- Rain Drop Shower Head
Rain drop shower heads provide a truly unique and immersion experience to your shower. Normally installed from the ceiling these shower heads drop water on you to simulate the experience of being in the soaked by rainfall but at the temperature you choose. Rain Drop showerheads come in many sizes and finishes but most have a large head that ranges from 6" all the way to 12". Install a rain drop showerhead today to take full advantage of the experience.
- Handheld Showers
Another great compliment to your custom shower system is a hand shower. Hand showers allow a complete customization of the shower with the water flow direction going any way you want it to. Some hand showers have massaging water streams, and hand shower holders can be installed on the wall to conveniently store them.
Many manufacturers offer hundreds of showerheads, shower arms and handheld showers in a wide range of decorative finishes. Truly, your new Custom Shower can be customized to reflect your tastes and your style.
- Shower Arms
Shower Arms are often overlooked when selecting a custom shower, but they are equally important. If you are installing a rain drop shower head then you would want to consider a ceiling mounted shower arm, where as if you are installing a regular shower head you may want one that is angled out of the wall.
Custom Shower Installation Considerations
The sum total of all flow rates (showerheads, hand showers and shower body sprays) can not exceed the maximum flow rate of the valves that supply them. For example, the Danze
thermostatic valve and diverter will support at least six body sprays along with additional shower accessories under typical water pressures. A professional plumber can help you to calculate the number of showerheads you can install based on your conditions.
Changes are usually required to existing plumbing. Most fittings are compatible with 1/2" piping, most often found in homes. Professional installation is recommended.
Depending on the system you design, you may require more hot water. You may need a larger capacity water heater to ensure a drenching shower without running short.
Many products are designed to operate at water pressures from 20 psi to 80 psi. However, it is recommended that the water pressure entering the thermostatic valve be at least 40 psi if you intend to supply water to multiple showerheads and fixtures.
Custom showers usually pour more water into your shower chamber and you may need to increase the size of your drain. Two 2” floor drains or one 3" drain is recommended. Water wells or septic tanks may not be able to handle this extra capacity as well.
Custom showers can produce a high level of humidity. Adequate ventilation is required.
Shop for other perfect additions to your bathroom such as Bathtubs
, Shower Doors
and Bathroom Faucets