10 Types of Showers

Which is best for you?

Large bathroom with white marbled stand-in shower and glass doors

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

An attractive, efficient shower is a beauty to behold in any full bathroom. Showers wake us up on the mornings, provide solace at night before bed, and help us present our best selves to the world every day.

Whether building a new shower or remodeling an existing shower, you have several types to choose from. Showers range do-it-yourself pre-fabricated units on up to custom showers that cost thousands of dollars. Shower enclosures can be rounded, square, rectangular, or neo-angle.

Because showers are all about the water, the water delivery system is equally important. Waterfall shower heads gently drip water from high above. Or you might prefer the vigorous feeling of a full-body shower with jets at various heights. Whatever your preference, you will find a shower that fits your needs.

Pre-Fabricated Shower

Commonly found in many homes, a pre-fabricated shower consists of a one-piece shower pan and molded shower surround walls. Often, extra ledges and soap dishes are integral to the surround walls.

Since pre-fabricated showers can be broken down and delivered in separate pieces, they can more easily fit through tight doorways than do one-piece pre-fabricated units. Most pre-fabricated shower units can be installed by the homeowner.

Custom Shower

True to their name, custom showers are built by professionals to the homeowner's custom specifications. Typically, custom showers are built out of natural stone or porcelain tile. The shower pan is created from a wet mortar base laid with stone or tile.

Custom showers can take on any size, shape, and form desired by the user. Custom showers, when built right with premium materials, can increase the home's resale value.

Rectangular Enclosure Shower

Rectangular enclosure showers are built from 1/4-inch-thick tempered glass. Secured at the corners with metal clips, these sheets of glass form frameless shower enclosures that are easier to clean than framed enclosures and give the bathroom a greater sense of openness.

Curved Enclosure Shower

Curved enclosure showers usually occupy a corner, with the curved door sliding open in a graceful arc to provide access. Curved shower enclosures more smartly use space than do rectangular shower enclosures, though at a higher cost.

Corner Enclosure Shower

When viewed from above, a corner enclosure shower is a square formed by two walls and two sheets of glass of equal length. One of the sheets of glass has a pivoted door. Corner enclosure showers tuck away neatly and conserve a maximum amount of bathroom flooring space.

Neo-Angle Enclosure Shower

For some homeowners, a neo-angle enclosure shower is a good compromise between a corner and a curved enclosure.

Situated in a corner, two flat sheets of tempered form two sides of the square shower (the walls are the other two sides). However, the two sheets of glass do not meet. Instead, a third sheet of glass runs at a 45-degree angle and completes the enclosure.

Bathtub-Shower Combinations

Bathtub-shower combinations have been installed in bathrooms for decades as a way to double up on bathing services. The bathtub—usually an alcove tub with three surrounding walls—has a set of faucets that control both the lower tub faucet and the upper shower head.

While the trend has slowly been moving away from this setup in favor of shower-only installations, tub-shower combinations are still an excellent method of saving space in small bathrooms. Homes with small children especially can benefit from tub-shower combinations.

Body Shower

A body shower is one that has multiple penetrations in one or even more walls for water jets that vary from knee- to shoulder-height, along with a shower head placed above the head. A body shower can save water by more efficiently sending water to pinpointed areas of the body, rather than relying on the water to course downward.

Shower Tower

A shower tower is a metal column the incorporates controls, the shower head, a hand shower, jets of varying heights, and controls. These units eliminate the need for multiple penetrations in the shower wall. With their sleek design, shower towers are best for contemporary-style bathrooms.

Waterfall Shower

A waterfall shower is a shower head located higher than a regular shower head, which emits a soft, rainfall-type flow of water. This shower head may not work well for users who prefer the massage-like feeling of water pressure on their neck and shoulders.

Regular showers can be converted inexpensively into waterfall showers by a gooseneck-shaped adapter that raises the height of the shower head. In addition, the shower head is changed out for a special waterfall shower head.