Can I Fit A Tiny Shower Under The Stairs? Everything Explained
Did you go to work again after skipping a morning shower? If only there was a way to add a shower to your home! What about just a tiny shower under the stairs–you know where Harry Potter lived!
In this post, I’ll go over whether you can fit a tiny shower under the stairs, the considerations you will need to make as well as answer some questions around the topic.
Let’s dive in!
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Can I Fit A Tiny Shower Under The Stairs?
In some homes, it is possible to squeeze a compact shower room beneath the stairs. The original design of the house will determine just how functional that space may be. It is more likely to work when converting a Victorian home than a modern build due to the scale older homes used.
Considerations When Installing a Shower Under The Stairs
Before you take that yes answer and run with the idea down to the hardware supply store, you need to do some serious research. Adding a shower under the stairs may sound awesome after standing in line again for a cold morning splash, but it may not end up being a really smart solution.
Where will You Locate the Plumbing?
Remember that at the bare minimum you will need a hot and cold water supply and a waste pipe added to your home. The waste must be tied into your main sewer line. If you have an unfinished basement, then it will be fairly easy to run new plumbing beneath the stair-shower. Otherwise, you may be knocking out walls into your lounge or even a bedroom to hide the pipes.
How can You Add Ventilation?
Your new shower room must be properly ventilated with an exhaust fan. The fan must be connected to the outside. If your stairs are on an exterior wall, this will be an easy fix. Otherwise, there will be some significant planning required to run the exhaust duct along walls and ceilings. That could turn this small job into a big mess.
Lights? Is that Even Safe?
You will need to install lights designed for use in a wet room. That means that their switches and circuitry are protected from water incursion. They cost a bit more than average, but you are getting an extra shower! The switch must be located outside the shower room to stop you from operating an electric item while standing under running water. Also, having a light in the hallway opens up all sorts of opportunities for practical jokers.
How will the Door Open?
Obviously, if your new bathroom is being tucked under the stairs, you will not want the door to swing into the shower space. It will have to open out into your hall. If this is an older larger house with a massive front entry or upper floors with large landings this should be okay. You may also be able to use a pocket door design.
Where Can You Put Your Soap and Shampoo?
Since the shower room will be tiny, taking up more space with hooks and shelves may not be a great idea. Think about creating built-in shelves between the studs of the walls. It will require some custom tile work but adds function without taking up precious room.
Is There Room for a Basin and Toilet?
Is your family always fighting over the single bathroom? What is more pressing? Having an extra shower for the morning rush or a second toilet? You may need to decide on one or the other since most under-stair spots are much too small for a full three-piece bathroom.
Is there Really Enough Space?
Are you that desperate for a shower that you would accept sitting on a bench while using a handheld showerhead for your morning ablutions? Think twice about how that shower under the stairs will function. Can you turn around? Raise your arms over your head without bumping your elbows? Will there be a spot to hang a towel? Are you going to step out of the shower into your front hall?
While it is completely possible to have a tiny shower under the stairs that’s fully functional and practical, not all under-stair spaces are the same size. Really think about how much space you have and if it will be practical to fit a shower or not.
How Small Can a Shower Cubicle Be?
The smallest standard shower tray is 700mm square, which is a fair starting point. You can create a custom-sized shower room by laying your own tray on the floor. But if you are looking at something smaller than 700mm, it becomes very difficult to actually shower in the space.
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How Much Space Do You Need To Fit A Shower Under The Stairs?
The finished space between the wall and door should be no narrower than 700mm. Standard staircases are usually about 860mm wide, so that actually works well even when you need to add plumbing or build out walls inside the space.
An average showerhead should be mounted 200cm above the floor for a comfortable standing height. If you opt for a handheld shower, that height requirement is not necessary. A built-in bench may help with getting a good wash without falling into the walls.
A small yet functional overall size is 700mm wide by 1500mm long, which gives you enough room to turn around and even mount a small basin on the wall. It may become a bit of a wet room, so you need to think about where you are hanging a dry towel for after.
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There you have it. Everything you need to know about fitting a tiny shower under the stairs.
While it is completely possible to fit a shower under the stairs there are a few considerations and challenges to overcome in doing so.
However, if you’ve got the space and the ability to fit one, having a shower under the stairs can be a really useful addition to any busy home.
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Michael is a KBB designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom installations for over eight years now, and before that, he was an electrician and part of a KBB fitting team. He created The Bathroom Blueprint in early 2020.