What are the Different Types of Outdoor Shower Enclosures?

Donn Saylor
Donn Saylor
Outdoor shower enclosures may be located in the backyard of a home.
Outdoor shower enclosures may be located in the backyard of a home.

Outdoor shower enclosures offer a high level of privacy for showering outdoors and are available in two different types: fixed, stationary models and portable, stand-alone varieties. An outdoor shower enclosure is typically located in the backyard of a home, by a private pool or private stretch of beach, or, in the case of portable models, at campsites or other outdoor adventure locations. The shower enclosure may be a home improvement project; a part of a larger, pre-made outdoor shower unit; or an individual component that can be added to an existing shower.

Stationary outdoor shower enclosures are permanent fixtures. They can be made of wood, synthetic materials like vinyl and plastic, or simple wire fencing. Given the long-term nature of this outdoor shower type, many homeowners try to find the most aesthetically pleasing options for the enclosure. Natural woods like cedar and redwood are popular choices due to both their sturdiness and attractiveness, as well as their ability to blend well with the natural surroundings. Fixed outdoor shower enclosures are sold pre-made and only require installation, but many of the manufactured varieties are made of vinyl, plastic, or other synthetic materials; handy homeowners wanting wood enclosures often build their own, providing themselves a do-it-yourself shower upgrade.

Portable models are ideal for homeowners planning an outdoor event that doesn't necessitate installing a permanent outdoor shower enclosure. They weigh far less than stationary varieties and are designed for easy set-up, take-down, and transport. The majority of movable enclosures are made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Portable enclosures are considerably less expensive and can be moved around effortlessly.

Hikers and campers can also benefit from portable outdoor shower enclosures. There are specific models designed for camping, though these offerings vary greatly in quality and capability. While some utilize trusty PVC, others are made of materials like polyester and polyethylene. The latter types are easy to transport, but they aren't as sturdy or dependable as PVC. They are essentially tents in which a camper can take a shower.

Proper water containment is a concern for many people looking to buy an outdoor shower enclosure, especially those investing in a stationary model. Permanent outdoor showers often have a water drainage system, but to keep water inside the enclosure is sometimes tricky. Special shower curtains and doors are available to help with just this issue, offering a level of water containment that might otherwise not be possible. Even a simple shower curtain made of Tyvek® can help contain excess water.

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    • Outdoor shower enclosures may be located in the backyard of a home.
      By: Vera Kuttelvaserova
      Outdoor shower enclosures may be located in the backyard of a home.