A shower (also called shower bath) is a booth for washing, usually in a bathroom, having an overhead nozzle that sprays water down on the body. A full bathroom may include a shower stall, whereas a half bathroom will not.


The practice of using a shower to promote healthy hygiene practices goes back to the time of the Greeks, as evidenced by extant vases and murals. [cite web|url=|title=Multicultural Resource Center: Showers ]

During the Scottish Enlightenment, Lord Monboddo showered every morning with cold water on his front porch to emulate the Greeks, and professed his belief in the practice as healthful; [Cloyd, E.L., James Burnett, Lord Monboddo (1972)] his habit, while eccentric, was well publicized with the intelligentsia of that era. Another step toward the popularization of showering practices was when the Prussian military installed showering rooms in their barracks in 1879.


Various purposes of showering include the practice of routine hygiene, as well as a safe means of removing harsh chemicals or dangerous substances from the body (for this purpose, a field shower is used, which is markedly different from a shower found in a home or public bathing facility).

Elderly and disabled

Showering is considered to be easier and safer than bathing for elderly and disabled individuals, as it requires less effort to step out of and presents a lower risk of slipping and falling. Fact|date=November 2007

To further encourage safe bathing, some companies have started selling walk-in tubs and showers, which allow for more ease of entering and exiting a bathtub or shower area.

Institutional showering in nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities was replaced for several years by whirlpool tubs. From the mid-1970s, until the late-1990s these tubs were how residents were mostly cleaned. For several reasons, whirlpool use has been greatly reduced, in favor of showering instead. Some of the reasons that whirlpool bathing has been abandoned are:

*Time constraints: To fill a whirlpool with the 60+ gallons needed to bathe, takes about 12 to 15 minutes (depending on water pressure and size of the water pipes of 1/2 or 3/4 inch). Once the whirlpool is filled, it takes 12 to 15 minutes to bathe, and 12 to 15 minutes to disinfect the tub for the next resident to go in. Due to these time-consuming efforts, the use of whirlpools in these facilities has been largely abandoned.
*Cross-contamination: most of today's institutional residents are bladder and/or bowel incontinent. Whirlpool tubs, by design, take the water that the resident has used into a hydraulic pump, which is then forced out of a series of jets. This very feature that imitates a spa-like experience, becomes a source of cross-contamination for incontinent residents and care-givers alike.
*Disinfection: Disinfecting between bathing incontinent residents becomes an even bigger task because of all the internal plumbing. Concern arises as to whether the disinfection process has removed all of the matter that was sucked into the pump and out of the jets. This is impossible to verify without dismantling the tub or testing water samples.
*Clostridium difficile: C-Diff is a dangerous bacteria that is only transmitted by fecal-oral contact. It is especially deadly to the very young and the very old. C-Diff has claimed many lives, causing Canada and the UK to outlaw the use of whirlpool tubs with incontinent people. Ohio State CDC has kept records of C-Diff and the effect on the elderly.

However, a significant advancement to showering within these facilities over the past 70 years has been the move from metal constructed shower chairs to PVC plastic ones. The typical process has always been to undress the resident in their room, place them onto a shower chair, wrap a sheet around for modesty and wheel them down to the central shower area with all of their toiletries in their lap. In new construction designs, an institution will often have roll-in showers in each room or shared between two rooms. This eliminates the shrouded trip down the hallway for the resident, but it also drives up the construction cost of facility and takes away square footage for other uses.


Installation of a shower requires several water transportation pipes. These include the pipe for hot water, cold water, and the drainage pipe.

Structure and designs

There are free-standing showers, but also showers which are integrated into a bathtub. Showers are separated from the surrounding area through watertight curtains (shower curtain), sliding doors, or folding doors, in order to protect the space from spraying water. Showers with a level entry wet room are becoming very popular, especially due to improvements in waterproofing systems and prefabricated components. Best practice requires a waterproofing material to cover the walls and floor of the shower area, that are then covered with tile, or in some countries with a sheet material like vinyl.

Places such as a swimming pool, a locker room, or a military facility, have multiple showers. There may be shower rooms without divisions for men and shower stalls for women (typically open at the top.)

A shower head is a perforated nozzle that distributes the water over a large solid angle. Thus less water can be used to wet the same area. Low flow shower heads can use water more efficiently by aerating the water stream. Some shower heads can be adjusted to spray different patterns of water. Hard water may result in calcium and magnesium deposits clogging the head, reducing the flow and changing the spray pattern. For descaling, various acidic chemicals or brushes can be used or some heads have rubber-like jets that can be manually descaled.

Shower curtains

Shower curtains are curtains used in bathtubs with a shower or shower enclosures. They are usually made from vinyl, cloth or plastic. The shower curtain has two main purposes: to provide privacy and to prevent water from flooding or spraying into the bathroom. Shower curtains usually surround the bath inside the tub or shower area, and are held up with railings or curtain rods on the ceiling. To accommodate the different types of bathtub shapes, railings can come in different sizes and are flexible in their design. Many people use two shower curtains: one that is inside the tub, which is purely functional or decorative as well, and an outer shower curtain, which is purely decorative.

Wet Room

A wet room is a shower within a bathroom with a barrier-free floor, level with its surroundings. This structure consists of two phases of construction:Phase 1 - Structural, which consists of a Gradient or Slope, an outlet hole, and a Foul Air Trap connecting the floor to the waste pipes.Phase 2 - Waterproofing. Best practice would suggest multiple layers of defense. Grout is used to fill gaps between tiles, but this material is generally porous. Tiles are generally waterproof, so larger surface areas of grout are less waterproof. Thus small mosaic tiles offer less of a defense than large format tiles. This means sub-tile waterproofing is importantwhen tiles are being used.

Cultural significance

Showering is mostly part of a daily routine to promote good hygiene, but is also practiced for wellness and relaxation.

Types of showers

*Air shower, a type of bathing where high pressure air is used to blow off excess dust particles from cleanroom personnel.
*Communal shower, a common enclosure having multiple overhead spray nozzles.
*Electric shower, a shower stall device to locally heat shower water with electrical power.
*Field shower, the washing of one's body with water performed by military personnel in the field.
*Navy shower, a method of showering that allows for significant conservation of water and energy.
*Power shower, a shower stall device to locally increase the water pressure available to the shower head by means of an electric pump.
*Steam shower, a type of bathing where a humidifying steam generator produces steam that is dispersed around a person's body.
*Vichy shower, a shower where large quantities of warm water are poured over a spa patron while she/he lies within a shallow (wet) bed, similar to a massage table, but with drainage for the water.

Equipment used in showers

*Pressure balanced shower valve, a shower stall device to provide constant shower water pressure and prevent temperature fluctuations.
*Sharko Shower, a tethered showerhead used for massage.
*Shower cap, a shower stall device product worn as a cap while showering or bathing, to protect hair from becoming wet.
*Shower gel, a shower stall product used for cleaning the body while showering.
*Shower radio, a shower stall product that is waterproofed to allow the radio to be used in a bathroom or other wet environment.
*Shower Shock, a shower stall product made of a caffeine impregnated soap bar.
*Sunshower (commercial product), a shower stall device to locally heat shower water with solar power.

ee also



External links

* [ How to fit a shower screen]
* [ Shower Head troubleshooting and general information]
* [ Shower and bath types - UK Consumer Information]
* [ How to choose a shower cabin]

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