DIY Tips

Outdoor showers

19 February 2016

Australians love outdoor living. And why wouldn’t we when our climate is so glorious for most of the year. We have outdoor kitchens, living and dining rooms, so why not continue the trend with an outdoor shower?

16 tips to create the perfect outdoor shower

An outdoor shower can not only bring a beach feel to your backyard, it’s 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. You can even buy a solar heated outdoor shower from Bunnings.

Here’s how to create the perfect outdoor shower:

  1. Try to match the style of the outdoor shower to the house.
  2. Surround the shower with fragrant and colorful plantings – possibly in lieu of a more traditional privacy structure.
  3. Install lighting so you can enjoy the shower at night.
  4. Create a resort-feel by adding hooks for bathrobes, shelves or nooks filled with ocean-scented soaps and sea sponges.
  5. Add a waterproof MP3 player to enhance the mood with music.
  6. If you don’t want to install drainage, cover the floor with pebbles, bricks, or flat stones. (Check with your local council for restrictions.)
  7. 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.
  8. Hang a shatterproof mirror nearby.
  9. If you’re short on space, fix the showerhead to the side of the house at the end of a verandah.
  10. Don’t forget to include a waterproof bench so you can sit down to take off your togs.
  11. You need a firm, level surface that can withstand water and foot traffic. Good candidates include decks (even an upper-level deck, if water can drain), lawns, stone patios, stone paths, and gravel driveways.
  12. Choose a sunny area to keep mould at bay.
  13. You’ll need to connect to a water supply, so choose a spot close to a garden tap or hot and cold water pipes.
  14. Drainage can be as simple as a bed of pebbles or sloping grass or a drain connected to your stormwater.
  15. Make sure the floor surface is non-slip. Consider stone, tiles, concrete, timber, and pebbles.
  16. Make sure the water isn’t going to wreak havoc with nearby structures (such as your house). If it’s next to the house, consider waterproofing.



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