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5 Common Mistakes When Designing Showers for Student Housing

Living on campus has its benefits – but sharing a shower with dozens of other people isn’t one of them. If you’ve ever showered in a dorm or other communal space, you’ve probably encountered at least one of the below problems. After all, creating a common shower space for dozens of people within budget and space constraints can be difficult. Keep these points in mind, and you can make this unique showering experience much more pleasant for dorm residents.

dormitory hallway

Mistake #1: Lack of Privacy

This is one of the most frequent concerns about dorm-dwelling, especially when it comes to the bathroom. To solve this, campuses must strike a balance between privacy and space. First, consider the layout. Shower stalls shouldn't be in the direct line of sight of any entrances or common areas. This way residents don't feel like they're on display when entering and exiting the showers.

Secondly, consider extending the shower walls as high as possible. It's not unusual for communal shower walls to fall short of the ceiling, but higher walls can reduce sound transfer and give residents the feeling of more privacy. While it's impossible to have complete privacy in a dorm setting, it's important to make residents feel as safe and comfortable as possible.

Mistake #2: Poor Drainage

Proper water drainage is critical in communal shower facilities. Without it, standing water can accumulate and lead to unpleasant odors, slip and fall accidents, and plumbing issues. The most effective way to prevent this is to properly slope the floor towards the drain, allowing water to flow away quickly and easily. For this reason, we recommend choosing a molded shower pan instead of a tiled shower floor. These pans are already sloped, whereas tiled floors are subject to human error.

>Read Three Reasons to Avoid Tiled Shower Floors

It's also important to select a drain that can handle heavy water flow and won't clog easily. With so many students, there’s sure to be plenty of hair and soap buildup. Proper drainage helps the showers remain clean, safe, and comfortable.

efficient drain

Mistake #3: Insufficient Ventilation

With so many showers running at any given time, common bathrooms can get steamy. This moisture can quickly breed mold and mildew. Ventilation is essential to keeping bathrooms sanitary. It not only prevents mold and mildew growth but unpleasant odors that are also sure to circulate. You can achieve proper air flow by incorporating the right number of exhaust fans, windows that open, or air vents. Be sure to comply with local building code requirements when it comes to where and how these are installed. 

Mistake #4: Lack of Storage

Students typically bring their own towels, soap, and shampoo into the shower. And, shockingly, there's usually nowhere to put them but the shower floor - which isn't sanitary or convenient. Providing storage space keeps these items clean and easily accessible. Hooks, shelves, and niches can help prevent tripping hazards and ensure that students don't have to bend down to access their toiletries. A convenient and well-organized shower enhances its functionality and safety. 


Mistake #5: Porous Shower Products

Choosing the right materials for showers in a student housing project is essential for a healthy and hygienic living environment. Non-porous materials are ideal in bathrooms – they’re resistant to water absorption, bacteria, mold, and mildew. In communal settings where multiple people use the same facilities, this can help prevent the spread of infections. Non-porous products are also easier to clean and maintain, which can save campuses time and money.

dirty tile grout

Living in such tight quarters with other people is difficult enough – and one way to escape is by taking a relaxing shower. Give students a safe, pleasurable showering experience by avoiding these five mistakes. Mincey can help - our cast marble shower panels and pans are non-porous, sanitary, and low maintenance. And unlike tile, the perfect slope is already built into our shower pans.

Learn more about Mincey for student housing.