13 outdoor shower ideas to add a useful yet luxurious addition to your yard

These outdoor shower ideas will add a practical yet luxurious design element to your backyard – even the smallest of spaces can benefit from one

Outdoor shower ideas
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball/Frank Greenwald Architect & Bruce Buck/Davey Lighting)

If you're searching for a way to elevate your backyard, outdoor shower ideas are one of those rare additions that combine practicality with luxury. Whether you integrate your outdoor shower with a bath or keep it simple, there are plenty of ways to design a striking space.

A luxurious addition to your yard, outdoor bathroom ideas come in all styles and sizes, but if you want something more simple or space-saving, an outdoor shower is a wonderful option. Whether you introduce a sleek, contemporary scheme or opt for decorative outdoor shower tiles, there are plenty of design elements to consider.

However, with so many outdoor shower ideas available, it is important to choose the right design, installation process, and plumbing for your space and needs. Here, we've asked interior designers for their favorite outdoor shower ideas to inspire your space.

13 outdoor shower ideas for 2024

Adding a practical and luxurious element to your yard, it's no surprise outdoor showers are becoming a popular backyard feature. Whether you are looking for an outdoor shower to partner with your pool ideas or are looking for a way to cool off after sunbathing in your courtyard garden, an outdoor shower is an invaluable addition.

1. Color drench an outdoor shower in a subtle hue

Outdoor shower color drenched in a muted pink color

(Image credit: Davey Lighting)

Nowadays, outdoor shower ideas can be just as aesthetic as they are functional. Instead of sticking to neutrals, why not inject a muted color to add a touch of interest and personality to the space?

A pretty yet subtle pink shade has been used in this outdoor shower scheme, color-drenched across the walls, tiles, and floors. The space feels warm and inviting, but because the shade of pink is more paired-back, it still feels in-keeping with the natural elements of the yard.

2. Create a cubical to channel holiday chic

wooden outdoor shower enclosure in garden with grass between pavers

(Image credit: Architecture: Frank Greenwald Architect/Photography: Bruce Buck)

For the perfect mix of privacy and elegance, a purpose-built wooden chalet gets the gold star when it comes to outdoor shower ideas. Instantly invoking holiday chic, this dual-temperature water shower provides the perfect place to wash off after a trip to the beach or cool off on a hot summer's day.

'The practicality of this wooden shower enclosure gives easy access off sandy beaches and serves as a dual-purpose shower and changing area. When designing outdoor shower ideas, the materials should sustain the natural elements. While an Ipe wood enclosure and stainless-steel shower fittings prove to be outdoor performance materials, they also create an environment that’s pleasing and inspiring for the mind, body, and soul,' explains Zuni Madera from Foley & Cox Interiors, who designed this space.

A solid structure is a great option if you are overlooked and want to maintain the utmost privacy. However, if you want to create a secluded area without building a structure, plants are your best friend. Simply pair your favorite of the best privacy hedges and the best privacy shrubs with a few trees for privacy and you'll be well on your way to creating a botanical oasis.

3. Create a green oasis around your outdoor shower with plants

outdoor shower surrounded by planting

(Image credit: Alamy)

We all know that plants are an integral part of wellness bathroom ideas, but outdoor shower ideas take this to a new level. When planting around your shower, you need to be conscious of waterlogging.

‘For water-absorbing areas consider big-leaved rodgersias, astilbes, ligularias, Lobelia tupa, Eupatorium cannabium and Filipendula ulmaria. Be aware that heavily used showers lead to significant localized water-logging in summer when plant roots are vulnerable to lack of oxygen, so it will need careful planning if the plants are to thrive,’ says Guy Barter, RHS chief horticulturalist.

Plant in well-draining compost and factor in drainage channels to prevent pooling. Don't be afraid of planting too many plants – more plants mean more drainage, which is essential if you're using your shower often.

If you start to notice that the compost is appearing water-logged consider supplementing with additional drainage methods, too.

4. Dress the space with natural stone

Exterior natural stone shower cubical

(Image credit: Future)

Stone is a popular choice for indoor shower floor ideas and it works well for outdoor showers, too. However, there are lots of different stone flooring types so finding the right one for your specific set of needs is key.

'High-density limestone can be a great surface as it does not retain heat like many other stones, but it is sensitive to acids and cleaners. Granite is very durable but will get very hot in sunlight. Basalt does not build up heat like granite but is almost as durable,’ explains Dustin Moore, chief at STRATA Landscape Architecture.

'We have used some porcelain pavers for showers as they are almost stain-proof. The main drawback is they can get hot in the sun,' he adds. This outdoor shower has a very natural, rustic feel to it, so it blends beautifully in an outdoor setting.

5. Add a privacy screen with slatted wood

Outdoor shower painted pink with a wooden slatted privacy screen

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

No one will blame you for wanting a little bit of privacy while you use your outdoor shower. However, introducing large walls and installations can look out of place in an open-plan yard space, and it will inevitably block any sunlight reaching the area.

Instead, opt for a slatted wood panel, like in this outdoor shower. It creates an element of privacy without creating a large visual divide. keeping the privacy screen relatively low allows plenty of sunlight to infiltrate the space, and the beautiful pink wall can really shine.

6. Select a durable design to withstand the elements

Outdoor shower on stone beach house

(Image credit: Future)

Durability is key when it comes to choosing your fixtures and fittings. ‘Indoor grades of stainless steel are not up to external use and will oxidize and rust,’ says Lucinda Lewis, director at Ingarden.

‘If adding outdoor shower ideas to a coastal garden, the 316 marine-grade stainless steel is the best; for inland, however, 304 outdoor-grade stainless steel is sufficient. Copper is also good for outdoor showers and has a beautiful aesthetic that ages with time,' she explains.

This outdoor shower has blended the durable stainless steel with plenty of natural textures such as stone and wood, so it feels in-keeping with the surroundings.

7. Design an outdoor shower next to a pool

freestanding shower on wooden decking

(Image credit: Future)

If you simply want to rinse off before you get in the pool or before you go back to the lounger, then a cold shower offers the perfect solution.

This wooden deck idea has a concrete base and the outdoor shower is designed so that it can be plugged directly into the garden hose making for easy installation and use. Plus, the gaps in the decking provide ample drainage into the green wildflower garden beyond, reducing the risk of water pooling in a specific spot.

Don't forget shower storage ideas either. Here, a bench and hook provide the perfect spots for hanging your towel and placing bathing essentials. The simplicity of this design ensures the views of the beautiful rural landscape remain uninterrupted.

8. Install a hot outdoor shower for versatile bathing

outdoor shower in wooden enclosure

(Image credit: Pfau Long Architecture/Perkins&Will)

If you have decided that cold outdoor shower ideas are not for you, then you’ll be thrilled to know that they can be plumbed to run hot as well as cold. This will require professional assistance and will work better if attached to the house or close to the property.

‘Warm water is wonderful to have for outdoor showers and can be as easy as tapping into the domestic hot water from the residence if it is close. For more remote showers, we have installed instantaneous water heaters near the shower,' explains Melanie Turner, director of residential design for Pfau Long Architecture.

Alternatively, for a more straightforward approach that will add to your sustainable garden ideas, a solar panel can be used to heat the water in the summer months.

9. Go for a wooden outdoor shower floor

Water running from shower tap fitting in outdoor shower with wooden screens

(Image credit: Alamy)

A popular alternative to tile or stone flooring is wood, whether that’s on a decking or purpose-built flooring. If opting for wood, choose a decking board that is designed for use outside.

Just as when looking for pool deck ideas, opt for a ridged design which will help to reduce the risk of slipping when wet. You can also use a non-slip Decking Oil such as Hope's 100% Pure Tung Oil on Amazon.

Wooden flooring also looks great in an outdoor shower, offering a nod to the natural environment. However, it is worth noting that wooden decking will need maintenance over time.

10. Ensure there is sufficient drainage

outdoor shower

(Image credit: Atkin Atelier)

Drainage is essential. Without the correct drainage system in place, your shower area will quickly flood, gather debris, and prove unusable. While this might sound complicated, the reality is surprisingly straightforward.

At its simplest, you can design your outdoor shower so that the greywater soaks into the ground. ‘In moderation, where few people will shower and only occasionally in dry, warm weather, the resultant soap-and-shampoo-laced water will not harm the soil,’ explains Guy.

‘It would be wise in this case to consult the local authority building inspector via the planning department and also the environment agency if the shower is near ditches, lakes, ponds, or rivers. In some circumstances, soakaways might be permissible,' he adds.

However, where this is not possible, more complex drainage will be required. ‘Where the shower generates significant run-off it would be prudent to collect this and direct it to the septic tank or the sewage system,’ advises Guy.

11. Locate your outdoor shower on a property wall

shower attached to the wall of a property

(Image credit: Bert & May Tiles/Design by Jessica Alken-Theasby/Photography by Alexander J Collins)

Just as when installing a water feature, the location of your outdoor shower ideas will be partially dictated by your pipework. Most people don't have an existing water supply throughout their garden, so choosing a location that is easy to plum will make the process much simpler.

‘The best and easiest place to install your shower would be on the kitchen or bathroom outer wall so you can simply run the hot and cold pipes outside without much disruption. The general rule is that the closer the shower is to your house, the easier the plumbing work will be,’ says Rikki Fothergill, style expert at Big Bathroom Shop.

12. Opt for a playful design

surfboard outdoor shower

(Image credit: Strand Boards)

If your shower is going alongside a pool or is to be a visible area of your patio, then aesthetics are everything. If you want to create a beachy vibe, then why not opt for an eye-catching surfboard shower, like this one from Strand Boards.

'Strand Boards are a beautiful addition to the garden, plus they are easy to install as the plumbing is integrated inside the surfboard. All you have to do is hang it up, connect the lines, and enjoy showering. The surfboard showers are fully customizable with color, logo, and components!' says Samantha Greene from Strand Boards.

13. Pair your outdoor shower with a bath for instant luxury

white bath with shower on a wooden deck pation surrounded by tropical plants

(Image credit: Victoria + Albert)

Outdoor shower ideas aren't solely standing spaces – integrating your outdoor bathtub and shower can create a relaxing, tranquil space. Plus, it's fairly easy to add a fully functioning bath to your backyard ideas.

'An outside bath is likely to be a regular treat rather than a daily event, so you’ll want to indulge in a long soak when you do use it. Sit (and lie) in the bath before you buy it,' explains Emma Joyce, brand manager, House of Rohl.

Decide whether you still want your shower connected at the wall so you can stand and shower, or if you're happy with a hand-held shower head – a hand-held option is more versatile, but it really depends on how you plan

Can you hook up an outdoor shower to a hose?

Yes, you can hook up an outdoor shower to a hose. If you just want a cool place to rinse off or to shower off the chemicals from the pool, then this is an ideal solution. There are many kits available online that simply attach to an outdoor tap or hose and mean you don’t need to concern yourself with outdoor plumbing.

Is it expensive to put in an outdoor shower?

Pricing varies depending on the style and position, from a simple cold outdoor hose attachment – the cheapest option – to a fully integrated shower enclosure with both hot and cold water.

'The cost of an outdoor shower can vary widely depending on the type of shower you choose and the materials used. Simple and basic showers can cost as little as $200, while more complex and elaborate showers can cost up to $5,000,' reveals Henna Bell from Gardeninghood.

It’s important to consider your budget when shopping for an outdoor shower and look for one that fits both your design and functional needs,' she adds.

There are plenty of outdoor shower ideas to inspire your own design. Whether you opt for a simple shower head attached to an exterior wall or something more decorative filled with color and a variety of materials, there are so many ways to create this handy backyard addition.

Holly Reaney
Content Editor and Sub-editor

Having graduated with a first class degree in English Literature, Holly started her career as a features writer and sub-editor at Period Living magazine, Homes & Gardens' sister title. Working on Period Living brought with it insight into the complexities of owning and caring for period homes, from interior decorating through to choosing the right windows and the challenges of extending. This has led to a passion for traditional interiors, particularly the country-look. Writing for the Homes & Gardens website as a content editor, alongside regular features for Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors magazines, has enabled her to broaden her writing to incorporate her interests in gardening, wildlife and nature. 

With contributions from