The most important thing to do in a shower, hands down, is waterproof it. A lot of people mistakenly think that tiles and grout are waterproof, and that kind of thinking can lead to big problems. So before you install your tiles make sure you have a solid, waterproof foundation. Kerdi board is a material that can replace drywall in a shower surround because it has a waterproof membrane on either side with a foam core. It’s easy to cut to size and to cut out holes for the fixtures and fittings. Accessories made out of KERDI, including waterproofing strips, seamless corners, and pipe and mixing valve seals help complete the process to ensure that your shower or bath surround is fully waterproof and vapor tight. Be sure to check with your contractor that he or she is using a complete waterproofing system.
If you’ve got the space, installing a bench is a great way to provide extra safety and comfort, as well as add a spa-like element – particularly in a steam shower where you want to sit back and relax. The easiest way to include a built-in bench is to use either a prefabricated bench or if you need a more custom size, to make one using Kerdi board. It’s important to use something that is both strong enough to sit on and totally waterproof. That way you can tile it and be confident it will not deteriorate due to the amount of water it’s exposed to.
Maximize storage within your shower with an attractive recessed shower niche to hold the everyday necessities such as soap and shampoo. When you’re installing the waterproofing materials you can incorporate a prefabricated niche made of Kerdi that will fully integrate with the rest of the Kerdi system. Then you can tile over it and be sure it will be completely waterproof. Just make sure when you’re planning your shower design that the niche is not directly in the line of water flowing from the shower.
Frameless glass doors are superior to shower curtains for a few reasons. They’re splash proof, they have great ROI (return on investment), and they make bathrooms look much bigger than they really are. They remove the visual obstruction of the curtain and make the room feel open and airy. (Keep in mind this only applies to clear glass – textured glass will make the space feel like it has an extra wall.)
Including both a rainhead and handshower allows for maximum flexibility. While rainshowers don’t necessarily see a great return on investment, they’re a luxury item that is becoming more and more common. So if you’re already going for a high-end look and feel then a rain shower is a nice addition. And while most people don’t give too much thought to their shower drain, keep in mind that a linear drain is a nice touch in modern bathrooms, and it’s a particularly nice way to reinforce the streamlined aesthetic of a curbless shower.
In Andrew’s basement we added a luxury touch without a luxury price tag. Andrew really wanted a steam shower but it simply wasn’t in the budget. So he opted to bring the glass shower door all the way up to the ceiling in order to hold in the steam. An adjustable vent at the top allows for a quick release of steam without having to open the door. If you’re considering something similar, you’ll want to waterproof and tile the entire area, including the ceiling, to ensure the enclosure is well-protected against mold and mildew.
Don’t be afraid to call your municipality’s permit office to discuss your project. They can help you understand the process and make it run smoother.