I first remember falling in love with outdoor showers at the age of 14. We were living on a boat anchored in the bay off of the Fernendez Bay Resort, located in Fernandez Bay, Cat Island, Bahamas.
It’s a true “Island Style” Resort, with little cottages made of Coral Stone that have these amazing “open” showers made with the same coral. There you can shower while having the most amazing views of the island skys, and the ocean breezes.
I have always been the most relaxed and at peace when at one with nature. Growing up on a boat with limited water supply (those water tanks had to be filled someplace, and that wasn’t always easy) fresh water showers were something of a luxury. So I suppose I have a slight obsession with showers and baths, and running water or all sorts really.
There is a section of my yard that I’ve always had in the back of my mind for an outdoor shower. I usually pick a couple of “summer home improvement projects”, so when our hot water tank broke recently and I got to thinking how much nicer it would be to shower outside where at least the air is warm…. I started looking online for the parts. I scored the exact same fixture sold on amazon.com on offerup for only $35 and the project commenced.
I found several ideas that I liked on Pinterest, and came up with my own plan for how I was going to make this happen. The wall where I wanted to put it was a half finished mural I had done of a mermaid made out of broken tiles, stone, glass, mirror and pottery shards. I figured this would make a great focal point in the shower.
12 Bags of Egg Stone
2 24″ Polished Concrete Squares
10 60 lbs Bags of Concrete
5 8′ Outdoor Timbers (Pressure Treated)
6 1″x 4″ Pressure Treated (8′)
1 Outdoor Shower Fixture
1 Brass Hose Splitter
1 25′ Heavy Duty Garden Hose
Small Box of 1.5″ decking screws
2 Rolls of 8′ Bamboo Rolls
1 Roll Thin 4’ Bamboo Fencing
2 Brass Hinges
1 Hook and Latch
Post Hole Digger
Day 1: I dug 5 holes 24″ deep with a post hole digger (you can use a shovel if you don’t have a post hole digger) I mixed 10 bags (1 bag at a time in a 5 gal. bucket) of concrete and set the posts, making sure to level, on the corners of my shower space (5′ x7′) with 1 extra on the longest section.
Day 2: I cut the 1″ x 4″s into sections for each wall and screwed them about a foot from the top and bottom of the posts. I screwed the shower fixture to the 1″ x 4″ sections.
Connected the hose splitter to the hose bib, connected the 25′ hose, and dug a small trench to bury the hose right under the dirt so it wouldn’t show when done.
Moving the 24″ concrete squares into place took a little help as they weighed a ton! I then used the bags of Egg Stone to fill in all around the concrete squares.
Day 3: Okay, so truth be told Day 3 happened about two weeks later when I finally got some more time to work on this project.
This was kind of the fun part because it really started to come together when the bamboo went up.
I used a battery powered nail gun to tack up the bamboo to the 1”x4”’s around the top and bottom.
I added a couple of decorative Pilings I had laying around the yard for decoration and one to use as a shelf inside for shampoo bottles.
Day 4: was door building time. I used 1”x 1” to make a frame and then used a roll of thin bamboo fencing (the kind sold for gardening purposes) that I stapled on both sides of the frame.
I attached the door using two brass hinges, and put a little hook and latch to keep it closed on the top corner.
I’ll have an update at some point with the finished mermaid tile mosaic that I covered one wall with and have yet to complete. But that’s a story for another day.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on my recycled tile Mermaid Mosaic that adorns one wall of my shower.
As with most projects, this turned out to take more time, and be more work than I had expected.
But that first shower……as the sun was setting and the sky was turning pink, a flock of birds flew over … and I knew that it was all worth it!
There is something about being surrounded by nature, naked as you came into this world, water spraying over you, that just makes you feel you’ve found your place in the universe.
It’s such a beautiful, peaceful feeling.
Well worth the effort that it took.
So I’ll admit, even though our hot water is working again, there are days when that setting sun, and ocean breeze will keep pulling me back to that outdoor shower.