A more popular modern choice than baths due to the lack of space on narrowboats. Small footprint shower units are available and the increase in choice of decorative waterproof panelling means you are no longer restricted to ceramic or plastic tiles.
Tiles can be fixed to timber bulkheads with good quality silicon and grouted with flexible grout. This gives a higher degree of impact resistance and movement than traditional cement based tile adhesives.
Shower waste systems are lower than the hull outlet, being below the waterline. Therefore waste water has to be pumped from the waste outlet up and out of the skin fitting. Low profile waste outlets are available so as not to foul the bilges. Self priming, non clogging, high lift diaphragm pumps are used as one of the simplest and reliable ways of lifting the waste.
Other methods include a sump box which works by sensing water level and automatically turning on to pump water.
Know that shower waste is particularly harsh on pumps, pipework and fittings as soap and hair build up can cause problems. When fitting out make sure there are no jagged edges to pipes etc that could cause hair to catch and build up to an obstruction.
Whatever method you use, be sure you can access the low profile waste, pump and pipework for future maintenance and replacement.
Household shower enclosures
With careful planning and consideration to shower tray depths it is possible to use some of the shorter household shower enclosures.
Take a look at the diagram to the right, you will see the critical cabin dimensions surrounding a shower installation. In general terms these dimensions are on the generous side and depending on the age of the boat, flooring and sub flooring they will alter accordingly.
Heights of household shower enclosures generally range from 1800mm - 2025mm so you will be considering the shorter options. In order to take advantage of the maximum height available it's beneficial to site the shower towards the centre of the cabin.
Canal boat shower enclosures
To avoid the hassle surrounding installing household shower enclosures why not consider a purpose built canal boat solution. In 'short' they offer all the features of a household enclosures with the added benefit of being manufactured to an optimum height.
Take for example quadrant shower enclosures manufactured for the canal boat market, the critical height dimensions typically range from 1600-1700mm. This saving of 100-200mm is all that's required for a comfortable installation.