Best DIY Outdoor Shower Ideas & Designs

There are many reasons to have an outdoor shower: Maybe you don’t want to bring a mess indoors. Maybe you want to wash off before or after taking a dip in the pool. Maybe your dog needs a wash. 

Building your own outdoor shower is relatively easy and something you can do on virtually any budget. A source of water, an enclosure for privacy, and a few DIY outdoor shower ideas are almost everything you need to get started. If you’re lacking inspiration for a practical outdoor shower that adds -- rather than detracts -- from your outdoor oasis, here are some outdoor shower design ideas to use as a springboard.


Luxurious, enclosed outdoor shower design
Luxurious, enclosed outdoor shower design

Partially Enclosed Outdoor Shower

Some of the best outdoor shower ideas keep things simple, but a few small additions can make a big difference to your experience. Using a partially enclosed shower can provide both ample privacy and protection from the elements. Constructed with high-quality composites like Trex® Decking for drainage, the shower can blend into the side of your home like a natural extension.


DIY: The Bare Essentials for an Outdoor Shower

When envisioning a more practical approach to an outdoor shower, it helps to start with the bare essentials. In most cases, that includes a source of water and a little privacy. When it comes to providing a source of water, an easy way to achieve this is to use a garden hose at a heightened position and then securing it with planter hooks.

For instance, you might mount a hose atop an arbor or pergola to cleverly hide it from plain sight. Taking advantage of natural plant life for privacy and concealment makes decorating much easier -- and even a bit more elegant. Simple outdoor shower ideas like this work best in warm weather.

DIY Outdoor Showerhead

A little creativity can go a long way. For instance, grab a bucket and puncture the bottom with holes. Then have your hose empty into your bucket to serve as a showerhead. With a little tinkering, the water pressure can be raised or lowered to your liking. Using common shelf brackets, mounting a bucket or another fixture against a fence or wall can be accomplished in only a few minutes.


Private outdoor shower design
Private outdoor shower design

Use Existing Structures

Building your outdoor shower around any existing plumbing is often easier, and it’s usually essential for people who want to create an outdoor shower with hot water. Additionally, positioning your outdoor shower as an extension of your home makes it easier to use an existing overhang that can help offer some privacy.

Using this approach, a simple solution would be to mount a rounded shower rod onto a flat wall of your choosing, then drawing a shower curtain for privacy. The addition of a large stone -- where you can place soaps, towels, or other toiletries -- can help retain an “outdoor” look and feel, while also providing a practical place to keep shower essentials.

However, if you’d prefer something more elaborate, another great option is to install a mounted door with an optional locking mechanism. A swinging door can provide access when needed and hide your shower from prying eyes when closed. This kind of partially enclosed design is a favorite with many homeowners -- and the extra privacy is easily appreciated by guests.


Freestanding Outdoor Shower Enclosures

Outdoor showers are usually permanent or semi-permanent installations, but for someone working with finite space, deciding to use a portable enclosure is often a good idea. Being able to move or store the enclosure can be a big plus for someone who’s only using an outdoor shower during warmer months.

The type of freestanding enclosure you choose is up to you. You may want a more natural look with the woodsy aesthetic of bamboo, the industrial feel of galvanized metal, or an indoor vibe of opaque tempered glass.

Shower Enclosure Flooring Ideas

Homeowners looking for quick and simple outdoor shower ideas need to look no further than sanded wooden pallets for a makeshift showering platform. Pallets are a great outdoor shower base idea because they’re designed to hold a fair amount of weight, and the positioning of the boards allows water to freely drain away, shifting to the ground below. However, you will need to replace your wooden pallets every few years due to accumulation of mildew, mold, or rot that can come from the wood being saturated with water.

Using the same principles but in a more sophisticated way, you might instead use composite decking to create a weather-resistant showering platform. An added benefit to using composite decking as a platform is that it’s resistant to mold and mildew, fade-resistant, and won’t splinter like natural wood. With the right design and placement, drainage can take care of itself. Just remember to make sure you’re using biodegradable soaps that won’t harm nearby plants!

An outdoor shower can be a practical way to keep from tracking dirt indoors or into the pool. However, just because it’s a practical addition doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice aesthetics. There are a variety of ways to cleverly integrate an outdoor shower into your backyard design, giving you a measure of privacy along with a functional area for use during warmer months.