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The Many Options for Showers in Tiny Houses

When you’re building a space that is 200 square feet or less your bathroom is probably going to be quite small. Considering half of the space will be taken up with a toilet, composting or otherwise, a very small shower will be imperative. As it turns out, there are more options than you might imagine from the most basic solutions to decorative ideas.

For our tiny house we chose a 30X30 fiberglass shower stall. Since this was our first building we wanted something that was easy to install and put together. We built our bathroom walls around it to ensure that it fit properly. It may not be the most decorative option but it is simple and functional and we can spruce it up with a nice shower curtain.

Photo by Laura M. LaVoie

Photo by Laura M. LaVoie

Click below to read about more tiny house showers.

Andrew and Crystal Odom recently took the internet by storm with their Shower Shack design. Check out their photo album on the Tiny r(E)volution Facebook page.

The gorgeous outdoor bathroom has everything they need just a few steps from their tiny house. The clear plastic roofing material allows for them to have an outdoor shower experience but not be at the mercy of the weather. It is a really creative solution to the bathroom question.

Macy Miller of Mini Motives recently showed off her ceramic tiling skills not only with her floor but also with her spacious tiny house shower. I love her design with the inset shelf for her shower products. The excess grout just needs to be cleaned off and she has a luxury shower in a very tiny home.

Photo by Macy Miller

Photo by Macy Miller

Ella’s Little Yellow Door tiny house has a rustic and incredibly well designed tiny bathroom. The galvanized tub and shower combination is stunning and an inspiration for many tiny house designers.

These are just a few of the shower options that have been used in real life tiny houses. There are lots of other creative options.

Going back to a post from October of 2011, Kent Griswold of Tiny House Blog shared this clever shower design. The website is in French and I am not even sure if this is available anymore, but the design is interesting even if it might be a little impractical.

folding-shower2

What kind of shower do you want in your tiny house?

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Laura LaVoie

Contributor and Tiny House Owner at 120SquareFeet.com
Laura M. LaVoie is a professional writer living in the mountains of North Carolina in a 120 Square Foot house with her partner and their hairless cat, Piglet. Laura graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Anthropology. She has been published in magazines and anthologies on the subjects of mythology and culture. She spent nearly 15 years in the temporary staffing industry before deciding to become a full time writer. Laura works closely with the Zulu Orphan Alliance volunteering her time and the skills she's learned building her own small house to build a shelter for orphans and other vulnerable children living near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Laura also enjoys simple living, brewing and drinking craft beer, and popular culture.
{ 14 comments… add one }
  • LaMar Alexander LaMar May 20, 2013, 3:03 pm

    I used a corner shower base for my cabin and built my own shower stall using 2×2 lumber and waterproof paneling. Less expensive than a pre-made stall and I had to fit it to the small space I was working with.

    These shower bases come in lots of sizes and shapes and are available at most good home supply or bathroom supply stores.

    • charlie July 11, 2013, 10:24 am

      Could you give me more info on your shower for your cabin.

      • LaMar Alexander LaMar July 11, 2013, 10:52 am

        Sure Charlie, I used a basic 3×3 corner shower base (about $35) and then built a 2×2 wall for a stall and put in waterproof board and use a shower curtain. I recycle the drain greywater to a shrub bed outside the cabin. I use a propane Eccotemp OD water heater that uses pennies a day for hot water.

        I have vids of all my systems on youtube:
        http://www.youtube.com/solarcabin

        LaMar

  • Caitlin May 20, 2013, 3:10 pm

    I’m pretty sure I will be going with Ella’s option. At first I wasn’t sure about it, but I went to a Tumbleweed workshop and she was the presenter and talked about the tub (which is actually a horse trough, I believe). The more I thought about it, the better it sounds. Not only does it function as both a tub and a shower (a small tub, sure, but still a tub), it is her bathroom sink, and she can wash her clothes by hand in it as well. I love that it has that many functions and I like the way it looks.

    She did point out that it’s wider than the Fencl front door, so be sure to put it inside before closing up the walls!

  • alice h May 20, 2013, 4:40 pm

    My bathroom as currently designed will be a 3’x3′ shower pan and something-yet-to-be-determined-but-definitely-waterproof walls, across from a full wall of closet/clothing storage. The composting toilet will be in the 3×3 space. At shower time it can be moved into the space between bathroom and closets and the bathroom door can be swung shut across the whole space to provide a private dressing area. The actual shower itself will be a manually pressurised garden type sprayer (something like this http://www.zodi.com/Consumer/zodiextremeshower.html ) with water heated on the stove or by solar, depending on the weather. The drain can be set to go to a greywater bucket outside for further use or right into a dry well. As much as I’d love a tub, they use too much water. I can wash my very long hair and get quite clean using about 1-1/2 to 2 gallons of water. There will also be a separate sauna with similar shower for another bathing option. Laundry can be done in the sauna too, using washtubs and a hand wringer. Wet clothes can hang inside the sauna on rainy days, out on the clothesline on dry days and a guest can even sleep in the change room.

    • Judy May 20, 2013, 6:17 pm

      I want a step tub with a shower. You can get them as small as 24X32 from RV source.

    • Jerry May 21, 2013, 2:12 am

      I love your ideas, feels like you are reading my mind. I plan on having a greenhouse with a rocket mass heater powered sauna/shower. I had been thinking of using a common garden sprayer, but I love that Extreme unit you linked to, thanks for the info! One suggestion for your laundry, get a commercial grade salad spinner instead of a wringer, costs about the same, but a wringer is hard on fabrics, a spinner is not.

      • alice h May 21, 2013, 6:02 am

        I’ve been using a hand wringer for years, you just have to be careful about buttons and stuff, fold things properly to go through smoothly, guide the clothes out the other end rather than pull them and maybe lessen the pressure a bit. It’s not as bad as the old electric wringer washer we used when I was a kid, those were seriously scary, way too fast and powerful. Scrub boards area definitely hard on clothes, I just let things soak for a good long while then agitate the heck out of them. I’ve heard the salad spinners are good but haven’t talked to anybody that actually used one so I don’t know how much water they get out. I tried the bucket with holes squeezed by another bucket (http://www.instructables.com/id/Non-Elelectric-Laundry-Press/ ) but it didn’t remove enough water. Right now I have a double laundry sink I found in the alley (only needs minor repairs) and the wringer fits between them perfectly. Some day I’d like to get a fancy new wringer but my old $20 junk store one works fine for now. I’m only a part timer at my tiny place so I do use the fancy machine at my son’s house while in town.

  • Jerry May 20, 2013, 10:06 pm

    One ingenious method I’ve seen posted by a couple of tiny housers is using a garden spray jug with a shower head attached. You heat your water and place it in the jug, then pump it up by hand for pressure, and press the trigger to spray away. You can get better pressure than most RV water pumps provide, with zero electricity used (assuming you heat water on propane/wood/other). Anyone who has used a gravity fed shower knows that water pressure is not constant, and without a large storage container the pressure never really builds up. With this system, if the pressure does subside, a couple of pumps and you’re back in business.

  • Erik Markus May 23, 2013, 12:33 pm

    I love the fold up shower. Very tiny house material.

    I chose a 24″ by 40″ wide RV tub for my Tiny house. It’s comfortable enough to turn around in (40″), but does stick into the room as much (24″) a shower stall would. Plus, it will hold water if need be.

  • Sue Resnik May 28, 2013, 1:36 pm

    Friend just asked about a tub, & I know I’ve seen one…..just can’t remember where. Anyone else remember?

  • sabrina delaune June 11, 2015, 8:56 pm

    I would like to put a bathtub/shower in my tiny house.

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