help! shower head facing door

June 16, 2019

I may have made a design mistake. And I have a short window to try and fix it before everything gets closed up.

My shower has 3 walls and 1 glass door opening. The long side is 5’, the short side is 3’8”. I will be installing the controls near the opening.

My shower head is 81” high, and will also have a wand sprayed.

Did I put the shower head on the wrong wall? Do you think 5’ is enough so water won’t spray out when I open the door?
If I move the shower head to the long wall is 3’8” enough room?

Please see photo. Thank you for your advice!

Comments (36)

  • remodeling1840

    You will need a shower head that doesn’t point out toward the door, but in a more downward direction. You might also consider a movable, sliding up and down, hand held.

  • TRE in DE

    Definitely recommend hand-held because it’s so much more convenient for cleaning.

  • swamp

    Our master shower is also 5’. Use a rain head so water goes down. Handheld adjusts on bar. Controls are on right so water goes on without getting wet. We don’t even have a door or threshold opting for curb less. We only get a few drips outside shower area. Bathroom was done 8 years ago.

  • PRO

    Do over on multiple fronts. Is that that an electrical junction box above the head to the right? Move the shower head unless you want leaks. Waterproof into the room. What waterproofing system is being planned to be used.

  • PRO

    The entire shower appears a dim broom closet. Get a pro in there now. Start over.

  • Bruce in Northern Virginia

    Just to answer the question - The simplest solution is to use a rainfall shower head that points straight down. It will have minimal splash outside the shower door when you reach in to turn the controls.


  • Kathy

    I would move the shower head unless you can aim it straight down.

  • prestonchan97

    Thanks for the comments everyone. To answer a few questions:

    1. The small cut out above is not electrical. It’s actually a mistake and they will cover (made wrong cut in the backer board.
    2. Don’t know the exact waterproofing details but they stapled black waterproofing paper to the studs, and some type of membrane on the pan, then they put backbones everywhere.
    3. The shower head we chose won’t necessarily be a rain shower but can point straight down (Kohler purist shower head)
    4. There will be a light in the middle of the shower above as well to add light.
  • prestonchan97

    This is the general layout, @jan or anyone else, do you have any suggestions? Our restroom is not the biggest, and we tried to keep the plumbing as is.

  • cpartist

    The shower layout is fine and the size is fine. In fact that is the size of my shower and it's plenty large enough. I have a handheld pointing down on the back wall and a rain head on the ceiling and have had no problems with water leaking out and I have a curbless shower.

    Is that cement board on the walls?

    How will the shower door open because if it opens out, it means you'll be having to step around the door to get into the shower.

    Here's mine:

  • prestonchan97

    Wow nice shower. It does look very similar to our layout. The shower door will open like the diagram and opens out. Ours actually has a 6” curb. And yes I believe that is cement board over the black waterproof paper. Is that the correct way to do it?

  • cpartist

    Thank you.

    Yes it's correct I believe although let the experts chime in.

    Mine opens the same way but I put the controls on the right side because as you have it now you have to open the door and reach in to turn it on. That's actually how my guest shower is because we didn't have any other choice. Not a huge deal.

  • prestonchan97

    Thanks for the help. Ya unfortunately we have to do that because all the plumbing is along that wall, and there isn’t a good way to bring it around the the other side. I was worried about that too but glad you have that in your guest bath and it’s not that big of a deal.

  • live_wire_oak

    The worst possible antique choice for waterproofing was just described. You are going to need a great deal of luck if the details weren’t handled properly, as they most often are not. Put dome light on that and take a picture of the screw pattern in the cement board. And how those penetrations through the tar paper are handled. I hope there was a preslope poured, but that curb detail again looks wring. Can’t see enough because of the light. Take more pictures.

  • weedmeister

    I'm going to guess that the pipe sticking out from the wall is just there temporarily to cover the hole where the real pipe for the shower head will go. Same for the one down lower. The shower pipe will have a bend in it. You can get one that will let you adjust the bend any way you want, including straight down.

  • PRO

    You don't need all the space in front of shower to vanities. A three by five loo is a GAS chamber, window or not. Lose the loo door. Lengthen the shower to six feet, get a Speakman shower head and when you shower, don't POINT it at the shower door. Angle it down and all will be fine.

  • rinq

    Being nice again, Jan? ;)

    I agree the toilet doesn't need a door (neither has our shower, which is just 4' deep). Would you believe me our downstairs wc is 3'x3'6" (and there's even a little sink in there)?

  • tatts

    Jan's right about it looking like a dim broom closet.

    Why don't you cut the wall down lower and do the top half in glass block or regular glass? That would be easy at this point.

  • MongoCT

    The 5' depth of the shower should be adequate, others have mentioned the angle of the spray. I'd discuss with the installers to make sure the curb cap is sloped slightly so any water that lands on it will be encouraged to drain into the shower.

    You could move the heads to the long wall, but the spray would be hitting the niche? I think you're better as is.

    Waterproofing looks like HydroBan Liquid, but these days you never know. Not sure where they are in your construction, but I'd recommend if it is HydroBan, read up on HB installation instructions. Nothing complicated. Fairly easy. You need to make sure they follow the thickness requirements for each layer applied to the wall and niche. Topical waterproofing membranes need a certain minimum thickness to perform.

    Good luck with the build.

  • PRO

    Were this me and my loathing of tight, dark, dim spaces. I'd reduce the shared potty room wall to a pony wall at 42 inches. How often is is that someone MUST use a WC when another is using shower or vanity and have a closed door. ?? Glass above the pony.....and more LIGHT inside the shower. Top it with a solid surface matching the curb. The niche is not that critical, you can cover grooming supplies within, in other ways.

  • prestonchan97

    Thanks for all the help everyone. I will go back to the house tonight to check on their waterproofing work and see if I can figure it out. I do know the curb slopes towards the shower.

    We decided to cut off the wall like some of you have suggested and have it all glass and move the toilet room door and just have the door at the main entrance to the en-suite so it is just one big room. We also made two other decisions if anyone can point out if we are making a mistake

    1. We also thought it would be nice to add a 30” tall x 15” wide shower niche (confirmed no obstructions) on the other side. (See photo with orange tape)

    2. Ceiling height is 96”, we are planning to have the glass go to 82” (just above the shower head). That way the steam can go to our air vent which is just out side the shower door.

  • rinq

    Here's what we did:

  • rinq

    Glass blocks stacked in the same height as the window next to it.

  • PRO

    Over think! Just lose the niche , clear glass to height of top Of that....... Structure:)?

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    If you are still worried about water spraying out when you open the door, well, we have a similar setup but the door is on the side. After a shower, I push the showerhead down a bit so it points more down. Next time I turn on the water, it has time to warm up before I step into the spray :)

    I vote to keep the niche!

  • cpartist

    You don't need all the space in front of shower to vanities. A three by five loo is a GAS chamber, window or not. Lose the loo door. Lengthen the shower to six feet, get a Speakman shower head and when you shower, don't POINT it at the shower door. Angle it down and all will be fine.

    My shower is 5' long x 44" wide and it's plenty large enough. In fact in my condo, I had a 6' long shower and mostly it was wasted space how I used it and it was too cold unless I was standing directly under the shower head.

  • adawn5

    Another vote to keep the niche!

  • prestonchan97

    Was too dark to get photo of the waterproof last night. essentially what they did was put paper, then cement board, then the put tape on all the seams and penetrations, then put an epoxy type spread over all of it (that’s why it’s green. The cement board is actually grey.

    We also decided to put the niche on the low wall so when we walk into the bathroom our soaps and shampoos will be hidden from view. (Orange tape in photo)

    Will send photo update when I have some.

  • mainenell

    I think that height niche will be too low for convenient use. The higher height is better.

  • prestonchan97

    Just an update if people are curious.

  • mainenell

    Much better!

  • tatts

    But the post on this end needs to go all the way to the ceiling. That's not sturdy enough as it is there.

  • M

    I like shower niches. Very useful for all the items that otherwise don't really have a home.

    But I never understood why niches are just a recess in the wall. Things would always fall out.

    When we did our shower, we told the contractor to install a shelf in the niche, a couple of inches from the bottom. The shelf is made from aluminum sheet metal and we had somebody cut out different sized holes with a water jet. Now, bottles, brushes, toothbrushes ... all stand savely supported and can't accidentally fall down.

    We made the niche extra tall and put a second solid shelf closer to the top. That's for items that have a flat bottom and that don't get used frequently.

    Total cost was a few hundred dollars for the water jet work and the extra labor by our tile setter. But so much more functional. Enjoy it every day.

  • prestonchan97

    Just in case people are curious about the progress. Think it was a good suggestion to open that wall up, definitely looks much brighter. Still have some work to do, but almost there.

  • catlady999


  • Britt


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