Shower screen design fails – 15 mistakes to avoid
I’ve been doing this custom shower screen design thing for awhile now. And in that time, I’ve been privileged to install some pretty stunning shower screens… that not only looked great, but added exactly the right function for the space and homeowners.
But I’ve also seen some pretty epic fails long the way. Not my own, obviously 😉 but I’ve seen some interesting designs from past eras, DIYs gone wrong, and choices that were clearly made in a hurry.
So I thought I’d share my list of`15 top shower screen design fails with you to give you a laugh, or make you think twice about that new shower screen you’re planning to make sure it’s not going to give you instant regrets! Here we go…
1. Using a shower curtain
First up, the biggest fail of all would have to be not having a shower screen. Seriously – there are so many reasons to ditch your shower curtain:
- They’re impossible to keep clean
- They block out the light and make your room feel small
- And there’s that feeling when they cling to your wet naked body…
Get a shower screen, any shower screen… just don’t keep your dirty old shower curtain!
2. Using too many frames in a small space
You can get away with a lot of different design types and features in a medium to large sized bathroom. But when it comes to shower screens in small spaces, you’re a lot more limited. One of the most common mistakes I see is using a fully framed shower screen in a small bathroom. It might be the more affordable option, but you pay the price by making your space feel even smaller.
3. Choosing the wrong type of shower screen
The picture above is from one of the jobs I had to go fix up because they installed the wrong type of shower screen. A fixed panel shower screen doesn’t work for this space because it doesn’t extend far enough to catch the shower spray. As you can see, they tried to fix it up by adding a tiled edge, which didn’t help much either.
4. Obstructing the shower door
Function above everything else – that’s my motto. If you’ve got a vanity, toilet, or door right next to your shower screen, make sure you choose a shower door that won’t swing out and bump into things (depending on your setup, a fixed panel shower screen or sliding shower screen could be a better choice).
5. Doors hinges installed the wrong way
Here’s another job I needed to fix up – and this time, the shower screen doors were installed the wrong way around. Instead of opening outwards, they opened inwards, which meant they were hitting the taps. A small detail that made this shower screen totally inaccessible
6. Not properly waterproofed
Here’s another job I went to. At first, it might seem like there’s nothing much wrong in this picture, but there’s a pretty big issue here. There’s no tiling on part of the wall adjoining the shower, which means moisture will get behind the shower screen. This bathroom needed proper waterproofing before I could start the installation.
7. Not letting your feature tiles shine through
The perfect shower screen will let your bathroom’s best features shine through – like your shiny new shower head or your featured wall tiles, or even the view out the window. If your bathroom has features that deserve to be centre stage, choose a clean, minimalist look with frameless shower screens for the best overall effect. You’ll have zero regrets.
8. Making the shower area too small
It’s hard to enjoy your daily shower when your space is just too small to move in. If you’ve got some extra space, why not extend your shower area out and move your shower doors to make your space less boxy and more accommodating? Or talk to a shower screen design professional about the best shower doors to fit your current space.
9. Using a prefab shower screen design that doesn’t fit
Unless you get really, really lucky, it’s unlikely that the pre-made shower screen designs you can buy at the hardware store will slot straight into your space. Using one of these shower screens will make your bathroom feel cheap and stop you from making the most of your space. A custom shower screen design is made to fit your space perfectly, with fixtures that match the style of the rest of your bathroom and home.
10. Choosing frames that don’t match
Speaking of matching, so many bathrooms have mismatched shower frames, door handles, and fixtures. If you have a framed or semi-framed shower screen, go with a colour that matches your tapware or window frames. It can look silly if one’s black and the other’s chrome!
11. Using poor quality or thin glass
What’s that pile in the shower? Your worst nightmare – broken glass. Your shower screen should be designed with 10mm toughened glass, none of this 6mm stuff (like the shower doors at this job where I had to do a shower screen replacement).
Also, who’s that good looking bloke in the reflection?
12. Shower screen not positioned to catch the water
A shower screen is meant to screen your shower, yeah? But all too often, they’re installed in the wrong position which means they don’t screen anything much at all. If the water from your shower head can easily spray out underneath or between your doors, you’ve got yourself a dud.
13. Using tinted or frosted shower screens in small spaces
I’m a fan of frosted shower screens, but they’re not for everyone – especially not for small or dark bathroom spaces. Tinting and frosting will give you a shower screen design that’s more private, but blocks out the light and makes your bathroom feel more closed in. So if you’ve got a small space, go with clear glass.
14. Too-short fixed panel shower screens
In order for your fixed panel shower screen to keep splashes off your bathroom floor, it’ll need to extend a reasonable distance past the bit where you do the showering. Makes sense, right? But you’d be amazed at how often I see shower panels that are too short or don’t work for the available space.
15. Sticking with that hideous shower screen from the 80s
Last but not least… some of the biggest shower screen design fails I see have come straight out of the 70s and 80s. And if your shower screen is that old, it’s definitely due for an upgrade. Yellow tinted glass, brown frames, rickety sliding doors, tiny boxed in spaces… it’s a crime against your bathroom of the worst kind. Order that new shower screen first chance you get and it will help lift your whole bathroom (maybe… no guarantees).
Over to you…
That’s it – for now! Although stick with me for long enough and I can probably guarantee to have a few more to add to the list.
Final tips? Don’t mess with your shower screen too much. It’s an important part of your home that you’ll use every day, so make sure you hire a professional (me if you’re in Perth) to get your shower screen installation done right the first time. So if you need a fail-free shower screen, give me a call (08 6555 8370).
Oh and if you’ve ever seen a shower screen design fail (whether in your bathroom or one you’ve visited), let me know in the comments so we can have a laugh about it together. The more the merrier… right?