Choosing a Masonry Shower Enclosure: Advantages & Disadvantages
Let’s find out everything there is to know about masonry shower enclosures, including construction costs and short and long-term advantages.
The masonry shower box is a somewhat contradictory element; in a purely architectural field, some designers consider it a solution to be adopted only in case of extreme necessity when it is impossible to do without it.
On the other hand, others are much more favorable to masonry showers because creating a portion of the wall inside the bathroom allows you to remodel the space and thus create new configurations for the subsequent insertion of furniture or additional elements the plant.
Choosing a Masonry Shower Enclosure
In our opinion, both currents of thought are well-founded. The masonry shower is an element present in rural environments, such as country houses.
For example, consequently, in the bathrooms of urban apartments, where spaces are usually limited, the idea of further restricting the environment with a new wall can appear risky.
Yet the construction of a shower enclosure with a side wall offers several advantages, not only in terms of interior design.
The Limitations of Modern Brick Showers
As we mentioned in the introduction, these showers were mainly built in rustic country houses in the past. The services were generally located outside the house for hygiene reasons and lack of adequate drainage systems and were not for nothing cured of an aesthetic point of view.
However, the situation has reversed and the brick-built shower without a door located outside is present only in homes with swimming pools. The bathroom with a masonry shower inside the house, on the other hand, is increasingly popular because it often offers more advantages than disadvantages.
The limitations of these types of showers are mainly due to the larger footprint and poor lighting. As far as space problems are concerned, it is necessary to consider that even if we limit ourselves to creating a glass block shower cubicle, the thickness of a single wall is at least 10 centimeters.
Suppose the masonry shower enclosure is built in a central position. In that case, the bulk of the walls rises to at least 20 centimeters, so in small bathrooms, this solution is not ideal for conserving helpful space.
For privacy reasons having a shower with a window would be nothing short of unthinkable. Moreover, we must also consider the aspect of the lack of light inside, which is why a masonry shower niche needs a source of lighting. Artificial, whether it is directional spotlights or a ceiling light.
The Advantages of the Masonry Shower
The limitations of the masonry shower enclosure can therefore be easily solved, while the advantages that can derive from its construction are many.
To begin with, the additional wall can be used as a shoulder for a piece of furniture or to expand the bathroom system by adding a radiator, a towel warmer, or bathroom fixtures or appliances.
The masonry box also allows you to do without the shower tray and take advantage of the entire portion of the floor inside, thus increasing comfort because you can move freely when taking a shower.
The masonry shower can also be made in such a way as to insert other functional furnishing elements, such as a bench to sit down and allow older adults or people with mobility problems to be able to wash safely and with greater comfort; moreover, it can be easily transformed to perform the function of a sauna as well.
How to Make the Box
The construction options of the brick shower enclosure are different and vary according to the circumstances.
If the house is under construction, the box can be inserted at the design level and built during the works; in a building already made, however, a masonry shower must be carried out with a view to a domestic renovation.
The latter foresees two possible scenarios; the first is that of a complex renovation that includes changes to the bathroom, while the second is that of a targeted renovation, such as the replacement of the bathtub with the shower cubicle.
It is essential to start from this premise because depending on the type of project you have in mind, it may be necessary to present the SCIA; even in the case of a simple renovation that does not require permits, it is also advisable to avoid resorting to DIY because this type of work is quite complex and involves the use of sanders and other power tools, which are expensive and require expertise to be used correctly.
As for the materials to be used, however, the box’s walls can be made of brick and concrete or with waterproof plasterboard.
The choice of material depends exclusively on the type of processing; often and willingly, for example, in an existing bathroom, it is preferable to use waterproof plasterboard, especially if only a simple portion of the wall needs to be built without making changes to the water system.
Once the plasterboard has been installed, it can then be grouted, sanded properly with a wall sander and then covered with tiles to take on the same appearance as the other walls in the bathroom.
The Costs of Construction
As you can easily guess at this point, making a precise estimate of how much a built-in shower can cost is not easy. The factors to be taken into account are, in fact, different, starting with the materials, the size of the walls to be built and the possible purchase of additional accessories.
Indicatively speaking, we can only say that a brick and concrete wall costs around 20 to 40 euros per square meter, while a waterproof plasterboard wall costs from 30 to 50 euros per square meter.
The fee of the wall must then be added to the cost of the purchase and installation of the coverings, which also, in this case, varies widely depending on the circumstances.