What Are the Different Types of Small Shower Enclosures?

Anna B. Smith

The different types of small shower enclosures can include enclosed metal rods, pre-assembled corner units, and acrylic bathtub inserts. These items are typically available for purchase at local home improvement stores or online retailers. They are often compact and easy to install, allowing homeowners to fit the unit into their current bathroom spaces themselves. Those who do not feel comfortable with this level of home improvement may prefer to hire a professional contractor to complete the work.

A shower head running.
A shower head running.

Unattached bathtubs may be adapted into small shower enclosures by use of enclosed metal rods which are then hung with full circular shower curtains. These rods are typically designed as one unit which attaches to any exposed bathtub pipework, and to the wall. A slim, metal rod encircles the space at approximately the same width and length of the bathtub. Mounting brackets may be used to secure the rod to a nearby wall, so that the structure's weight is adequately supported. A shower head is then affixed to this circular assembly and attached to plumbing and water faucets by means of a long, straight pipe connecting the upper mechanism to the bathtub.

Many small-sized bathrooms have a bathtub shower installed to save space.
Many small-sized bathrooms have a bathtub shower installed to save space.

Bathrooms which are too limited on space to provide for a bathtub can use a corner shower kit to create a functional, but space saving, wash area. This type of kit provides a fully assembled shower unit, consisting of matte glass walls, metal hinge work, and an acrylic shower floor liner, which can be installed into any corner of the bathroom. Mounting hardware allows the unit to be attached at the ceiling, floor, and against the walls. Caulking may be used around the base to create a watertight seal between the unit and existing or new floor tile work.

The entire unit usually consists of four walls and an opening door to create a compact version of a pentagon. This unique design uses a minimum amount of floor and wall space, while extending into the center of the room to provide adequate room for bathing. The dimensions for these types of pre-assembled small shower enclosures can measure under three feet (91 centimeters) on each adjoining wall and just over six feet (182 centimeters) in height. The outer door is designed to utilize less than two feet (61 centimeters) of space when open.

Small shower enclosures which include bathtubs may be created between three walls of an existing bathroom space. An acrylic insert, which fits the exact width and length dimensions of the three sided space, provides openings for plumbing fixtures and a bathtub wall enclosure. These units are typically designed from one entire piece of acrylic, and require no assembly. Instructions are often provided which guide the installer through attaching and caulking the unit to the walls, or professional installation may be arranged.

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