10 tips to create a relaxing outdoor shower
Outdoor showers are as much a part of the Australian beachscape as seagulls and ice cream vans. So why not bring a little bit of the beach into the backyard? An outdoor shower is ideal for rinsing off chlorinated or salty pool water without having to go indoors. It’s also a good way to clean up after mowing or gardening without walking mud through the house.
Setting up an outdoor shower can be as simple as rigging up a shower head with a hose attachment to a wall, adding a tub underneath to collect the water and turning on the tap. At the other end of the scale, it’s also possible to go high tech by plumbing in hot and cold water pipes and drainage.
Then there’s the issue of privacy. Unless you live on acreage, it’s probably a good idea to keep your cossie on or plant some shrubs to create a privacy screen.
Make sure the tapware is designed for outdoor use so it can withstand constant exposure to the elements. Some manufacturers make tapware and shower fittings specifically for outdoor use, including uncoated bare brass, which will become more attractive with age as verdigris changes its colour to moss green.
The English Tapware Company sells Perrin & Rowe outdoor showers, which are used in luxury holiday spots around the world, including Dolphin Island Resort Fiji, and Sandy Lane Resort & Spa in Barbados. Other Aussie companies include Rainware Outdoor Showers, OMG Outdoor Showers and Aquapole Shower Systems.
Here are some tips to create the perfect outdoor shower.
- It’s a good idea to try to match the style of the outdoor shower to the house.
- Surround the shower with fragrant and colorful plantings – possibly in lieu of a more traditional privacy structure.
- Make sure you can enjoy the shower at night by installing lighting.
- If you want to create a resort-feel, have some hooks for bathrobes, shelves or nooks filled with ocean-scented soaps and sea sponges.
- Add a waterproof MP3 player to enhance the mood with music.
- If you don’t want to install drainage, cover the floor with pebbles, bricks, or flat stones. (Check with your local council for restrictions.)
- Materials for a privacy screen (apart from some suitably tall shrubs) can include corrugated iron, lattice (covered with a climbing vine), stacked stone, timber, natural stone, concrete or fiberglass sheets.
- Hang a shatterproof mirror nearby.
- If you’re short on space, fix the showerhead to the side of the house at the end of a verandah.
- Don’t forget to include a waterproof bench so you can sit down to take off your togs.
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