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An outdoor shower is as functional as it is beautiful. After all, who doesn’t love the idea of capping a day outdoors with a rinse in the fresh air?
What’s more, you can DIY this project by simply considering your experience, the tools and materials available to you, and the permits you will need. Yes that’s right, because building an outdoor shower involves plumbing and proper water drainage, your municipality will need to grant you permits before you start. To this end, Homes n Away has written a wonderful blog post describing these nitty-gritty details as well as how to construct an outdoor shower.
This guide is focused on providing you with DIY outdoor shower ideas — some practical and some aspirational — as well as instructions on how to bring your desired aesthetic to life.
Lacing the perimeter of your outdoor shower with plants brings a luscious, organic vibe to your space. It’s also straightforward to accomplish, just be sure to use plants that thrive in high humidity conditions. This outdoor shower uses an array of plants for a living wall that provides privacy, but you can also install an arbor or trellis to support climbing plants and vines.
Stones are a natural choice when considering DIY outdoor shower ideas. After all, the way water cascades from a showerhead is reminiscent of how a waterfall pitches over a rocky ledge. This outdoor shower from Architectural Digest features a range of styles, from the gray pebbles that cover its floor to the warm-hued chunky stones in its walls. If you’ve never built a stone wall, suitable for an outdoor shower, no problem — it’s not so different from any other DIY stone and mortar wall project, destined to live outdoors.
The outdoor shower with a rustic flair is great for those who enjoy a casual aesthetic or who are new to this sort of DIY project and want to keep things simple. To emulate this style, shower enclosures or partial screens made from a durable wood like cypress or acacia are popular choices. To give yourself a head start, you can purchase a shower kit, which normally come in various styles and materials.
If you’re interested in natural and sustainable building techniques, creating an adobe outdoor shower is a great project to tackle. Adobe is made from sand, straw, and clay and can be formed in virtually any shape, making those beautiful unfinished, organic silhouettes possible. You may be asking how much longevity a shower has that’s built with adobe bricks, but this tutorial shows you how to waterproof-it while keeping it eco-friendly. You can take the aesthetic of your outdoor shower one step further and inlay tile, stone, or found objects.
Amongst DIY outdoor shower ideas, wooden slats are one of the most versatile. You can experiment with the spacing and thickness of your slats to produce completely different effects — from an understated Japanese aesthetic to a farmhouse style. Take advantage of the negative space your slats create and consider inserting slabs of stone for simple shelves, installing decorative hooks to hold loofahs or towels or hanging planters for a touch of green.
Installing a curtain rod to enclose your outdoor shower is a low-fuss, low cost way to create privacy. To keep things looking cohesive, you’ll want to match the finish of your curtain rod, shower head, as well as the color and pattern of your shower curtain. To this end, consider choosing your shower curtain first since it will be making the biggest statement in your outdoor shower.
An outdoor shower that uses a surfboard as a backsplash isn’t precisely predictable, but that’s what makes it great. Depending on the vibe you want to create, you can choose a true surfboard or simply use wood cut into the shape of a surfboard for a more subtle suggestion. Brooke from the blog, Nesting With Grace, documents how her contractor built her surf-inspired outdoor shower so although this example is not a DIY project per se, you do get a good sense of the process.
DIY outdoor shower plans don’t get any more simple than a completely open-air style. All you need is to mount a shower head to your wall or purchase a freestanding fixture and you’re good to go. If you opt for this plan, you’ll still want your space to feel purposeful, so focus your remaining efforts on surrounding your outdoor shower with plants, a walkway, or stylish seating.
Bamboo will give your outdoor shower a tropical, laid back vibe. What’s more, it grows like a weed and is very durable so even if you don’t live close to where it thrives, it’s an eco-friendly building material. This outdoor shower uses bamboo cut to different lengths for a fail-proof approach to a DIY project, and you can also opt for either thinner or thicker shoots of bamboo to customize the aesthetic of your outdoor shower. Be sure to purchase bamboo that has been treated for pests, mold, and fungi to extend the life of your structure.
Certain DIY outdoor shower ideas are so simple, they’re easy to overlook. Take this project, which repurposed wooden pallets as shower walls. Although pallets are delightfully either cheap or free, they are not all created equal. Wooden pallets are either treated with heat or chemicals so you should always look for the “HT” mark on any you’re considering taking home. Without treating your wooden pallets they may last up to 10 years, but you can also waterproof them for added longevity.
Because tile repels water, it’s a great selection for outdoor showers or more generally, spaces that get splashed. You can also get creative with shape, color, and pattern, mixing styles for a funky look or sticking with one for an understated vibe. This outdoor shower uses two swaths of tile to delineate its function from the rest of the space.