Quick Wash

Outdoor showers deliver seasonal convenience and style to residential settings.
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outdoor showers
Photography Courtesy of Outdoor Shower Company (left); Sonoma Forge (right)

Maybe you live on a lake or have a built-in pool or simply want the convenience of having an outdoor shower during the warmer months. Though they need to be winterized, they are relatively easy to install and come in a variety of styles suitable for rustic to modern luxury landscapes.

The showers are popular for rinsing kids and pets, according to Michelle Lee, showroom consultant for Infusion Kitchen & Bath Showrooms by Etna Supply (infusionshowrooms.com) in Wixom, one of six locations including Grand Ledge, Kalamazoo, Traverse City, Holland and Grand Rapids. “With an outdoor shower, it’s a lot easier when you’re entertaining, and it’s great when you have kids, so they don’t track mud through the house.”

Sonoma Forge
Photograph courtesy of Sonoma Forge

Placements can vary depending on the need. They can be freestanding, attached to the house, or secured to fences and decorative stone pillars. Lakefront property owners also position them by docks for a quick rinse after a sunny boat ride, said Lee, who recommends buying showers that are rated for outdoor use and can withstand the elements, like Ztrends and Outdoor Shower Company.

Lee said she is seeing a growing interest in outdoor showers. “People are adding this extra touch when building a house on a lake where they plan to retire, and they want to invest a little more money on the property,” she said.

“With an outdoor shower, it’s a lot easier when you’re entertaining, and it’s great when you have kids, so they don’t track mud through the house.”
— Michelle Lee

Freshen up

Some homeowners choose to install more than one, perhaps on the back side of a cottage by the lake and a little handheld style near a side door for gardening, said Kim Haveman, plumbing manager for Williams Studio (thewilliamsstudio.com) in Kentwood.

They come in handy for filling up baby pools with a bucket when the hose is too far away and can keep sand at bay, away from interior living spaces or even the deck. “We put them poolside so people can rinse off the bromine from the hot tub or the chlorine from the pool,” she said.

Outdoor Shower Company
Photograph courtesy of Outdoor Shower Company

“Women tend to wash their hair when they get out of the water, and they don’t want to go into the house to take a full shower. Enclosed outdoor showers offer full privacy in the summer, so people treat them as another shower for houseguests.”

Some shower finishes readily blend into brick or stone exteriors. Haveman said companies like Sonoma Forge are popular because people like a more organic look for outdoor showers — the rustic nickel, oil-rubbed bronze or weathered copper styles that blend into nature.

Haveman also recommended getting a plumber involved when adding a shower. And at the end of the season, when the sprinkler system gets winterized, it will be time to winterize the shower, too.

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