An outdoor shower can be a great asset to your exterior space and lifestyle. Use it to wash away the sand after a surf or the chlorine after a pool dip. Or simply, use it as an outdoor bathroom when the weather is warm.

Tips for planning an outdoor shower

A shower outdoors can be as basic as tapware and a shower head installed on a back wall of the house, or something more elaborate and integrated into your exterior space. Here are our top tips for planning one in your garden:

1. Choose a style that suits your setting

Choosing a style is one of the first things you should look at when planning an outdoor space.

When choosing your shower design, consider your surrounding garden and the architecture. A well-designed shower is integrated into the outdoor space and has a similar look. A simple way to seamlessly connect this feature is to pick up on some of the finishes or colours of the home. For example, you may choose to surround your shower with a wall using stone that features in the architecture, or lay the same tiles surrounding your pool.

You may also want your shower to marry well with the style of garden. A Balinese-style shower will work well in a tropical garden setting, whereas a more streamlined design with traditional tapware would suit a classic garden.

2. Consider the environmental impact

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Poolside outdoor shower by Harrison’s Landscaping featuring Eco Outdoor Howqua® walling

As with anything outdoors, taking into account the environmental impact on your shower is essential if you want it to last. For example, if you live in a coastal area, you’ll need to consider the impact of the salty sea air on the shower’s componentry. Install unsuitable fixtures and you’re likely to experience rust and corrosion.

A key factor when planning an outdoor shower is to consider the performance of your finishes. If you’re thinking about fixtures such as copper, chrome and powder-coated steel, compare their performance against rain, wind, dust, dirt and UV.

3. Select the right location

Establishing the right location for your shower is another crucial step in the planning process and will greatly depend on how you wish to use it. If it’s for washing off after a trip to the beach, you’ll want to position your shower near the entrance to your property or house. Installing the shower close to your pool or near direct access to the house is ideal if you’re wanting to create an outdoor bathroom.

It’s also worth considering the sun exposure of your chosen location. Installing a shower in a place that lacks sunlight may not be as appealing as one drenched in sunshine, as it will make for a very chilly wash.

4. Consider the plumbing and drainage

Having access to existing plumbing will make installing a shower outdoors relatively easy and cost-effective. For those who are looking to create an outdoor bathroom, hot water may be on your list of requirements. You’ll also need to ensure there is adequate drainage. This may require creating a gentle fall, using a permeable surface or installing a drain. For those who are looking for a shower with all the mod-cons, consider your access to power if you want to install lighting.

5. Consider access

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Outdoor shower by Lockyer Architects accessed by Eco Outdoor Bluestone steppers

Walking to an outdoor shower across lawn, gravel or dirt isn’t ideal. Creating a pathway that is pleasant to walk on and won’t leave you with muddy feet is essential. If you’re wanting to integrate the space into your garden, organically shaped steppers can be effective. Alternatively, you could extend your paving surface or timber decking to your shower area for a seamless finish.

6. Create adequate privacy

If you’re simply installing a shower outside to wash off after a swim, privacy won’t be such a dominating factor. However, if you’re creating an outdoor bathroom, screening the space from the rest of your house and the neighbours will be a high priority.

You can create privacy through greenery as there are plenty of plants that will effectively screen the area. You could also create a frame for a creeper to grow natural coverage. Alternatively, you can create a solid wall the full height or half the height of your shower space. Just consider the impact a built structure has on light and airflow.

Feature image: Outdoor shower by Bower Architecture featuring Eco Outdoor Bondi Cotto Zellige™ Tiles