"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Showers. Shower kits. Tub enclosures
Tiled showers are constructed from scratch on site. There are virtually no limits on size and shape of a tiled custom made shower. The shower floor can be tilled over a waterproof liner. Also available are one piece shower floors, better known as receptors. They are easy to install and provide a dependable leak-resistant shower floor.

Swinging (pivot) shower doors are usually used for small to medium sized showers. They can be "hinged" either left or right to provide easy access. Sliding or by-pass doors are ideal for mid to full size showers.

A Pressure balanced shower valve provides variable water pressure to a shower to prevent fluctuations in water temperature.
It is designed to maintain a constant water temperature despite pressure fluctuations in the hot and/or cold water supply such as when someone flushes the toilet (cold water) and you end up getting all hot water or turning on the dishwasher (hot water) and you end up getting all cold water.
Modern shower heads do more than just delivering water. They can be set to many different functions which may vary from brand to brand.

There is a wide array of options such as seating, shelves, grab bars, shower baskets, slide bars to adjust shower head height, shower hoses, shower lights, etc. etc.. Some of these accessories are built-in or can be added later.

Receptacles or electrical outlets should be at least 1.00 to 1.5 m. (3-5 feet) away from showers. Codes may differ from one jurisdiction to the next so if you are planning to add GFCI receptacles to a bathroom first check the local, provincial, state or national electrical code.

Showers - Overview

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Showers. Shower kits. Tub enclosures
What should be in a shower, or what accessories are available, is something you normally don't think about until it is time to replace or upgrade your shower. This article is a brief overview of what is available and what choices you  have.

You either take a bath or use the fixed or detachable shower head to take a shower. In order to prevent the water from splashing all over the bathroom you need a shower curtain or tub enclosure with sliding glass doors fastened to the front tub ledge.
Shower curtains are attached to a shower curtain rod near the ceiling. When taking a shower the curtain is tucked inside the tub to keep the water within. The curtain can also provide a certain degree of privacy when taking a bath, in which case the shower curtain is left hanging outside the tub. Some shower curtain designs have two curtains. The inside curtain is purely functional while the outer curtain is mainly decorative. Shower curtains are made from vinyl, plastic or fabric.

Stay away from cloth curtains. Once the waterproofing wears off they are susceptible to mildew and/or mold.

I never have been a great supporter for tub enclosures. Not only do they make a small bathroom look even smaller, they also are, sooner or later, bound to leak which could lead to structural damage and expensive repairs. The two vertical end jambs are fastened by drilling through the tiles. Plastic anchors, to hold the screws, are then hammered into the holes. The drawback of this installation is that should you decide to remove the tub enclosure the drilled holes become quite visible.
Use only silicone based caulking or bathtub and tile caulking to keep the bottom track in place.
Small bathrooms look even smaller than they are when the shower curtain is closed or when a glass tub enclosure with sliding doors has been installed. To make the small room look larger keep the shower curtain open when not being used. I would not recommend installing a tub enclosure. During my 28 years of inspecting homes I have seen a lot of structural damage caused by water due to faulty caulking, sealing or ill fitting doors. .

At one time when I was expecting several people to stay a few days at my house I decided to install an extra shower in the utility room located in the basement. To save myself a lot of time and work I purchased a complete shower unit made of fibre glass. The floor and walls were all made of one piece. The loose top was siliconed in place. The stall was located in a corner so the only wall I had to frame was a perfect place to accommodate the plumbing for the shower head and pressure balance shower valve. This valve prevents fluctuations in the set water temperature.

Tempered glass shower enclosure with swinging door

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