Types of shower cabins: design features, materials of manufacture, nuances of operat

The first shower cabins appeared about 200 years ago, but have survived to this day in a seriously modernized form. A description and a detailed comparison of the main modifications of shower cabins will help you in choosing the right option.

What are shower cabins by design?

If earlier you didn’t have to choose, today, in addition to the traditional ones, there are other types of shower cabins – corners and boxes. Each type, of course, differs in the presence/absence of certain characteristics.

Traditional shower

In the usual sense, a shower cabin is a vertical structure of walls, doors, and a pallet, with or without a roof. In the first case, this is a closed cabin, in the second – open. Additional features may be provided by the manufacturer, such as hydromassage or aromatherapy.

Classic showers have become a worthy alternative to a bath and a way to save space in the room.

Shower corner (open showers)

If the bathroom is small, a shower enclosure will help save precious centimeters.

Conventionally, it is called a kind of open-type shower cabin. It differs from traditional models in the absence of a circular fence and is placed in a corner close to the wall. The role of the walls in this case is played by the walls of the bathroom.

Key features of the shower enclosure:

  • can be installed on a pallet or directly on the floor;
  • if you choose transparent doors, visually the design does not burden the space of a small room.

The shower, bar, and mixer are usually not included in the shower enclosure, so you can choose the equipment at your discretion.

Shower enclosure with tray

A compact shower enclosure with a tray will cost less than a traditional shower cabin.

The organization of a good drainage system is important here, and this is, first of all, a reliable siphon, and the absence of gaps between the shower enclosure and the floor.

Shower enclosure without tray

The option without a pallet requires additional investments in the competent reconstruction of the floor base.

The floor in the bathroom should have a slope of 2-3 ° and a special drain for a good outflow of water. Since water will pour directly onto the floor, it is necessary to take care of high-quality waterproofing and a solid concrete screed.

Floor tiles should be chosen with a rough, non-slip surface.

Shower box

Owners of large bathrooms have the opportunity to use all the technological advantages of a modern shower room that combines the functions of a cabin and a bathtub. This design is called a shower box and among all types of shower cabins, this is the largest variety.

The shower box is a completely hermetic design, so it can be supplemented with:

  • hydromassage system;
  • functions of ozonation and aromatherapy;
  • Turkish bath and sauna regimen;
  • built-in radio receiver;
  • built-in mobile phone.

Deep shower trays of large sizes are usually installed in shower boxes, which allows not only to take a shower but also to use the cabin as a full-fledged bath.

If we compare the box with other types of shower cabins, this is the most expensive design, but also the most.

Types of shower trays

Regardless of whether you choose a corner, a box, or a classic shower cabin, first of all, pay attention to the tray. The ease of use and durability of the structure largely depends on the type and characteristics of this element.

Pallet height

The shower tray comes in different heights:

  • low (about 10 cm);
  • medium (up to 30 cm);
  • high (over 30 cm) and full baths.

When choosing the height of the pallet, you need to take into account the needs and capabilities of all household members.

Low pallets

A pallet with a small side is easy to step over even for an elderly or disabled person. In this case, you need to be sure of the quality of the drain. The water must drain quickly.

Cabins with a low shower tray look as stylish and airy as corners without a tray due to the almost completely transparent facade.

Medium pallets

Medium and high pallets are the most common.

Their advantages are as follows:

  • it is convenient to wash your feet in them;
  • you can soak clothes;
  • a shower tray with a height of about 30 cm is used by many for the safe bathing of children;
  • in houses of old construction, the quality of sewer systems leaves much to be desired. With poor pipe throughput, the high side acts as a barrier against water overflowing over the edge.

The disadvantage of these pallets is that it is still high to step over them. The problem is solved by a podium with steps, on which a shower cabin is installed, or one concrete step, lined with tiles. This solution looks very effective.

Full bath

As for the shower cabin with a full bath, this option is considered universal. This is, most often, the shower box mentioned above with its rich functionality, which requires not so much installation space as financial investments.

Pallet shape

When choosing pallets for a shower cabin, it is necessary to take into account the shapes and sizes and know all the offers on the market. The configuration of the shower cabin depends on the shape of the pallet.

On sale there are pallets of the following forms:

  • square;
  • quadrant;
  • rectangle;
  • semicircle;
  • asymmetric shape;
  • polyhedron.

The first traditional models used square bases and quarter circles. Despite the emergence of competitive models of the original configuration, they are popular to this day.


Shower cabins with straight walls are completed with square pallets. Both sides are attached to the wall of the bathroom. The square base of medium height is often completed with multifunctional hydro boxes.


A quarter-circle is ideal for a shower enclosure and compact cubicle. The design fits neatly into the corner and does not take up much space. The front part of the pallet is convex, and the sides adjacent to the walls are of equal length. Usually from 80 to 120 cm.

If the outer part of the base is not convex along the entire length but has the form of a polygon, such a pallet is placed in a corner by any side.


A rectangular tray can be installed in a shower enclosure if the owners do not want to wash standing on the floor. The short side (for example, 80 cm) of the pallet will be installed against a short wall. At the same time, the long side of the pallet is only 120 cm, which in total is much more compact than a medium-sized bathtub.

A tall rectangular tray is a full-fledged bathtub in a shower box.


As for semi-circular pallets, even shop assistants often call them “quarter circles”, which misleads buyers. The semicircular base, unlike the “quarter”, does not repeat the shape of the corner, it stands there with only one side and is located along the wall. Such a pallet does not save space, therefore it is used for shower cabins in spacious bathrooms.


Imagine a rectangular pallet with one of the corners cut off and rounded off. This design is called asymmetric. Accordingly, the asymmetrical bases of shower cabins are left- and right-handed.

Such a pallet has no special advantages over a rectangle, except for the original shape.


Pallets and booths of non-standard configuration can be with any number of walls, corners, and edges forming them. Such showers are not produced by the in-line method but are made to order according to an individual engineering and design project.

For exclusive models with multifaceted trays, the best materials and components are used.

Pallet material

The following requirements are imposed on the quality of the shower tray: rigidity, reliability, durability.

Pallet materials are:

  • acrylic;
  • enamelled steel;
  • liquid marble;
  • ceramics.

Each of them has its pros and cons, which you need to know about before choosing the best option for the family.

Acrylic pallets

Acrylic trays are completed with all types of shower cabins, from simple corners to technological hydro boxes.

Advantages of acrylic pallets:

  • hygiene and resistance to pollution (high-quality acrylic does not turn yellow over time);
  • fast heating;
  • water pours quietly onto the acrylic tray

The pallet made of high-quality cast acrylic does not bend under the weight of a person, it is strong and durable. Scratches and cracks are easily repaired with a repair kit.

To enhance the rigidity of the structure, acrylic pallets are installed on durable metal frames.

Enameled steel

An array of steel pallets is stronger than acrylic frosting, but its enamel layer is a weak point. Cracks and chips are not repairable, accumulate dirt, and prevent rust. If the steel is thin, we are transferred to the loud accompaniment of jet water.

With careful handling, a steel shower tray will last a long time. Its big plus is the rapid heating of the bottom.

liquid marble

The composite material, known as liquid marble, closely resembles natural stone in appearance and properties.

Its main qualities:

  • high strength;
  • resistance to damage;
  • simple care.

The marble tray in the shower room looks solid and monumental. It costs much more than steel and acrylic.


Fragility and a slippery bottom, even with a corrugated surface, are not the best qualities for a shower tray. Ceramic bases are not popular, despite their rich and noble appearance.

Differences in shower doors

Regardless of the type of shower cabin, its appearance is affected by the design of the front part, and these are the doors. Their design should please the owners and fit into the interior if it matters.

Doors can differ not only in the material from which they are made but also in the type of opening.

The difference between doors according to the material of manufacture

For the production of shower doors, safe materials are used:

  • strained glass;
  • triplex;
  • plastic.

When decorating the sashes, matting, stained-glass windows, and other techniques are used.


Strained glass

Glass, about 6 mm thick, is heated at high temperatures, then rapidly cooled. This is how tempered glass is obtained, from which shower doors are made, durable and resistant to mechanical stress.

Such doors are easy to clean, remain hygienic for years, and do not lose their purity and transparency. If they are broken, fragments are formed with smooth edges that do not harm.

Frosted glass

To give the tempered glass a matte finish, it is sandblasted or chemically etched. The sashes become corrugated or with a certain pattern.

Stained glass

Inserts of multi-colored stained glass give the facade of the shower cabin an interesting and original appearance.

This version of the doors is more expensive but is actively used by designers when decorating bathrooms in ethnic styles.

Patterned glass

A variety of drawings are applied to the glass of shower doors using the method of photo printing and factory engraving. A bright booth looks good in a spacious bathroom, where it becomes an accent element of the interior.


All types of shower cabins can be equipped with triplex doors, consisting of several layers of glass, fastened with a polymer film. Regardless of whether it is transparent triplex or tinted, it is very durable, reliable, and safe.


Plastic doors are installed in budget showers, more often intended for public institutions. The surface of the valves is poorly resistant to damage, quickly covered with scratches, and becomes cloudy.

Shower door opening systems

Plumbing manufacturers care about the convenience of people, so they offer not only different types of showers but also different types of sashes:

  • swing;
  • articulated;
  • sliding;
  • folding.

The choice of a suitable option depends not only on the personal preferences of the owners but also on the dimensions of the bathroom.

Swing doors

The hinge mechanism of swing doors familiar to everyone is the most reliable, convenient, and durable. Shower doors open smoothly and close tightly.

For spacious rooms where there is free space in front of the booth, swing doors will be an ideal option.

Hinged doors

This is a type of door opening similar to the previous one, but instead of hinges, the sashes are mounted on swivel hinges located at the top and bottom of the door leaf.

Hinged doors are also reliable and also require free space in front of the booth.

Sliding doors

Doors on a roller mechanism that opens like a wardrobe are the most common. They move to the side, overlapping each other, and free the opening. Depending on the size of the shower room, the systems consist of 2 or more shutters.

With good quality and careful use, they last a long time and without problems.

Folding door

A door-book, also known as an accordion door, is the most complex design for a shower room, requiring special fasteners and fittings.

But it is the most practical and aesthetic. The leaf sections fold neatly and do not require space when opened. A folding shower door will cost more than analogs, but the price is offset by the ease of use and long service life.


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