Struggling to pick between the practicality of a shower and the luxury of a bath? A Shower over bath set-up combines both without the need for a generous bathroom space, while a modern bathtub shower screen can keep the bathroom both dry and stylish.
Practical, Versatile and Stylish
A walk-in shower and a stand-alone bath often come with at least two requirements: a robust enough floor plan, and an equally robust budget. Because of that, shower over bath design has continued being one of the most popular choices when it comes to creating efficient and affordable bathroom spaces since its inception in the 70s.
However, combining a shower and a bathtub isn’t a coveted go-to only because of its practical benefits. Modern shower over bath solutions offer an array of enticing options – both when it comes to the shape, functionality and the visual appeal of the bath shower screen. From a slick fixed bath shower screen to the practical and flexible sliding shower screen over bath, the wide choice of available over bath shower screens means there’s a desired solution for every bathroom. Much more sophisticated and practical than the shower curtains of yesteryear, shower screens over bath can certainly inject a dose of style into a bathroom, making it look neater and more spacious along the way. In contrast to shower curtains that tend to block the light, glass panels help maximise the light.
Consistently en vogue, contemporary above bath shower screen trends favour the clean and modern look of frameless shower screens. The unassuming form of a frameless shower screen tends to visually declutter the space to make it look bigger. For a bit more contrast and definition, black framed shower screens are also very popular. The more defined edges help inject geometrical lines into the space, creating more structure and visual interest.
So, is a shower over a bath a good idea? If you’re after a solution that’s efficient, effective and doesn’t go out of style, an over bath shower is for you. Read on to find out more about their pros and cons, different types of bath shower screens available – and what price tag you’re looking at.
Shower in a Bath: Pros and Cons
The main and undisputable benefit of combining a bathtub with a shower over stand-alone baths or showers is the ability to reap the benefits of both in smaller bathrooms. While a stand-alone shower has the smallest foot-print and might be the best choice for a very small space, incorporating shower over a bath is a space-conscious way to enjoy both long soaks in the bath or quick showers on a smaller foot-print.
In comparison to a space with a stand-alone shower and a stand-alone bath, over bath showers essentially halve the cleaning time. Bathroom cleaning can be quite involved and the ability to save time on washing additional tiles, grouting, screens or a base can really make a difference. However, shower over bath design can pose more of a cleaning challenge if you opt for a shower curtain instead of a bathtub shower screen. More difficult to clean and wipe dry, shower curtains can cause mildew and mould. If cleaning time is a priority, a bath shower screen is a superior choice.
Installing separate bathtub and shower will generally cost more than installing a shower over bath. Combining the shower and bath into one is likely to be cheaper as it requires only one drain and screen.
Ensuring your house has a bath can seriously improve its resale value. Particularly essential for parents with kids or those planning to expand their family, the lack of a bath can be a real deal-breaker for some buyers. If you want to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck, shower over bath arrangements can be a clever way to future-proof the space.
However, a bathtub can pose a health and safety risk for other demographics. People with mobility issues – be it because of an older age, disability or injury – might find it challenging to use a bathtub. A big enough walk-in shower that allows the user – particularly on a wheelchair, with a walking aid or potentially assisted by a carer – to have a comfortable experience, might be a better option if this consideration is top of mind when remodeling a space or building a new bathroom from scratch.
While a free-standing bath can run a high risk of water splashing, and a stand-alone shower tends to be well sealed and offer excellent protection due to its contained nature, a bath shower panel usually finds itself somewhere in between as, in many cases, it will offer only partial enclosure. However, a high-quality above bath shower screen – when properly specified, installed and sealed can offer an excellent level of protection. Particularly, when paired up with a deep enough tub – and shower head installed at the right height in relation to the shower screen.
Incorporating a shower over bath design in your bathroom
If you have considered the pros and cons of combining a bath and a shower into one and it’s a solution you want to pursue, the next important consideration is whether you’re working with a whole new space – or upgrading an existing bathroom.
Designing a new bathroom
When designing a new bathroom, there are a number of things to consider.
When designing a completely new bathroom, you can decide where the combined bath and shower will be positioned in relation to the other fixtures, the window or even entry to the bathroom. There are plenty of options and shower over bath design ideas to get inspired by. Some of the most popular layouts include:
- Positioning the bath and shower across a side wall.
- Going with a corner set-up that capitalises on being enclosed by two walls.
- Creating a recess or a niche to fit the bathtub with a shower in.
- Exploring the idea of a free-standing bath and shower combo positioned off a wall, in a more central part of the bathroom.
While the corner position is by far the most popular as it benefits from two walls enclosing the bath and shower space alongside the corner bath shower screen, modern bathtub shower screens can be specified in a way that provides protection on more than one length of the bathtub.
Type of bathtub
While a shower can be installed over pretty much any bathtub, you might have preference on the type of tub you want. Plus, some tubs lend themselves to this practical set-up better than others. While you might want to go with the classic and simple rectangular tub, there are p and l-shaped bathtubs, specifically designed to allow more space under the shower head for a more comfortable experience.
Generally – even though a free-standing bath can inject a sense of opulence and ultimate luxury into a space – built-in bathtubs work best if you’re planning on taking regular showers. Usually enclosed on three sides, they are a much more practical option – and they tend to take up less space, too. An important thing to consider is that the tub has a non-slip surface to ensure a safe and convenient experience.
Type of shower
With a variety of available shower types and designs, you can decide whether you’ll incorporate a single or a double shower head. The latter is growing in popularity with many modern bathrooms seeing rain showers mounted from the ceiling while having a rail shower on the wall. Practicality – and luxury.
If you are looking to upgrade your existing bathroom, you might not be in a position to dramatically change the lay-out – but there are still important considerations to run-through.
Assess the existing bath
If you want to install a shower over your existing bath, it’s important to ensure it is designed for that particular purpose. The elements you’re looking for are a non-slip floor and a slight lip around the edge of the bath to direct the water spray back into the tub. If safety is a concern, it’s worth considering replacing an existing bath.
Moving the pipes
Once you’re happy with the bathtub, you – or perhaps a plumber – will have to move the pipes to where the shower head will be and then connect the taps and the shower head to plumbing. If for some reason you don’t want to open the wall, you can opt for a slip-on shower attachment, however – even though seemingly convenient – these types of connections easily leak and fail, hence are not recommended.
Waterproofing and drainage
Remember to double-check the waterproofing on the existing bath to make sure it’s appropriate for a different flow of water following the addition of the shower. Similarly, drainage has to be checked to ensure it’s adequate.
Whether you’re designing a bathroom for scratch or working with an existing space, selecting the right screen for your shower bath will be crucial. An absolute essential when it comes to ensuring the bathroom stays dry, over bath shower screens come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
What types of screens are available?
Before choosing a screen, consider the size and layout of your bathroom to ensure you get safe and easy access to the shower bath. Equally, assess what height your shower is going to be at and the spray the water will produce to ensure you get a screen in a size that will keep the bathroom dry. And, of course consider the overall aesthetic of the space alongside your lifestyle and personal preferences.
Single panel bath shower screen
Those screens consist of one glass panel and can be either fixed or hinged.
Fixed bath shower screen
One of the most popular types of bathtub shower screens, this sleek and simple type of screen is usually fixed onto the wall in a way that doesn’t allow movement. The bottom of the screen can be attached to the edge of the bathtub – or, to the floor next to the bathtub. Easy to clean and install, simple and modern, a fixed bath shower screen is a real crowd pleaser. However, its fixed character makes it better for larger bathtubs and bathroom spaces as it tends to require ample space to move around it.
Hinged bath shower screen
The hinged option allows for the screen to be open outwards which promises greater access to the bath and shower. Similarly, bath shower screens using pivot systems allow for the door to open both inwards and outwards. Those screens also require larger space to allow for the swinging movement.
Two panel bath shower screen
This type of screen features two pieces of glass attached to each other in the centre of the screen. While the panel attached to the wall tends to be fixed, the second panel can be open via a hinge or a pivot. Equally, both panels can be moving resulting in a folding bath shower panel.
Folding shower screens over bath
Folding screens often consist of two, three or even four glass panels that can be collapsed to the side which make them the perfect option for a very small bathroom. This particular type of screen ensures getting into the bath is as easy as it can be, while still providing a protective barrier that keeps splashing water contained, although more moving parts also make this type of screen more prone to damage and malfunction.
Sliding bath shower screen
Sliding screens feature one or two sliding panels and use a railing mechanism that makes the opening and closing of the shower easy, even though the panels cannot be moved out of the way completely. Sliding shower screen over bath offers more privacy and is a good choice if noise-cancelling is on your priorities list.
Shower bath screens offer a broad choice not only when it comes to functionality and number of panels – there’s a lot to be said for the available ranges of materials, colours and even shapes.
Framed or frameless?
When it comes to the frame itself, generally over bath shower screens can be framed, frameless – or semi-frameless.
Frameless shower screens over bath are appreciated for their clean, modern lines and are by far the most popular shower bath choice in a modern home. In the absence of pronounced edges, frameless screens are quite subtle and can fit in with any bathroom. And because water can’t gather in the frame, this particular style of screen prevents the buildup of mold and dirt – which makes them easy to clean and maintain.
Framed shower bath screens feature a frame – more often than not made out of aluminum – and can be perceived as more sturdy, although frameless shower screens over bath tend to feature thicker glass panels for extra stability. Those screens are appreciated for the visible lines the frames create within a space and are often incorporated to add more spatial definition. The popular choices for the frames include classic stainless steel and the particularly trendy in recent years, black framed shower screens.
But the design-related choices don’t end there – there’s more variety when it comes to the glass panel itself, and not only when it comes to the thickness of the glass but its actual shape too. While many traditional screens feature square glass panels, curved and sail-like panels are becoming more popular as they allow to create more visual interest in the bathroom space. Equally, the choice of glass matters tremendously – while clear glass lets the light through and can visually open up the space, frosted shower screens over bath is a popular choice for those who appreciate added privacy. In essence, incorporating a bathtub shower screen can also be a major design decision.
Where to buy over bath shower screen?
When it comes to shower over bath Australia offers a wide range of options available both online and in hardware stores across the country. From a local Bunnings that stocks an impressive selection of bathroom fittings, national shower screen manufacturers like Alspec and Danmac, to your local high-street shop that offers bathroom and plumbing supplies – there’s a broad range of bathtub shower screen products available.
How much do they cost?
The prices may vary based on location, however they are likely to be similar in metro areas, such as Melbourne and Sydney, with prices fluctuating more in regional regions.
When it comes to material costs, you can get a bathtub shower screen as cheap as $100-$150 for a single panel, fixed frameless screen, however a budget of $250-$500 is more realistic if you’re not willing to compromise on the quality. In addition to the product costs, you should account for $200-$600 (or higher) for installation, with hourly rates varying between $35 and $75 across the Australian capitals.
It’s worth noting that costs will vary depending on the type of screen. For instance, while frameless shower screens over bath tend to be more expensive than framed ones, their installation process is easier and so you might be able to save on installation costs when compared to sliding, folding or swinging shower bath screens.
Introducing Danmac’s over bath shower screen
Danmac Affinity 12 Bath Screen
Available framed and frameless, and both as a single panel and multi fold, Affinity 12 system is a pinnacle of high-quality shower screens over bath. With finishes and colours ranging from pearl white, barley, white birch and black available in powder coat, and bright silver, matt natural and bright gold in anodised, the Affinity Full Opening Door System is manufactured from the highest quality materials and ensures a full opening door for all shower screen applications. With their baths screen kit prices starting at under $100, they’re certainly an affordable choice for any household.