How to Design an Upstairs Shower Stall

Written by becky lower
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How to Design an Upstairs Shower Stall
A new upstairs shower can add value to your home. (Douche image by ParisPhoto from

Adding an upstairs shower stall can enhance your home's value, while adding convenience to your home's overall floor plan. There are some inherent problems when adding a shower to an upper floor. Many home styles have angled ceilings on upper floors, making anything other than a bathtub problematic. And space can be an issue. The smallest shower stalls are 32 inches by 32 inches, but can be uncomfortable. Try to find a space that measures at least 6 feet by 6 feet for your new shower. To save money, it's best to place the new shower directly above downstairs plumbing.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Find upstairs areas that are directly above your home's existing plumbing to see if they might work for a new shower. If the ceiling is angled, design the shower so the shower head will be installed on the tallest wall.

  2. 2

    Install an angled shower door on an existing or new upstairs tub. You can choose from doors that are angled at the top, or doors that have a permanent angled panel along with a regular rectangular door or bifold doors.

  3. 3

    Install a prefabricated shower, if space permits. This is the most cost-effective option, but may not suit the space, since the units are large and may not fit up the stairs. They also are the least-flexible style and will not meet any specialised needs you have.

  4. 4

    Consider turning an entire room into a freestanding shower. This will take some special plumbing, since a drain must be installed in the floor, which must slope for proper drainage. You'll need to tile the entire area, including the ceiling, and install a custom door so water stays in the room.

  5. 5

    Add a modern twist, if space and budget allows, by installing an egg-shaped freestanding shower that includes a tub, shower, hydro massage and mood lighting all in one piece. Your upstairs shower will be a work of art.

Tips and warnings

  • Use slip-resistant flooring tile for proper safety.
  • Add a steam-room function to a freestanding shower. The walls and ceiling must have waterproof backerboard installed and may need a waterproof membrane, depending on the type of finish. Install a seat so you can relax and enjoy the steam. The running water from the shower will enhance the steam's effect. The steam generator must be positioned outside the room -- in a heated attic, closet or cabinet.

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