Showers are becoming an increasingly popular choice. Many refuse to buy bathtubs, preferring more compact shower boxes with trays. This solution has many advantages.
A shower cabin is not a novelty in the market of bathroom fixtures for a bathroom, however, only recently they really paid attention to it. This feature is due to the fact that real estate is becoming more expensive, and people can often afford to buy only a small apartment with a small bathroom or a combined bathroom.
A shower cabin is a great way to save precious square meters.
The presence of certain functions, the difference in size and shape allows us to talk about different types of showers. Each of them deserves special attention, since the designs are sometimes very different from each other. In some of them it is possible to implement the option of hydromassage, while others are only suitable for equipping with minimal functionality.
But after all, many additional bells and whistles may not be needed, only basic functions are enough.
Prefabricated structures are just showers in the classical sense. In their composition they have only walls, doors and a pallet. Because of its features, they can only be mounted in the corner of the bathroom, while two room walls replace the walls of the shower cabin itself. The door can be either two or one.
As a rule, the pallet here is low. Many could encounter such showers in institutions such as hospitals, kindergartens, guest houses. The pallet is traditionally made of cast iron, but in the modern interpretation it is possible to use other materials, for example, acrylic.
Prefabricated shower is the cheapest because of the small number of components. It, as a rule, is not equipped with additional functions, but only the basic ones: adjusting the water temperature and switching the water supply from the shower to the tap and vice versa. Sometimes the shower itself may have the function of regulating the water jet, when the jet is done either narrower or wider
Monoblock showers are also called hydroboxes. They can be mounted in any part of the bathroom, as they have not only all the walls and the pallet, but also the ceiling part. Such complete closeness allows you to equip them with many additional functions, including aromatherapy, music playback and, of course, hydromassage.
Monoblock hydroboxes can be made absolutely from any materials. The weight of the structure mainly depends on the choice of raw materials, and not its strength, since polymers are used in the manufacture of high quality. Depending on the number of functions, as well as on the material of the pallet and walls, the cost is determined: the more options and the more expensive material is used, the more expensive the hydrobox.
In some cases, monoblock showers are equipped with remote control, when you can answer a phone call directly from the shower, turn on or turn off the fan or light.
Electronic showers can fully function only when they are connected to the mains. This mainly applies to monoblock varieties equipped with backlight, radio and other functions that cannot be imagined without electricity.
Please note that despite the power supply from the mains, these options are absolutely safe: there is no direct contact of such parts with the outside.
Electronic showers can work without electricity, but in this case only the basic functions will be carried out: regulation and water supply. There can be no talk of any radio or remote control. There will be no automatic adjustment of water if your hydrobox is equipped with this function. All control will have to be done manually. The hydromassage function will also not be available.
Mechanical showers are fully controlled manually. Their device does not provide for the presence of functions that should work only if connected to a power supply network. However, this does not mean that functions are very limited. Of course, you have to resort only to the standard set: mixing and supplying water to the tap, then to the shower, as well as adjusting the flow rate.
From a financial point of view, this option is more affordable than the previous one, since you do not have to overpay for the car itself or for electricity. After all, the hydrobox consumes a lot of electricity, while the manual shower does not need it at all. Due to the simplified design, its cost will also be several times lower.
Thus, a mechanical shower can be called a budget option for those for whom the availability of music or other similar functions is not essential.
Open structures are made only with walls, but without a roof. There is no question of any hydromassage in such a design: a lot of water will splash up, ruining the environment. Such booths have standard functionality, less often equipped with "exotic" functions: music, automatic control, backlight. The pallet can be either deep or low.
To install such a shower, you need to carefully prepare the room:
- level floors and walls;
- seal joints well to provide waterproofing;
- select suitable materials for the floor and walls and make sure that they do not in any way react to water.
Walls also need to be treated with antibacterial agents to prevent mold and mildew.
Open structures are good for small rooms because of their low height. In large bathrooms, they will look inappropriate. Above the open shower, you need to properly handle the ceiling and install ventilation so that the steam does not condense on other surfaces in the bathroom.
Closed hydroboxes are completely insulated on the sides and top. Usually they have a high tray, which can be used as a bath if it is of sufficient size. Due to the fact that the structure is closed, it can be mounted in any area. It is important that there are water supply and discharge systems: without them, the hydrobox will not function.
Closed booths may have several functions, including a Turkish bath or sauna. Steam is fed into this airtight box, and as a result, the effect is no worse than in a real steam room. In addition, hydromassage function is often performed in closed showers, since water will not splash here.
A large closed shower with a bathtub is of particular interest, because it not only has all the same functions as the rest of the constructions of this type, but also allows you to fully take a bath. This is especially nice if the hydrobox has the functions of aromatherapy and highlighting. You can adjust the lighting and smell and relax completely. This option is most preferred for people with sleep disorders.
Advantages and disadvantages
Shower cabins have many features, including both positive and negative sides of structures. What is interesting, and those and others are approximately equally divided, so before choosing you need to study all the "pitfalls" that you may encounter during operation.
Showers have a number of obvious advantages, thanks to which users more and more often choose them instead of bathtubs that are disappearing into the past . However, these advantages are associated not only with the constantly expanding functionality that hydroboxes are endowed with, but also with many others, for example:
- First of all, why shower cabins are chosen - this is due to the fact that they take up very little space. The hydrobox takes up half as much space as a bath, therefore, as a result of such an acquisition, it is possible to place a sink, a washing machine, a dryer and the like in the room.
- The morbidity is reduced. While taking a shower, while standing in a standard bathtub, you can slip and fall. The same thing happens if you get out of the bath carefully enough, not relying on something. In cases with showers, this will not happen, since their sides are much lower, and in the event of a fall, you can only crash into walls made of heavy-duty tempered glass.
- Significant savings are achieved. The water in the shower cubicles is consumed much less, since in most cases there is only a function of the shower. When bathing a child in a pan with high sides of the water, it is spent half as much as when bathing in a bath.
- Unlike a traditional bathtub, dozens of various additional functions can be installed in a shower hydro-box, including the sauna function.
- Thanks to its great variability, it is possible to choose a pallet for any required dimensions. If you need a custom size cabin, for example, 70x100 cm, you can always order an individual project.
- If you have sufficient skills, you can always mount a shower cabin yourself. In the case of the bathroom, you may need special plumbing knowledge, which is often available only to specialists.
- The shower cabin looks neater than the bathroom, and when using it there will be no problems with water spilled everywhere.
- An existing seat can be extremely powerful when it comes to children or the elderly. For them, it is often necessary.
Of course, this list of advantages is not limited to, but the above advantages are most significant.
The disadvantages of showers are not as obvious as their advantages, but should also be considered:
- It often happens that because of the shape, showers can still not be installed in a small bathroom. For example, a rectangular hydrobox due to its long length is not suitable for a small room, since it takes up too much space.
- A shower room installed in an apartment building often cannot realize all its functionality. This is due to the fact that the water pressure is too small, so the only thing you can do is take a shower.
- After taking a shower, each time you have to clean the transparent walls to avoid the formation of whitish deposits and water stains.
- Compared to the bathroom, the hydrobox is quite expensive. Not everyone is ready to lay out about 50,000 rubles for aromatherapy or radio - additional functions of the shower.
- For those who like to soak in the bath, this option is also not suitable, because lying in the shower tray does not work. The exception is cases where a rectangular pallet is specifically designed for this.
- Budget models do not always turn out to be of high quality. In some cases, over time, their doors "diverge", losing their tightness, and their weak frame and inexpensive materials quickly rust and crack.
- Be sure to have to prepare the room for the installation of the hydrobox, which can take a lot of time and require a lot of money.
Criterias of choice
Choosing and purchasing a shower cabin for many can be a daunting task, especially when you don’t know what you should first pay attention to.
Use the following list to know what data to guide when choosing:
- A type. Depending on how much space you have, you can choose between a closed and an open booth. Recall that a closed cabin has four full walls, while two or three walls of a bathroom serve as the walls of an open shower. Focusing on exactly where you will mount the booth, select its type.
- Pallet. In this case, it makes sense to look at the height of the fences. The option with middle walls is universal: there will be no problems with stepping over them, and you will also be able to wash your child or pet in such a tray.
- Doors and walls. Pay attention to the type of door: sliding, swinging, "books". It may be that, due to space limitations, some of the options listed will not work. It is important that the walls have airtight seams and are made of quality material.
- Material. This refers to the materials of the walls, doors, the pallet itself. All of them must be resistant to stress, not bend, not slip. Resistance to corrosion is important.
- Functional. Depending on your preference, determine for yourself which functions are paramount and which can be neglected. Based on this list, identify the booths that suit you, and choose the best option among them.
- Shape and size. Choosing these parameters, it is worth focusing on the tallest member of the family. If he will be comfortable in such a booth, then everyone else too. It is important that the movements in the cockpit are not very constrained. It should be possible to move hands while soaping, or sit on an existing seat.
Pallets in depth are divided into three categories:
- low (side height - less than 10 cm);
- medium (side height - from 10 to 18 cm);
- deep (average height - 25-35 cm).
To choose the right height, focus on what exactly you are acquiring a hydrobox for.
Perhaps you want to use a rectangular shower cubicle as a bathtub. Then you need a pallet with high sides. If you plan to just take a shower, but at the same time want the shower cubicle not to be very high, choose low sides. Medium sides are optimal and fit most bathrooms.
Sizes and shapes
Depending on the size, several types of showers are distinguished. Each of them has its own proportions. Pay attention to the interesting fact that it is the size of the shower cabin that depends on the shape of the shower. Some of the above options are compact, while others will have to devote a significant area. However, this does not affect their height, which depends only on the presence or absence of the "ceiling" of the cabin.
Also, the height varies depending on how high the pallet is from the floor.
The angular symmetrical shower room in the classical sense is a quarter-circle cabin, which has two sides and a semicircular tray. This option is mainly chosen for small rooms, since it is mounted in the corner, and the semicircular edge does not take up much space. It is such symmetrical circles that can be found in most cases.
Sometimes designers deviate from the rules, making the booth not arched, but polygonal. In this case, it looks more interesting, but it does not fit into every bathroom. It is worth saying that such an innovation practically does not affect the size of the shower, it still takes up little space.
The standard lengths of the sides of the angular symmetrical cabin range from 0.8-1.2 m. This design can be mounted in any corner of the bathroom, if it has a sufficient wall length to accommodate the cabin. For example, with sides 90x90 cm, do not put the cabin in a corner from which 70 cm to the door.
Asymmetric angular shower is not much different from the previous version, except that here the sides located on the wall have different lengths. For example, a cabin can have dimensions of 120 by 80 cm, 120x90 cm, 100x80 cm or 110x80 cm. Other sides are connected in the same way by an arc, or the edge becomes polygonal.
Unlike angular symmetrical booths, asymmetric models are divided into right- and left-handed. It is important to keep in mind that according to the rules, the short side of the shower is installed on the short side of the bathroom. An exception can be made only when the long side of the hydrobox is equal to the short side of the bathroom, but this happens extremely rarely.
The standard dimensions of the cabin are as follows - the long side can be from 100 to 120 cm, and the short side can be from 80 to 90 cm. In the future, combinations of these values can be any: 120x80 cm, 80x100 cm, and so on.
Rectangular showers are predominantly installed in niches; it is also possible to arrange them along the wall or in the corner. The rectangle is a clear geometric shape, so you should be prepared for the fact that such a shower cabin will take up a lot of space.
Rectangular hydroboxes or open cabins often equip with a deep tray that serves as a traditional bathtub. The length of such structures is the same as for ordinary bathrooms: from 150 to 180 cm. The width can range from 70-85 cm.
As a rule, rectangular showers have two doors, not one. They can be located as independent structures, and bathroom walls can also be used as walls. Then you only need to purchase a pallet and doors. In this case, the rectangular shower room will be able to fully occupy the niche reserved for it.
Square showers have almost the same location advantages as angular symmetrical showers. They are also mainly installed in the corners, and the corner of the room can be chosen by anyone. A square shower with dimensions of 100x100 cm or 120x120 cm is suitable for a large bathroom, and 70x70 cm or 80x80 cm for smaller options.
The disadvantage is that the protruding corner of a square cabin takes up a lot of space, and it is not always possible to install such a cabin in a really small room. In the case of a large bathtub, a square shower room will not look appropriate, however, as a design move, such an arrangement is quite possible.
Doors are made on the corner. The pallet used in such designs may be of various depths. Some models are equipped with a seat to facilitate showering. Such options are more preferable for older people who risk slipping and getting injured.
In this case, it’s not about the shape, but about the size of the shower with a tray. It may have dimensions different from those that are considered standard for showers. As a rule, such products are made only to order for certain bathrooms.
For example, if the bathroom has a non-standard layout, then specialists can make a shower for this particular room. If there is a niche that is wider than the size of typical pallets, and the home owners really want to use it to install the hydrobox, then they turn to such masters.
Non-standard showers can be equipped with many functions, and the presence or absence of one or another option is also chosen by the owners themselves. For example, many people want to have at their disposal a shower room with lighting, music and hydromassage, but they do not want to overpay for aromatherapy and a sauna. In this case, they just order a booth with the amenities they need.
There are several types of doors suitable for showers. Each of the types has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. What is noteworthy, the material from which the doors are made does not differ from the material used for the walls.
The choice of this or that type is determined by the interior of the bathroom, its own amenities and preferences. Some of the doors are suitable for large bathrooms, others for small ones, while others will be universal. In any case, what the doors are made of, how well they are sealed at the joints, is much more important.
The sliding door is reminiscent of a compartment according to the mechanism. It is suitable for small bathrooms, as there is no space for opening doors. They just glide from side to side. A more common option is one in which two doors come and go, but there are also single-door options.
Doors move along the rails on casters. For tightness, the joints, as well as the guides and rollers themselves are protected by rubber bands. When approaching, the flaps are well linked thanks to the magnets.
The advantages of this type of door include durability and reliability.
Unlike the previous version, this one takes up much more space. Here it is required to provide a space for opening doors (two or one, depending on the design). Most users notice that the two-door variation is much more convenient. In some cases, it is possible to open the doors inside, however, this option should be chosen only when the hydrobox is large, and opening the doors will not cause discomfort to the person inside. Particular attention should be paid to the material from which the hinges are made to secure the doors.
In fact, this is the same swing door, only opening in both directions. This makes swing doors not the most convenient option. In addition to the space outside, you will also need a space inside, allowing you to open the door in both directions. The door is fixed on double-sided hinges that control the progress of the doors. It is important to pay attention to their sealing. Due to the double stroke, they quickly fray.
An additional disadvantage is poor insulation performance. Heat, as well as noise, easily fall both inside the cabin and break out of it.
A folding door has something in common with a sliding door, since it also allows you to save space, but the “book” door still sticks out a little. Such designs consist of vertical rails connected by ball bearings. The advantage of “books” is the possibility of their partial opening, for example, if you need to release a little heat from the shower.
Doors of this type cannot be called reliable. They quickly fail. In addition, heat and noise insulation are also at a fairly low level.
Open cabs are sometimes made without doors at all. There is only a frame and a pallet.
Materials of manufacture and requirements for them
Shower hydroboxes with trays are made of various materials. It makes sense to consider in more detail the raw materials that are used to make pallets directly, since the frame, walls and doors are made of the same materials.
So, the frame can be made of metal profiles. Depending on the quality of the profiles used, the price of the booths also varies.
Walls and doors are made either from transparent plastic in budget models, or from tempered glass. The second option is more expensive, but also more reliable. If the walls of the bathroom are used as the walls of the cabin, then they must be lined with ceramic tiles.
Acrylic pallets are easy to care for, this material is lightweight and practical. However, an important minus is the ability to quickly bend under human weight. To mitigate this drawback, quartz sand was added to the composition, and the new material was called quartz. It is the pallets from the qvar that are considered the best.
Refers to ceramic materials. Earthenware is a natural material, so it fits into the classic interior in the best way and looks more harmonious here. The disadvantage of earthenware pallets is the constant need to carefully care for them, as they tend to turn yellow over time. In addition, the earthenware tray will not withstand the fall of anything heavy on it, because it is too fragile.
Artificial marble pallets came into use not so long ago. For their manufacture, natural marble chips and glue are used. Artificial marble products have excellent heat-saving qualities, which may be important when taking a bath. Maintenance of a pallet of this type is practically not required.
If desired, a pallet made of artificial marble can have a saturated color or closer to natural.
Initially, pallets were made of cast iron, and over time, this material only confirmed its high performance. A cast-iron pallet coupled with a steel frame and glass walls is an example of reliability. Pallets of this type are coated with enamel, which is easy to care for. It is enough to wipe it from time to time with a rag soaked in soapy water. However, chips may appear on the enamel as a result of falling heavy objects.
For the manufacture of wooden pallets, an array of teak is used - an environmentally friendly material with high performance properties. The advantages of wood include its ability to withstand slipping, and the special processing of the material makes it resistant to moisture.
As a rule, wooden pallets are made flat, without sides. You can find pallets with sides made of wood, however, in these cases, the tree produces only decorative finishes, and another material is used as the main one, for example, cast iron.
Steel products are worthy of competition with cast iron. They retain all the same positive properties, while their weight is several times less, which allows you to install this option even on an unsecured floor. Like cast iron, steel pallets are enameled. As a result of taking a shower in a hydrobox with such a tray, a favorable microclimate is formed inside, since the steel heats up well and gives off heat.
A natural stone
This material is the best among its analogues, because it has advantages that distinguish it from all others. So, it is easy to take care of it, it does not deform, retains heat, and there is practically no noise from the falling water. If the surface is slightly chipped or scratched, it is easy to repair it using the grinding method. Granite and marble are chosen as materials for the production of pallets.
As additional elements that are equipped with showers, use the following:
- pallet mounted seats;
- mirrors built into one of the walls of the hydrobox;
- handles for closing and opening doors;
- shelves on which the necessary cosmetics and household chemicals are placed;
- hangers and hooks that can be used for washcloths or towels;
- shower heads;
- dispensers for liquid soap, shampoo and other things;
- foot massagers built into the pallet;
- hydromassage panels.
Among the companies that produce high-quality and reliable hydroboxes, there are both foreign and Russian representatives. Your attention is invited to a compilation of the most popular companies.
- AP-AM (Russia and Germany). High-quality plumbing with excellent performance and a manufacturer's warranty of 2.5 years. By production parts from Europe are used.
- Aquanet (Russia). The use of Chinese parts repels many, but the cost redeems everything. The warranty period varies greatly: it can be from 3 months to 10 years.
- Cazares (Italy). The company is constantly improving its models, adding new and new features. Warranty is from 1 year to 25 years.
- LanMeng (China). All products undergo mandatory certification according to European standards. The warranty period is 1 year.
- Niagara (Russia). This brand specializes only in the manufacture of showers. They offer a large selection of glass on the texture. There are both simple transparent and grooved. With self-installation, the warranty will be six months.
- Radaway (Poland). Luxury showers. The warranty is 5 years, provided that the installation was carried out by the service center of the company.
- River (Russia). Offers a wide range of designer designs. There are both budget and luxury options. Warranty is 1 year.
- Apollo (China). Despite the fact that the company is Chinese, the quality of plumbing is at a decent level. For self-installation, the warranty period is 6 months.
- Avanta (China). The warranty for showers is only a year, but this does not mean that the products are of poor quality. All hydroboxes are made of acrylic and tempered glass.
- Erlit (Russia and China). This duet of the two countries produces high-quality and inexpensive cabs, the warranty period for which varies from 1 to 7 years.
Before proceeding with the installation, you must prepare everything you need.
Tools and accessories
The set of shower cabins includes:
Of the tools you will need a standard set: a screwdriver, level, a set of wrenches, a drill, a construction gun, silicone sealant.
First you need to assemble the pallet itself. Be sure to check for leaks. If there is no doubt about the tightness, then connect it to the sewer pipe using the drain pipe included in the kit.
Be sure to test the drain: stand in the pan, walk on it, and then drain the water. If all is well, you can proceed with the installation of walls and doors.
As a rule, assembly instructions are included. Be sure to do everything according to the instructions, because each of the models is different, and there is no general sequence of assembly steps.
Troubleshooting and Maintenance
To avoid the need for repairs, it is necessary to properly care for the hydrobox: wash the tray and walls, clean the drain on time. To simplify this procedure, install special filters on the pipes.
If the breakdown could not be avoided, be sure to fix it immediately as they were found. On the pallet, cracks can simply be repaired and dried, if the door mechanism breaks down, idle rollers need to be replaced, and if there is a serious leak, the pipes must be replaced.
How to install a shower tray, see the video below.