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7 Shower Types Explained (with Pictures)

If you are building a home or simply remodling a bathroom look no further than this article to tell you all you need to know about your shower from shower heads to types of doors and much more!

Bathroom with large shower enclosed with glass doors, wood slats on floor and gray rectangular shapes tiles, large rain shower head

If you’re renovating your home, one of the best bathroom renovations is to update your existing shower. There are many different types of bathroom showers that can either improve the style of your existing bathroom, or that can function as a second stand-alone shower. It’s important to keep in mind all style elements, such as the shower head, bathroom shower door, and bathroom shower dimensions when choosing your next custom shower. Fortunately, we’ve done the work and gathered the best types of bathroom showers for any type of bathroom renovation!

Different Types of Bathroom Showers

Bathroom with white subway tiles on the walls and part of the shower, other half of shower wall and floor has a decorative tile with differetn patterns, walk in shower, one peice of glass separating the shower from the toilet

If you’re looking for the best types of showers, shower heads, and shower towers, read on below to see our list of the most unique and best types of body shower setups for your bathroom! Consider the style, ease of installation, and also the price when looking at these different options.

Custom Showers

Custom showers are exactly what they sound like, that is, showers that have been made specifically to your design. A custom shower can incorporate various types of style elements, such as custom shower valve designs, shower heads, lighting, seating, steam shower head, and even music play.

However, it’s important to understand that making a custom shower requires various different types of permits. For instance, a custom shower might need to have specific water pressure settings, have shower walls be protected from moisture, and have shower floor linings that are waterproof among other things.

For this reason, it’s best to get the help of a contractor to not only design, but also follow proper regulations for your custom shower. For many home designs with a previously built shower, chances are these permits have already been taken care of, so it’s important to get professional help if you plan on renovating your bathroom or building a new home.

Prefabricated Showers

Bathroom with cream tile floors, cherry wood cabinets and a prefabricated shower

Prefabricated showers are some of the best choices for people that are short on time, that want a shower with lots of additional features, and that don’t mind following instructions to build their own showers.

The term “prefabricated shower” might make you think that this type of shower is delivered straight to your door. However, many times, a prefabricated shower will need to be built and hooked into your water lines using specific instructions and guidance. This job is best reserved for two people.

On the positive side, a prefabricated shower is an excellent choice to transform any room into a spare or luxury bathroom. For instance, if you’re planning on turning a space into a luxury spa or a spare guest bathroom, prefabricated showers have the ability to fit into any space, must like custom showers, and offer a wealth of design features.

In addition, prefabricated showers can be easily bought online and delivered straight to your home or construction site! However, the materials are much lighter and have less complex design elements than custom showers. For instance, you might get a shower wall made out of PVC and a shower floor with standard molding rather than a fancy tiled design. On the plus side, prefabricated showers have many additional features such as rainfall shower head designs, custom lighting, TV and entertainment hookups, and they can even incorporate hot tubs into their design.

Tub and Shower Combo

Small bathroom with shower and bathtub combination, gray tiles with white grout in shower

According to the National Association of Home Builders, a whopping 74% of people in the United States that were surveyed wanted a tub and shower combo as one of the primary features of the bathroom! Keep this in mind if you’re planning on renovating your bathroom in order to sell your home later on. This type of shower set up is one of the most popular due to the many benefits of having a combined tub and shower.

If, for instance, you love to soak and want to unwind after a long day, having a tub allows you to enjoy the many benefits of bubble baths and hot baths. Taking baths and spa treatments is, of course, impossible with traditional walk-in showers.

In addition, a tub and bathroom shower combination is a great way to bathe smaller children. Using a tub allows you to make sure your child is safe and under a watchful eye, and also allows them to enjoy the feeling of the water and calm their anxiety.

Overall, this bathroom shower combination is one of the best for the everyday family that has many members of the home in all age ranges. However, we don’t recommend this type of shower if you have older adults or people with disabilities in the home that cannot easily get in and out of a tub.

Electric Showers

Close up of an electric shower, water coming out of shower head

Electric showers are now starting to gain more traction and popularity! An electric shower is a type of bathroom shower design that incorporates a sleek, electrical unit onto your shower wall. You might think that this type of bathroom shower setup is dangerous, but on the contrary, it is quite safe since the electric heating element is safely behind an encased water-proof unit.

An electric shower system can be placed inside of a walk in shower, a corner shower, or virtually any type of shower unit you can think of. They are placed directly onto the wall and function as both the temperature control and water pressure control. Electric showers work by heating the water as it comes into your shower. This means you will never run out of hot water, such as with a traditional tank water heater system, and you can experience hot water even during the colder months.

An electric shower will heat up the water, which then travels to the water head, and is released according to the temperature setting. For hot water, there will be less water flow since it takes more time to heat up the water. On the other hand, for cold water supply, there will be more water flow since there’s not a lot of energy used to heat up the water. The great thing about an electric shower system is that you can get hot and cold water during virtually any time of year, and you can save money as well! That’s because it takes less electricity than gas to heat up your water.

Thermostatic Shower

Thermostatic Shower

A thermostatic shower is an advanced type of bathroom shower system that allows people to set the temperature beforehand so that it stays at a constant temperature. If you’ve ever showered only to find the water getting suddenly hot or suddenly cold, you know how uncomfortable this can be.

With a thermostatic shower, you don’t need to worry about sudden changes in the hot and cold water supply, or the temperature of the water. This is one of the best set ups for people that want to prevent scalding and burning injuries, or who have a less-than-stellar water setup that is prone to changes in temperature. Just like a manual mixer shower, you also have the option of adjusting the shower temperature settings in case you want to change the setting of the thermostatic shower.

You can combine a thermostatic shower with a multi setting shower head for the best experience, so you can enjoy the actual settings of the shower head without needing to worry about any changes in temperature.

Corner Shower Enclosures

Bathroom with white walls, small single sink vanity with white counter and gray cabinets, small corner shower with a glass door and white and gray tile

Corner enclosure showers are exactly what they sound like, that is, walk in showers designed to fit into a smaller corner of the bathroom. A corner enclosure shower is a great option for people with smaller bathrooms that need to make use of all the space available to them, or people that want a minimalist design to their restroom.

Fortunately, although they might be small, many corner bathroom showers have a variety of features that make it functional, stylish, and incredibly valuable to any home. Your corner shower might come with power jets, have a single shower tower that is sleek and allows you to have full control from a single control panel, or even a rain shower so you can enjoy a tropical feeling in your enclosed shower.

There are also many prefabricated showers that utilize corner design elements. You can easily install these prefabricated showers into a single corner of your bathroom. The most important thing to remember about these types of showers is that you need to make sure it is getting adequate ventilation. If it is stuck in a corner of the room with little circulation, talk to your contractor about adding a vent or other options to prevent moisture from damaging your bathroom.

Walk in Showers

Beautiful custom bathroom with black and white marble tile on floor and walls, walkin shower with built in bench seat and black fixtures and rain shower heads, large stand alone bathtub near shower

Walk-in showers were once the epitome of luxury, but they are becoming more and more popular nowadays. Walk in shower designs can come in all shapes and sizes. However, as the name suggests, a walk in shower is named so because a person only needs to step inside in order to access their shower space, unlike stepping into a tub. The best thing about walk-in showers is that you can have enough space to sit down, unlike in a tub shower combo. You can also have a variety of features, such as a steam shower room.

Walk-in showers are also a great option for people that want a shower stall where they can easily move in and out of. In fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission of the United States, slips and falls due to getting in and out of tubs was the most common bathroom injury, right next to scalding water. This makes walk in shower designs the best choice for older adults, and you can add even more convenience to them by adding a sliding door, adding traction pads to the bathroom floor, and incorporating handrails.

In addition, walk-in showers also allow you to have enough shower space to add body jets, so you can truly feel like you are enveloped in luxury!

Shower Shapes and Sizes

Of course, not all showers come in the same shapes and sizes. Depending on the size of your bathroom, you can have a custom shower built for a smaller or larger bathroom! Below are some of the most popular sizes and shapes for shower designs.

Standard Shower Sizes

Man in blue hat and shirt wearing orange work gloves, measuring the inside of a shower that is under construction

Believe it or not, there is a standard shower size for the home, which is approximately 36 by 36 inches, or 3 feet by 3 feet. Of course, you might often see showers much larger than this. In the case of a tub and shower combination, the size of the shower will be the size of the tub. The average size of a bathtub is around 60 inches long by 30 inches wide.

It’s important to keep in mind that these are only standard shower sizes to keep in compliance with an ADA shower. If you live in an extremely tiny cabin or even inside of an RV, you might have a shower that’s even smaller, as low as 30 by 30 inches to still remain in compliance with ADA standards.

To determine the size of the shower you’ll need, get help from a contractor who can measure your bathroom and find out the best dimensions for your bathroom and shower needs. For instance, if you have smaller children, or someone with a disability lives in your home, then having a larger shower might be beneficial to allow for more accessibility.

Rectangular Shower Enclosures

Bathroom with white walls, shower with glass doors, off white ceramic tiles and black shower head, window letting in natural light

Rectangular shower enclosure designs are some of the most popular. In these designs, the bathroom shower door or entrance will make up the smaller width of the enclosure, while the longer side of the shower will be dedicated to the length of the shower itself.

Unlike the name suggests, these shower enclosures aren’t fully enclosed. This means their enclosure doesn’t extend all the way to the ceiling of the shower. Rather, there is usually a gap in the enclosure to allow for air circulation. This type of rectangular shower stall works well for all bathroom shower dimensions, types of designs, and sizes.

Corner Showers

Unique bathroom with gray concrete looking floor and floating counter with 2 white bowl sinks and silver faucets, small corner shower with wood like material on floor and walls inside, framed in with glass and black metal

For small bathrooms, corner showers are a great option to create your own unique, serene escape. Unlike rectangular shower enclosures, corner showers are smaller and can be fully enclosed.

Many corner showers have a wealth of features, such as a rainfall shower head, steam shower options, and even individual seating. While they aren’t a good option for people that want enough space to store a lot of items, they are a good choice for people that want a shower that has full capabilities without needing tons of space for installation.

Shower Heads

Close up of a large stainless steel rain shower head, water coming out

Just like there are different types of shower designs that work well for any bathroom, there are also different shower heads that can complete the look of your shower or bathroom. Shower heads are one of the first things people notice about your shower and bathroom, next to the tile design! Shower heads are also the most essential component of the shower, since they provide the water flow and water pressure that you need to relax and get clean.

Below are some of the best shower head options for you to consider to install into your new shower or bathroom design.

Fixed Shower Head

Man installing a fixed shower head into a shower with large white tile walls

A fixed shower head is a type of shower head that is secured directly onto the wall. It delivers a steady stream of water, and it is one of the most popular designs for people’s showers. They are great for people that want to install a simple bathroom without any frills, and they can also come in energy efficient designs to help save you money on water and energy costs.

Fixed shower heads also come in a variety of finishes, such as chrome, matte black, or even gold. The most popular of these is chrome. They also come with a variety of water pressure options, which can be adjusted on the shower head itself. Fixed shower heads can also come in a traditional circular design, or they can come in a rectangular design that juts out of the shower wall to create a rainfall shower. A fixed shower head is a good option for people that don’t want to adjust the water height or settings often.

Multi-Setting Shower Head

Light blue background, close up of a multi-setting shower head

A multi setting shower head has a variety of options attached to the shower head itself. You can easily switch from options such as body jet, water saving features, increased water pressure for a body massage, and even gentle streams. This is a great shower head for those people that want a massage during their showers after a long day of work. However, they might not be a good option for people that share bathrooms and that might adjust the settings for every person.

Multi-setting shower heads also come in a variety of styles, and that can be fixed or detachable. This means you can take the shower head off the stand and use it to massage different areas of the body, which is great for athletes or for those after-gym showers.

Handheld Shower Head

Woman in shower, hair pulled up using a handheald shower head to rinse the back of her neck

A handheld shower head is a good option for people that want to use their shower heads on harder to reach areas, and also for people with multiple pets and children in the household. For children, handheld shower heads are a great way for them to shower without experiencing high water pressure or being unable to reach the shower head to adjust the different temperature settings.

For the elderly or people that need to be seated during their shower, an adjustable shower head that is hand held allows them to get clean without being bombarded by a single shower setting. This is a great tool for nurses and in-home care takers that want to get their patients clean and get them the help they need to shower in different areas of the body.

Handheld shower heads are also great for pets! If you need to keep your dog or cat still during a shower, a handheld shower head allows you to gently wash different areas of their fur, work your way down their body, and get them good grooming right from the comfort of your own home. You can also help comfort them and hold them still with one hand, while using the other to run across their body while grooming.

Multiple Shower Heads

Large walk in shower with large gray on the floor and inside shower along with some wood accents on walls and the shower floor, 2 rain shower heads and hooks on the wall for towels

If you want a more luxurious experience, then having multiple shower heads is a great option for a full-on spa treatment from the comfort of your own home! Having multiple shower heads is a great choice for people that want to get a body shower, have access to body jets, higher pressure water, rainfall shower experiences, you name it!

Multiple shower heads can be incorporated in a larger shower space, or in a smaller corner shower. If you want a shower that has lots of different multiple shower head options, a prefabricated shower is a good choice. These showers are designed to have a luxury and spa experience, and they already come pre designed with all the features you’ll need to enjoy different water pressures at home.

Body Shower

A body shower is called so because there are multiple shower heads that jut from the shower wall to target different areas of the body. This is a high luxury feature and can be beneficial for people that want to make sure every single part of their body is cleaned and thoroughly massaged with different powered jets.

A body shower is also a great tool for people that can’t easily bend down or reach down to take the soap off of themselves. Though body showers are a bit more expensive, since you will need to install different shower heads that spray horizontally and use more water pressure in addition to shower towers, they are well worth it for a total, rejuvenating experience.

Rain Shower Head

Showing a man from the mid back up showering in an all white tile shower with an oversized rain shower head

Rain shower heads are some of the most popular choices for bathrooms today. A rain shower head is called so because the water stream falls straight down onto a person, much like a…well…rain shower!

Rain shower heads look sleek and are incredibly relaxing. In fact, studies have shown that rain sounds are actually quite comforting and can help you feel at ease. If you want a relaxing shower with lower water pressure than most which still helps you get a good, overall clean, then rain shower heads are the perfect choice for your bathroom.

Shower Materials

In addition to choosing the best shower design, shower heads, and types of showers, you should also decide on the best bathroom shower materials to use. These materials will influence your bathroom shower color, and the overall feeling of your bathroom. Below are some of the most shower materials to use for your new or renovated shower.

Glass Tile

Close up of a multi colored glass tile in the shape of small squares

Glass tile is one of the best choices for your new shower. Glass is incredibly beautiful, and it is also resistant to mold, mildew, and allergens. This means that they are relatively low maintenance, all you need to do is wipe them down with a clean cloth during your weekly shower cleanings.

They are also incredibly beautiful and can be custom designed to fit your style. However, they are quite difficult to install without proper help. Glass tiles can shatter easily, leading to injuries and also costing you money in the process. If you don’t have any experience with renovations or construction work, it’s best to leave the glass tile installation to the pros.

Stone Tile

Close up of a cream colored stone tile

Stone tile is also quite beautiful, with many showers incorporating stone for a more rustic look. A stone shower does require more maintenance, since stone is a natural material that is susceptible to breaking and to growing mildew. Nevertheless, the best thing about stone is that you’re getting a completely natural and unique look for your shower.

No two pieces of stone will ever look the same, and the color variations are virtually endless! Stone tiles are also quite porous, meaning they hold up to moisture well.


White and gold marble

Marble is another popular choice for your shower. It is beautiful, incredibly durable and hard, and it can be used to give your bathroom a luxurious and fresh, open style. However, the drawback is that marble can be expensive, especially if it is natural and not man-made. Marble is also heavy, so it’s best to get the help of contractors to help you move the marble slabs into place for designing your shower.


Modern black and white bathroom, white tile with dark gray grout on walls, black tile with white grout accent section behind toilet, white stand alone bath tub and a floating gray counter with a white sink and black fixtures

Ceramic tile is by far the most popular choice for bathrooms, and one of the best for your shower walls! That’s because ceramic is corrosion-resistant and heat-resistant. This means it can stand up to varying temperatures and won’t wear away due to corrosion over time.

Ceramic comes in a variety of shapes and styles, from pure white subway tiles to colorfully designed Spanish ceramic tiles. This means this is a versatile choice for any bathroom.


Inside of an acrylic shower, white shower curtain with pink and blue flowers

Acrylic showers are made of a sheet of hardened plastic that is resistant to moisture. This is one of the best choices for people on a type budget that still want a shower that won’t wear down from moisture. However, they can be flat and not have many design choices.

Bathroom Shower Doors

There are also various bathroom shower doors to consider when designing your next bathroom shower.

Sliding Shower Door

Shower with sliding glass doors and cream tile

A sliding shower door is a type of shower door that, as the name suggests, can slide to open and close. You find these types of shower doors mostly with tub and shower combinations. They can come in frosted glass, and are more affordable. They can help add a layer of privacy and incorporate handles for safety.

Pivot Doors

Pivot doors are center-mounted, and unlike a sliding shower door, don’t require a track to be placed before you can use them. They are good options for people with mobility or strength issues that want to move into and out of their shower easily. Pivot doors are designed to simply be pushed open and have a central vertical track to help them open.

Hinged Shower Doors

Close up of the metal hinges on a glass shower door, white tile walls and in shower

Hinged shower doors are much the same as pivot doors. However, there is a single hinge that allows the door to open from side to side. There are also visible hinges on the side of the door, unlike pivot doors which operate from a single pivot centrally located.

Open Shower Concept (No Door)

Large upper level bathroom with a stand alone tub and a walk-in shower with a large rain shower head, off white walls and two large windows behind bathtub letting in the sunlight

Open shower concepts are incredibly beautiful, minimalist, and you can easily walk into and out of the shower without stepping in and out of a tub or door! This works best for larger bathrooms, and for bathrooms with drains located throughout to help with water runoff.

What Shower Do I Have?

The most common type of shower is a tub shower combo. This allows you to shower inside of your bathtub, but also use your bathtub to soak inside if need be. There are also different types of shower head combinations, such as a manual mixer shower valve which is the most common in households. It allows you to pick between hot water and cold water using different dials on your handle.

If you moved into a newer home or one that has been renovated, you might have a custom shower that has been specifically designed for the dimensions inside of your bathroom. If this is the case, it might be useful to get the help of trained contractors, who can inform you of your bathroom’s unique set-up.

There are also different types of shower heads, such as a fixed shower head, and even detachable shower heads that serve to give you a steady stream of water or be used in hard to reach areas.

If you love the type of shower you have already but simply want to update its look, read our list below to find out the best options to outfit into your bathroom. Use this list of different types of showers to get inspired and update your

Are Shower Heads Universal?

Image showing 4 different type of stainless steel shower heads

All shower heads should be compatible with your home’s shower arm in the United States and Canada. The shower head size is ½-inch NPT, or National Pipe Thread. The only exception to this rule is if you have a shower head that is from a different country, a completely different custom built shower, or your home is old and had owners that incorporated different designs. In this case, there are NPT adapters that you can also purchase.

In addition to the size being universal, the Energy Policy Act also has a rule that shower heads must have a maximum 2.5 gallons per minute flow rate, of gpm.

Can Shower Curtains be Washed?

Modern gray and white bathroom, large gray tiles on floor and walls, stand alone tub with white shower curtain hanging from rod hanging from ceiling, white cabinet vanity with stainless steel faucet and large mirror with lights all around, small green potted plant near sink

Certain shower curtains can be washed, although the liner that falls in between the bathtub and the shower curtain itself must be replaced. This is because mildew and mold can build up overtime, releasing harmful spores and also staining your bathroom with mildew stains. These stains are incredibly difficult to remove, so it’s best to replace the lining while still washing your actual shower curtain.

If your shower curtain is made of plastic or otherwise does not state it is machine washable, then simply invest in a newer shower curtain instead of risking harming your health!