Designing a Functional Shower

After recently completing a shower design that we found worked well, we thought we’d share what we learned about the makings of an effective shower.

A shower’s dimensions should reflect both practicality and peace of mind, and we believe we’ve struck the right balance. Showers that are too cramped can feel more like an elevator than a place to recharge. We’ve identified roughly six feet by three feet to be the best amount of square footage for the shower’s footprint.  While roominess is always valued, larger showers cannot adequately hold steam during a typical shower’s duration and feel too vast. We’ve taken this into account when designing our floor plan. After working with varying shower shapes and sizes over the years, we find our recent shower’s dimensions to be just right.


The right dimensions ensure that the shower functions properly, but we also found success in how we styled the shower. We chose white marble tile as our shower wall material due to its bright, clean feel. The tile is consistent through all parts of the shower’s walls and outlines the shower door within the master bathroom. A herringbone tile pattern for the shower floor adds a nuanced detail that relaxes the eye. Using the white marble tile throughout the shower makes the space feel unified and at-ease. For the shower door, we chose a single glass panel style that swings in both directions. Its large chrome handles on each side make entering and exiting as easy as possible. Sunlight entering the shower from the master bathroom is also a huge upside of the all-glass door. Natural light coming into the shower is important, but showers with three glass walls take privacy away from its users. We opted for three marble walls not just because they’re cozy, but because they’re relatively low maintenance. Having to squeegee glass shower walls after each use didn’t strike us as a necessary task.

Of course, a shower isn’t complete without your favorite shampoo, shower gel, and conditioner; we made sure that these essential belongings have a home within the space. Three niches arranged vertically on the showerhead wall are located for convenience and allow users to organize their accessories based on height. Rather than corner shelf niches that extend outward, these niches don’t take up valuable space. When taking a seated shower, users can find two niches within reach of the adjustable showerhead and bench. For these users who prefer shampooing and rinsing while sitting, the solid bench declines slightly towards the drain to prevent water from building up. Quick access to one’s favorite shower accessories is a feature that effective showers designs should account for.

From the dimensions to the door, we’ve found these shower features to cater fully to the showering experience. If you are designing an effective shower, or simply curious as to what makes a shower work, we hope our recent shower can serve as a reference.

Christopher Johnson