By Lucy Searle published
Whether you are searching for shower room ideas for a shower-only space or for the corner of a larger family bathroom, having a good-looking, really well-functioning showering space in your bathroom is usually a high priority.
Shower room design needs careful thought: how big should the shower area be; will it be in an enclosed cubicle or behind a screen; will it be more of a wet room; which will you use a shower curtain; will there be a bench...? The list of bathroom ideas goes on – what you choose might be inspired by the stylish shower room ideas we've listed below.
Shower room ideas
With frameless glass panelling, low-level shower trays, bold brassware and a wide variety of tiling options available, it is easier than ever to create a shower room design that suits both your style and needs.
1. Creat a spa shower room with a walk-in
If you are looking for sophisticated shower room ideas that wouldn't look out of place in an upmarket spa, but want to keep your cubicle enclosed, choosing a shower with a no- or low-profile tray is a great idea.
Walk-in shower ideas look much more luxurious when the cubicle itself is generously sized, so if you have the space without compromising the rest of the room, make it easily comfortable for the largest member of the family.
'If you need to save some space, make the shower cubicle wide but shallow – or narrower and long – ensuring the shower head is positioned centrally. This will still create the feeling of a roomy showering space, even if it's compromised on one side,' advises H&G's Editor in Chief Lucy Searle.
2. Work a wet room into your shower room design
If space in a shower room design is really compromised, you can save space with wet room ideas. This open approach to the shower area optimizes space and improves accessibility in your bathroom.
Ensuring the shower tile ideas on walls and floors complement each other – they don't need to match – will enhance that much-needed feeling of space.
3. Pick a sophisticated finish for small spaces
If you're looking for impactful shower design for a small bathroom, consider eye-catching wall finishes and stand-out fittings for good looks that don't take up any space.
High-end bathroom fitting designs now feature matte-black, nickel and brushed brass fixtures, which look even more luxurious when paired with dark finishes in shower rooms. We’ve also seen terrazzo, as shown above, re-emerging as a popular bathroom trend.
4. Ensure shower room storage is spot on
The best shower room ideas include plenty of scope for storage, however awkward the space. If you are installing a shower enclosure into an alcove of your bathroom, think about how you could maximize the rest of the space.
Here, rather than fit the enclosure across the full width of the narrow room, consideration has been given to bathroom storage. Bespoke floor-to-ceiling shelving can house toiletries, towels and any decorative pieces where standard-size storage may not fit.
5. Make space for seating in a shower room
It's not often that we think 'comfort' when researching shower room ideas. But, making space for seating within your shower room design is not only a just, but easy, too.
You can opt for built-in shower bench ideas or freestanding designs – what you choose will really depend on the look you like, the budget and the layout of your space. However, if you want to maximize those spa bathroom ideas, built-in seating like that above will give you the most luxurious appeal.
6. Choose a curtain for a vintage shower room design
Whether you're going for a casual enclosure or an over-bath shower, it's worth considering shower curtain ideas. More than ever before, shower curtains come in a range of beautiful designs but, of course, you can copy the concept of this space: a plain shower curtain hidden behind a more decorative one.
7. Pick stand out fittings to complement the whole space
Traditional shower room ideas can be given a modern update with an on-trend matte-black finish.
Make sure to look out for designs with thermostatic valves, which maintain a safe and constant temperature and have a shut-off safety function to prevent nasty scalding.
Having both an overhead and a handheld shower is useful, too.
8. Choose luxurious finishes for a luxury appeal
Marble bathroom ideas are often found in five-star hotels and spas as this most beautiful of materials provides a sophisticated look and comes in large formats. If you are specifying marble in your shower, make sure you add an anti-slip coating to the floor.
8. Double up on shower heads
If you are looking for shower room ideas for a large space, side-by-side or face-to-face overhead showers add a sense of luxury – whether you want to share or simply have more room to move is up to you. An enclosure with a central opening minimizes the risk of water escaping.
9. Plan shower room ideas to perfection
When you are planning shower room ideas for your bathroom, make sure you consider the plumbing requirements of your design.
'If you are remodelling your bathroom, remember that the existing hot and cold water supplies may need extending,' advises Martin Carroll, managing director of Duravit.
'The waste pipes will also need to be carefully planned so they connect into the existing system, and you may need new central heating pipework for any additional radiators or towel rails. Don’t forget to allow for the boxing-in of surface-run pipework so that it’s neatly concealed,' he adds.
11. Choose the best shower door system
When considering how to choose a shower that will be right for your space, there are a few options to weigh up.
'There are three main categories; a pivot door type with conventional hinges, sliding doors, and a simple walk-in set-up without doors at all,' says Phil Etherden, managing director of The Albion Bath Company.
'Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, always look to choose a shower head that matches your water system,' he adds. 'As a simple rule-of-thumb, lower pressure requires a smaller head.'
12. Zone your shower room design with tiles
One of the most important shower room ideas concerning its aesthetics is zoning. You can define your shower room by tiling the wet zone in a different format to the rest of the space. Why do this? It creates visual interest in what can sometimes be a bland space in terms of color.
If you are designing a new shower room, consider boxing in new pipework for a sleek finish. By building out from the original wall, you can also create recessed shelving to house shampoo bottles within the showering space.
13. Choose an inventive shower room wall decor design
Stylish shower room ideas can include inventive wall materials to serve up something really different. This can be as simple as wood-look porcelain tiles that are convincing but waterproof and practical, or something more inventive, such as this special technique covering by Wall&Deco.
Made from printed fiberglass, it is suitable for humid interiors, such as shower rooms, kitchens and even home gyms.
14.Include shower room lighting in your plans
Bathroom lighting ideas are an important part of any scheme, and lighting must have the right degree of water protection within a shower room.
'The suitability of any light for bathroom use – wall light or pendant – depends on its rating,' explains Charlie Bowles, director of Original BTC. Proximity to splashing is also important. 'If the light will be within 60cm of a basin, bath or shower enclosure (zone 2), choose a light rated to guard against spray and condensation.'
If the light is further than 60cm from a bath or shower enclosure (un-zoned), you can go for a lower rating. If the lights are to be located over or in the shower (zone 1), they’ll need to be of the highest rating. Always ensure a qualified electrician is consulted early on to get this right.
How do you plan a shower room?
How you plan a shower room will depend on the size on your space. You should firstly consider whether you want a complete shower enclosure, or would prefer a walk-in or wet room design.
'Once you've decided on one of these options, take a look at the range of shower trays, shower floors, shower screens and enclosures available, the different sizes to suit your situation, and whether you have the space for additional areas such as a sink and or vanity area,' says Nicholas Cunild, managing director of Matki.
After you have established what can fit in the space, you can then pick out finishes and colors of brassware and tiles that will suit your style.
What tiles are best for a shower room?
Non-slip tiles are best for a shower room – in fact, they are a pretty essential requirement for all shower room ideas.
Check the level of slip resistance of your tiles before purchasing. If you do not wish to tile the whole space, wall panelling can be a practical alternative to traditional tiles.
'Wall panelling can help you achieve a high design look,' explains Steph Harris, product manager for Showerwall. It allows you to reflect the latest bathroom trends such as terrazzo, maximalist prints and large veined luxury marble. And at the same time it offers all of the convenience of a smooth, grout free, high performance surface that’s hygienic and easy to clean and maintain.
'Even the popular metro tile finish can even be achieved through bathroom wall panelling, thanks to the broad scope of designs now available. Large format panelling is easier to keep clean, plus it’s faster and more straightforward to install than small format tiles,' she says.
My first job was writing a DIY column for a magazine for the over 50s (which seemed a long way off back then). I then moved to a DIY magazine as deputy ed, then freelanced my way around the homes departments of most women's magazines on the market before working on Your Home and Family Circle magazines as homes editor. From there, I went to Ideal Home magazine as associate editor, then launched 4Homes magazine for Channel 4, then the Channel 4 4Homes website before going back to freelancing and running a social media business (you can see where I had kids from the freelancing gaps!). I was tempted back to the world of big business by the chance to work with the great team at Realhomes.com, where I was Global Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years, taking it from a small website to a global entity. I've now handed the reins of the website to our American managing editor, while I take on a new challenge as Editor-in-Chief of Homes & Gardens.
Best mattress protector: 10 options that have your back
Prolong the life of your mattress with the best mattress protectors to block moisture, allergens, and more from reaching your mattress
By Jaclyn Turner • Published
Shower floor ideas – 10 looks, layouts and colors for a shower room
Our curated selection of the best shower floor ideas explores texture, design and color palettes
By Sophie Warren-Smith • Published