What Makes for A Comfortable Shower Size?

34" x 57" Shower w/ Bench
34″ x 57″ Shower w/ Bench
What makes a shower comfortable in size and configuration for one individual to shower?  While code says 30″ square is allowed, for me this is far too small — and I’m small to begin with.  In my opinion, a shower needs to be at least 30″ wide and preferably 34″ to 36″ wide.  The shower above is 34″ wide and 60″ deep (including the bench).  As shown in this shower, comfort for me also means someplace to put up my foot (to better reach my feet and legs for washing).  The shower size and shower heads needs to provide a place to get out of the spray and where possible, a separate hand-held shower as well as the shower head.  In this shower, the hand-held is near the bench so one can sit and shower.
The shower, below, is only 30″ wide and 60″ long — it replaces a standard 30″ by 60″ tub.  The ceiling mounted rain shower head placed so the bather can still get out of the spray and the hand-held mounted on a bar can be used as a 2nd shower head or as a body spray.  Not visible from this angle is a ledge at the foot of the shower that doubles as a niche for bottles as well as a foot rest — it’s placed at a comfortable 15″ height.

30" x 60" Shower Replaces a Tub
30″ x 60″ Shower Replaces a Tub
The shower, below, in the guest room that I stayed in a few weeks ago is comfortable 34″ wide and 60″ long.  Not visible in the photo is a bench located at the foot of the shower — where you see the hand-held.

34" x 60" Shower in New Construction
34″ x 60″ Shower in New Construction
The master shower, below, is 48″ wide by 72″ long — larger than many of us can fit in the older homes that I usually remodel.  It’s the master shower in the home that I stayed in several weeks ago.  This shower is more than large enough for two with the hand-held helping to warm the 2nd person.  If it were built for 2, though, I would suggest a 2nd shower head and perhaps a 2nd hand-held.  In my opinion, it’s actually a bit too large for a single individual because of the distance from the bench to the shower head.

48" x 72" Shower in New Construction
48″ x 72″ Shower in New Construction
The shower below is 34″ x 60″ plus an alcove for the bench.  While the shower size is comfortable, the lack of a hand-held near the bench and the distance of the bench from the shower spray makes the bench only practical for placing your foot or for holding bottles.  Sitting on the bench to shower is not practical.

30" x 60" plus nook for bench
30″ x 60″ plus nook for bench
So, in summary, I try to size a shower to be at least 34″ wide and 48″ deep with a ledge or bench.  A 36″ square shower is acceptable IF you can fit in a ledge or corner bench.  In my opinion, the neo-angle showers — are hard to work with because of the difficulty locating the shower head in a way that prevents water for spraying outside the shower and because of the difficulty placing a ledge or bench.  Beyond size, a separately controlled hand-held is very nice.  The other consideration shown in all these showers is a spray location that helps prevent unwanted spray out the doorway plus controls that are easy to reach without getting in the shower.
All images courtesy of Braitman Design/Build
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