How to create a resort-style outdoor shower

Installing an outdoor shower transformed a boring bare exterior wall into a refreshing spa-style retreat.

Bunnings magazine, February 2021

Reinvent your backyard

Shower after a swim, hose down the dog or cool off after gardening – an outdoor shower can be a practical addition to any backyard, as D.I.Y. guru Natasha Dickins, of Little Red Industries, discovered. Natasha changed a blank wall and unused space in her northern NSW garden into a resort-style alfresco shower.

Design with purpose

First, Natasha considered how the shower would be used; this dictated its location, plumbing requirements and design.

“Is it for you to use every day as a private shower? In which case you would want it plumbed in hot,” she explains. “Or is it just to wash sand off the kids when they come back from the beach? In which case, position it so you don’t have to trek all through the house to get to it.”

Natasha’s shower is located behind the laundry, which meant tapping into the existing plumbing was possible with the help of a certified plumber.

Resort style outdoor shower
Install a screen for additional privacy.

Room with a view

Natasha considered the outlook and chose not to fully enclose the shower zone. Two decorative Matrix screens are attached to steel posts to ensure privacy, while a natural timber slatted splashback and pebble and paver base give the shower a spa-like feel. The slats are attached to H5 treated pine posts, sealed with an in-ground sealant. Natasha also gave the timber splashback a coat of Bondall Monocel Gold marine varnish.

Style on tap

After extensive research, Natasha chose a standard chrome shower rose, arm and mixer. “They tend to lose their shine over time, but still function efficiently and were more affordable than specialty outdoor fittings. Every so often, I wipe them down and polish the chrome,” she says.

Resort style outdoor shower

Comfort underfoot

The shower base is lined with pavers over pebbles. Natasha’s tip is to lay them after the shower is installed to ensure the best position under the water, and to seal the pavers to stop build-up of moss and weeds and protect the grout. Another option is a well-sealed, slatted timber platform.

Resort style outdoor shower
“We worked our shower so there’s an open wall and roof, to avoid the feel of a public amenity!”- Natasha Dickins DIY specialist.

Need to know

  • Any plumbing or electrical works must be done by a licensed tradie.

  • Your local council may require outdoor showers to be connected to the sewer and protected by a roof structure. Always check with your local authority and discuss drainage options with your plumber.

  • When building a shower onto an existing structure, attach it to the wall studs so it’s well secured. “Don’t attach just onto weatherboards as they could come loose with the weight,” explains Natasha. Be mindful of electrics behind the wall.

  • Always use fixtures that can withstand harsh weather conditions, like galvanised or stainless steel nails and screws, and seal any timber fixtures, such as a seat, with a marine-grade coating.

Unsure if you want to go ahead?

Our rundown on why you should consider installing an outdoor shower will help you decide.

 

Photo credit: Cath Muscat

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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