Bathroom Shower Ideas – Simple Advice for Beginners (Reflected for 2021)

Modern bathroom design
Bathroom shower head

The act of bathing is a time of renewal and invigoration as you prepare for the day ahead. Designing a bathroom shower in 2021 is all about balancing style and functionality. You could take the easy route and go for a custom design process or buy a pre-fabricated shower instead. The point is, you have a lot in the way of choice when buying a shower – mostly based on shower type, style, and configuration. And then there are smaller factors that most beginners may not factor in, such as shower head type, door type, and other extra features that might be of interest. The good news is that you don’t need a large budget to make things work. Let’s deep dive into these top bathroom shower ideas that will transform your bathing experience.

Pre-Fabricated Shower or Custom Shower?

the essential guide to bathroom shower

If you’re on a tight budget, opting for a pre-fabricated shower is definitely a no-brainer. Pre-fabricate showers come in a single-piece design fashioned out of plastic, laminate, molded fiberglass, or some other synthetic material.


Most pre-fabricated showers contain all the essential features such as shelves, grab bars, wall panels, a shower base, and others. The obvious benefits include low price, ease of installation (you could do it yourself), and simplicity.

The only downside is that you can’t customize them. Pre-fabricated showers have a one-size-fits-all design that might look plain and uninspiring. 

Moreover, pre-fabricated showers are available in a few sizes. You cannot have a custom one made based on your specific bathroom configuration.

If you’ve got the budget, a custom shower will do you good both in terms of functionality and luxury. Expect to pay an arm and a leg for custom showers though. 

Yet, you’ll be content in the knowledge that the money is well spent. Custom showers are longer lasting, environmentally friendly, and much more functional that pre-fabricated showers.


Custom showers will be built from the ground-up in your bathroom. It will be extremely unique and designed to meet your specific needs. The options for custom shower design are endless, and mostly limited by the capabilities of your contractor and your imagination.

In addition, a pre-fabricated shower can be designed for any size, including tight spaces where a pre-fabricated shower may not fit. 

The obvious downside is that it is much more expensive and makes for one very difficult do-it-yourself project. It’s just better to hire an experienced contractor to do it for you.

Why Frame less Glass Doors Are a No-Brainer

 Floor to wall tempered glass door in a bathroom.

The history of frame less shower doors goes back to the 1970s. The idea was borne out of a need to make maintenance easier. Their lack of rubber and metal makes frame less bathrooms visually stunning. 

Most homeowners prefer tempered glass to make bathroom shower enclosures. This is because the material is extremely durable (more so than the standard window). Another reason why glass is preferred over other materials is that it looks more attractive and luxurious. 

Moreover, there is less chance of mold and other grime because the smooth glass surface doesn’t allow for spots where bacteria could accumulate.

Caution: Frame-less bathroom doors are at risk of getting chipped and broken. If you’re worried about this happening, it’s a good idea to buy sturdy aluminium framing as this will support the glass.

Choosing the Type of Glass

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the glass type:

  • Most experts agree that a 10mm glass is a durable, safe, and long-lasting option. 
  • Some vendors will offer thicker, 12mm variants of glass for a more luxurious look. However, most experts agree that 12mm glasses aren’t more safer than 10mm glass. If anything, it just adds a ton of weight and cost.
  • Thicker glass doors will need more support, which will add to your hardware costs.

Type of Bathroom Shower Door

There is a wide range of options when it comes to shower doors, beyond just choosing the type of material. 

Below are 3 shower door ideas:

1) Sliding Door: If you’re short on space, you should consider installing a sliding door. Unlike conventional doors don’t open outwards. Instead, they slide alongside the external wall when opened/closed. The only problem with sliding doors is that some of the water will spray outside. 

Make sure to install watertight panels to seal the shower door to prevent the water from leaking outside during use. It also helps that sliding doors are perhaps the hottest item in luxury bathroom design. A win-win situation for owners. 

2) Pivot Doors: Pivot-hung doors used to lack design options, but that has changed with hand-crafted designs that are custom-made to order. It is important for pivoting doors to have durable hinges that can withst and wear-and-tear as well as frequent water splashing. 

3) Hinged doors: They share many similarities with pivot doors, in that, the doors swing open. Hinged doors feature prominent hinges on the sides of the shower door, unlike pivot doors which conceal them. 

Where to Install the Shower Controls?

Most controls are installed in close proximity to the shower so there are high chances of walking right into the initial burst of water – it’s really not all that comfortable. Instead, an ideal location is to install the controllers in a place that you can access without going under the water. 

Consider installing controls outside the shower area. That’s always a good option. 

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Shower Head?

Gray steel shower head

Shower heads come in a variety of designs and features. You should choose a shower head based on spray types, finishes, and more importantly, water pressure levels.  

It’s just as important to consider where you’ll be installing the shower base. This information will be used to determine whether you need a wall or ceiling-mounted shower head. 

In this section, we’ll go over a few things you should be cognizant of when buying shower heads:

i) Rainshower heads: A low-flow nozzle pumps out water that mimics rainfall. Because the water is ejected in a controlled manner, rain shower heads are a water-saving option and very eco-friendly. 

ii) Handheld shower heads: The quintessential shower head, handheld shower heads feature a short hose that makes bathing more convenient. Handheld shower heads sit in the bracket attached to the bar, so you can use them as standard shower heads. 

iii) Adjustable shower heads: They’re more expensive due to the sheer number of spray options and water pressure levels. This device comes with a sliding bar that lets you adjust the height of the shower head.  

Spray Patterns

i) Rain: Features a low flow pattern that mimics the light pressure of rainfall.  

ii) Jet: Releases high-pressure water in concentrated streams. 


iii) Massage: A large number of pressure options, especially higher pressure that feels like a massage and relieves your muscles, especially the neck and shoulder area. 

Pro tip: Get your bathroom’s water pressures checked by an expert to avoid compatibility issues. If your bathroom has low water pressure levels, choose a low-flow shower head for the best results.

Bathroom Shower Mixer

Modern bathroom with shower and furniture outside

Simply put, a shower mixer is responsible for mixing the hot and cold water. It can also control the water pressure. 

i) Manual Mixer Shower: This type of shower is found in most bathrooms today. It mixes the hot and cold water when you shower. You can control the temperature of the flow using valve controls. Manual mixer showers are relatively straightforward to use and easy to install.  

ii) Thermostatic Mixer Shower: These mixers ensure a constant water temperature and volume that you can control based on your needs. They prevent scalding and increase safety for households with small children and senior citizens. Most thermostatic mixers can be controlled via a digital control panel. 

iii) Electric Bathroom Shower: Electric showers don’t require a hot water supply because they feature a built-in unit to heat cold water. There are a few disadvantages with electric showers. For starters, they may have a weaker water flow than other shower types.

Caution: Make sure electric showers are installed correctly for safety concerns. This means that the electric heating element must be contained within a fully sealed unit! Get in touch with your contractor to learn more.  

Unconventional Bathroom Shower Ideas

Bathroom wood furniture

You can turn the bathroom into a sanctuary of comfort by utilizing an unconventional shower design, tweaked to meet your preferences.

a) Concealed Bathroom Shower Head

If you’re big on minimalism, you might want to install a concealed shower. It is cleverly hidden using various design elements for a stunning visual effect. The most popular option is to install a shower head on the ceiling of the bathroom.

The water falls from the ceiling – imitating the relaxing feel of rainfall. Of course, there is a dizzying combination of design and stylistic options, including an option or built-in LED lighting for added charm. 

b) Exposed Rain bathroom Shower

Black showerhead installed on the wall instead of the ceiling

Much like the concealed shower head above, an exposed rain shower lets water fall from above your head. However, the exposed rain shower is installed on the wall instead of the ceiling. It’s like taking a shower during the rain. 

c) Waterfall Bathroom Showers

As the name suggests, waterfall showers mimic waterfall. Instead of shooting a jet of water at an angle, they are mounted overhead to simulate a top-down drenching effect – much like a waterfall.  To really mimic nature, you should choose natural stone such as marble and granite for the floor tiles.

Pro tip: Make sure there are holes all around the showerhead as well as in the middle for a full drenching effect. Some less expensive options only have holes around the diameter and won’t give you the effect you want. 

d) bathroom Shower Body Sprays

Body sprays are pretty much overkill when it comes to taking a shower, but they offer a vastly superior experience every time you step into the bathroom. Imagine strong jets of water hitting you from all sides for maximum impact. The heavy steams of water from all sides will supercharge you for the day.  

Keep in mind that these installations require some impressive plumbing to work effectively, this means carefully installing a pressure-balancing loop for best results. In most cases, body showers come with various flow settings, including a massage setting.  

Body sprays are great for sore muscles, pains, and ache – or if you prefer having a good massage in the comforts of your home. It’s a smart investment, provided you know how to place them. Get in touch with an experienced contractor for the best results.

Soap, Shampoo Bottles, and Essential Toiletries

Cosmetic supplies in bathroom shelf

No bathroom shower would be complete without a shelf to store essentials such as soap and shampoo bottles. Choose the shelves to accommodate your tallest bottles. You could fit niche shelving right into the wall for easy access. 

Pro tip: Use towels to add an extra pop of color and give your bathroom that standout look.   

Miscellaneous Options 

Over the years, designers have been busy with cool innovations that add both functionality as well as aesthetic appeal. 

Check out some of these unique options to further tailor your bathroom shower to your preferences.

i) LED Lighting 

To add more fun and color to your shower experience, why not go for an LED shower head? You can customize the color of the water flowing down. These LEDs are mostly powered by a battery that derives its energy from turbines and water flow. 

Pro tip: Don’t trade water pressure for a few LED lights. At the end of the day, the shower head should function just like a shower. So if you have to sacrifice water pressure for LED lights, it’s better to avoid the latter. 

ii) Bathroom Seating Ideas (optional but really cool!)

The bathroom doesn’t give you many options in terms of furniture. But if you’ve ever dreamed of having a place to sit and relax as the water pours down your body – then you need a seating option. Bathroom seating, such as a bench or stool are great places to start.

Consider installing a bench with the least ceiling height as it makes the bathroom more functional and enjoyable. If space is an issue, why not have a stool-like seat installed? Another bright idea is to install a  seat that can fold up to be out of the way when not in use – you’ve got endless options.  

When it comes to designing your bathroom shower, there are many small but vital things you can do to make your visions come to life. If you like the above guide, you might want to check out our section dedicated exclusively to bathroom design ideas! Click here for more articles like this.

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