What Is A Shower Cabin? | Everything Explained

Did you visit your neighbour’s flat and were surprised to see a beautiful new shower with all sorts of jets and lights where their old tile surround shower used to stand? How did that happen? That space-aged enclosure could be a shower cabin or shower cubicle. It’s a fast and easy way to replace an old shower from the 70s with something modern without the expense and bother of a complete renovation.

In this post, I’ll explain what a shower cabin is, how they work, their pros and cons as well as answer some frequently asked questions on the topic.

Let’s dive in!

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What Is A Shower Cabin?

A shower cabin is your one-stop solution to creating a spa-like shower without blowing up your entire bathroom. They are sometimes called shower pods or shower cubicles. The unit includes the shower tray, wall, doors, and all fixtures in a piece ready to slide into place.

Shower cabins sometimes come with rain showerheads, steam shower, massage nozzles, lights, sound systems, and even built-in shampoo dispensers. If you have seen an amazing shower in the movies, it may have been a shower cabin.

Since they are more of a luxury fixture, they don’t tend to be tiny. An average shower cabin measures approximately 900 X 900 mm with some opulent solutions measuring up to 1800 X 900 mm. The extra room leaves plenty of space for dancing under the showerhead.

How Do Shower Cabins Work?

The shower cabin is shipped to your home in a box containing the tray and a few panels that snap together to form the cabin. Your plumber makes a few quick connections to the waste and water supply lines. There is no need to open or repair the walls if you pull out an old shower enclosure.

You won’t need to finish the floor, either. The installer adjusts some screws to level the hidden feet. A trim piece wraps around the base and hides the legs. If the cabin comes with pumps, lights, and sound, you may need an electrician to run a wire and make the final connections. Since the cabin features a fully sealed pan and waste, you don’t spend any time sealing the edges with silicone.

Once it’s in place, it operates just like your old shower, but with a variety of available upgrades. Massage jets can be positioned vertically along the walls for a whole-body experience. Add a showerhead that is as simple or fancy as you desire. Some space-age designs include Bluetooth speakers, coloured lighting, and voice-activated controls.

Many of these shower cabins are designed to fit in a corner. Curved doors that slide instead of swing open allow you to fit the cabin into smaller bathrooms. Most shower pods require you to step a few centimetres up and over the entry lip.

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Advantages Of A Shower Cabin

  • The most appealing part of choosing a shower cabin is that everything is included. You do not have to source the shower pan, walls, taps, soap trays, exhaust, door, etc. etc. You won’t even be picking out new tile to fix the walls!
  • The installation of a shower pod will take less than a day–and that includes removing the old shower. The installer team may need to make a few minor adjustments to line up the waste, but there is only minor work needed to produce a polished appearance.
  • It’s a fabulous option when adding a shower to a bathroom that only has a tub.
  • There is no need to open up walls to make a plumbing connection. You won’t need to take down the old tile as the cabin simply slides into place against the finished wall.
  • If you take out an old shower pan, the feet on the bottom of the shower cabin are adjustable to work with any uneven flooring left behind.

Disadvantages Of A Shower Cabin

  • Shower cabins will cost more than a traditional shower enclosure. Prices start at around £500 and will run up to £2,000 when you add all the bells and whistles.
  • Because the shower cabin is sold as a standalone unit, it may not match the rest of the sanitaryware or even your walls. The only way to get a shower cabin that looks like it truly belongs in the room is to do a complete renovation, and that sort of defeats the idea of a cabin.
  • Shower cabins are not a great solution when adding a shower to a tiny bathroom. Its walls include all the plumbing, so you lose inches in the space for items that are traditionally hidden behind the real walls.

Do Shower Cabins Leak?

The pan of a shower cabin or pod is formed from a single piece of acrylic, so it will not leak at the bottom. The same manufacturing process is used for making standard shower pans and enclosures.

The walls and door panels clip to the bottom pan. Waterproof foam and a silicone sealant prevent water from working its way around the seams.

If you install a shower cabin by yourself and don’t get it quite square or follow all the directions, you could end up with wall seams that leak during an epic shower. At the same time, it won’t be any worse than using a shower curtain.

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Are Shower Cabins Easy To Install?

It all depends on the shower cabin design that you purchase. Some manufacturers like Insignia have focused on making their pods installer-friendly. Their kit frames can snap together in just one minute. Other kits require you to add batten strips to the wall and screw the panels into place to give the cabin better rigidity. Plumbing connections tend to be pressure fittings with flexible hoses but the waste will require a precise fit.

If you do well with precisely following directions, this is a shower that can fit into your DiY schedule.

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Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Everything you need to know about shower cabins.

What do you think, will you go for a shower cabin in your new bathroom renovation?


Michael R

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.