Hey friends! I’m back with another home decor adventure – transforming an ordinary bathroom into an extraordinary oasis with a cave shower.
Now, excavating your existing shower and creating a new structure sounds intimidating. But trust me, with some planning and the proper guidance, you can create a jaw-dropping spa retreat right in your home.
In this post, we’ll walk through everything you need to know, from understanding the cave shower concept to planning the design to maintenance tips. Grab a fresh cup of coffee, and let’s dive in!
- 1 What Exactly is a Cave Shower?
- 2 A Brief History of Cave-Inspired Baths
- 3 Why Add a Cave Shower to Your Home?
- 4 How to Design Your Dream Cave Shower
- 5 Design Elements to Make Your Cave Shower Dazzle
- 6 Ready to Get Your Hands Dirty? Installation Tips
- 7 Maintaining Your Spa-Like Sanctuary
- 8 Create Your Own Spa Paradise
- 9 Frequently Asked Cave Shower Questions
- 9.1 What kind of maintenance is required for a cave shower?
- 9.2 What’s the best way to get lighting right in a cave shower?
- 9.3 How do I add seating to my cave shower design?
- 9.4 What are the most low-maintenance materials for a cave shower?
- 9.5 How do I add storage to my cave shower without clutter?
- 9.6 Should I waterproof walls before or after installing shower materials?
- 9.7 What’s the benefit of body jets in a cave shower?
- 9.8 How important is ventilation for preventing mold in a cave shower?
- 9.9 Should I grout then seal, or vice versa?
What Exactly is a Cave Shower?
Simply put, a cave shower brings the essence of bathing in natural caverns and hot springs into your bathroom. It typically features:
- Rough, textured walls made of natural stone, concrete, or even wood. This gives the rustic, earthy vibe of an actual cave.
- An enclosed, curved structure without doors or screens. This enhances the privacy and feeling of being surrounded.
- Strategic, ambient lighting to create a soothing glow. Overhead lighting can feel harsh.
- Spa-like features include rainfall shower heads, heated surfaces, and body jets.
- Seating nooks, shelves, or niches carved into the walls. Both practical and aesthetic.
- Earth-toned colors and materials, with green accents through the foliage. Warm, inviting, with nature as inspiration.
Of course, you can customize the cave shower to suit your style and vibe. Play with textures, colors, and accessories until you find that sweet spot between raw, rustic charm and modern, sleek functionality.
A Brief History of Cave-Inspired Baths
Humans have been bathing in natural springs, rivers, and cavern pools since the earliest civilizations. There’s something about the dim, enclosed warmth that soothes and rejuvenates the body, mind, and soul.
As bathing moved indoors, wealthy Greeks and Romans sought to recreate these spaces, building elaborate rock-cut baths with waterfall features and mood lighting.
In the early 1900s, the Cave Bath opened in Seattle, leaning into the cave concept with its dark, grotto-like interiors.
Today, the cave shower trend combines our ancestral love of natural baths with contemporary minimalism and spa luxury. It’s the perfect way to create an oasis amid our fast-paced lives.
Why Add a Cave Shower to Your Home?
I’m excited about cave showers for their Instagram-worthy aesthetic and the experiential joy they can bring. Here are just a few benefits:
An Indulgent Spa Experience
With body jets, raindrop showerheads, ambient sound, and lighting, your daily shower can feel like a relaxing getaway. It’s a chance to melt away stress and energize yourself before life’s daily hustle.
A Minimalist Look
The earthy tones, natural textures, and uncluttered lines embody minimalism. It’s simple without being stark or cold. The focus is on exuding calm rather than making a bold statement.
Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Vibe
The organic materials and greens blur the line between indoor bathrooms and outdoor retreats. There’s a sense of being one with nature.
Cave showers are enclosed rather than partitioned off, opening up floor space. Strategic shelving also eliminates the need for separate storage units.
Added Property Value
A high-end cave shower can increase your home’s value by making it stand out. A luxurious bathroom wows potential buyers.
How to Design Your Dream Cave Shower
Ready to embark on a cave shower transformation? Here are my tips for critical steps:
Choose a Location
Pick a bathroom space that can accommodate an ample shower area. This may mean combining two smaller bathrooms, converting a closet, or building an addition if needed.
Ensure adequate ceiling height, ventilation, and plumbing access. Natural light sources like skylights are a plus.
Set Your Budget
Depending on materials and complexity, cave shower costs can range from $2,000 on the more affordable end to $30,000 or more for higher-end luxury designs. Set realistic expectations early.
Spend time on Pinterest and design sites collecting ideas that appeal to your aesthetics. This will help you hone in on your vision. I always recommend creating a mood board.
Pick Your Materials
Think stones, wood, concrete, and tile for walls and floors. These natural, earthy materials complement the cave vibe. Also, choose fixtures like shower heads, benches, and hardware.
Factor in Lighting
Strategically placed sconces, accent lighting, or glowing LEDs help create a soothing, spa-like environment. You want dim and directional, gentle and bright.
Don’t Forget Ventilation
Proper ventilation prevents moisture buildup that can lead to mold and damage. Consult with HVAC pros to ensure adequate air circulation.
Hire the Right Pro
Unless you have professional construction experience, I’d recommend hiring a qualified contractor rather than a DIY approach. This ensures proper installation and safety.
Design Elements to Make Your Cave Shower Dazzle
It’s time for the fun part – picking materials, colors, textures, and accessories to make your cave shower uniquely yours!
- Stone: Classic choices like granite, limestone, and travertine add beautiful striations and an organic look. Slate brings a broody modern vibe.
- Wood: For a warm, rustic feel, try cedar, redwood, or teak. Waterproof it thoroughly against moisture damage.
- Concrete: Stained, polished, or stamped concrete lends a contemporary, sleek edge. Pair with wood for contrast.
- Tile: From mosaic to marble, natural stone tile brings depth. Mix different shapes and layouts.
Soothing Color Palette
- Earth tones: Sand, clay, and brown hues complement the cave vibe. Add warmth with reds, oranges, and yellows.
- Greens: Shades of green evoke nature. Moss, sage, and forest tones work well.
- Blue: Aquas and blues give a serene, spa-like feel. Use as accents against neutral backdrops.
- White: Crisp white prevents heaviness amid the dark backdrop. Use sparingly in moderation.
Carefully Crafted Lighting
- Sconces: Wall-mounted lights with natural, warm glow bulbs deliver ambient lighting without glare.
- Waterproof LEDs: Hidden strip lighting along floors, walls, and benches add a magical twinkle.
- Skylight: Natural light prevents a gloomy cave. Diffuse with frosted glass for softness.
- Steam-proof fan: A must for air circulation, moisture control, and temperature comfort.
- Shelves and niches for bath products help streamline your space.
- Overhead rainfall showerhead for a luxurious spa experience.
- Body jets for massaging away aches and pains.
- Comfortable built-in seating enhances relaxation during shower time.
- Small touches like curtains, greenery, candles, or aromatherapy oils.
Ready to Get Your Hands Dirty? Installation Tips
You’ve got your design down on paper. Now, it’s time to tackle the installation process. Here’s how to ensure it goes smoothly:
Prep the Space
- Remove existing shower/bath fixtures, tile, and plumbing. Take it down to the bare bones.
- Protect floors and surfaces from damage during the renovation process.
- Turn off the water supply and disconnect the plumbing to prevent leaks or water damage.
Set the Stage
- Build out the floor and walls for the new shower, ensuring adequate slope and drainage.
- Install waterproof membranes along the surfaces to protect them from leaks. Apply sealants on joints, corners, and seams.
- Run new plumbing and install water fixtures like showerheads and body jets. Test for leaks.
Add the Finishing Touches
- Apply your surface materials to the shower floor, walls, and seating areas as desired.
- Install glass partition, hardware, shelves, and lighting fixtures.
- Make it rain! Turn the water supply on and test your fancy new shower.
- Seal, grout, and apply water-proofing treatments as finishing touches.
Call the Pros As Needed
Plumbing, lighting, ventilation, and waterproofing elements may require a professional’s expertise. It is better to call reinforcements than risk shoddy DIY mistakes.
Maintaining Your Spa-Like Sanctuary
Once your cave shower oasis is complete, you’ll want to keep it looking its best. Here are some care tips:
- Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser and soft cloth/brush to clean surfaces. Avoid harsh chemicals that can degrade materials over time.
- Squeegee after every use, and leave the door open to allow moisture to escape and prevent mildew buildup.
- Avoid using hot water excessively, which can damage natural sealants over time.
- Re-apply sealers and waterproofing treatments periodically to protect surfaces from water damage.
- Keep grout clean and re-grout if you notice cracking, which can lead to leaks.
- Use a drain cover and regularly clean out hair/debris to prevent clogs.
- Maintain caulking and tile around fixtures to prevent leaks leading to water damage or mold.
With diligent care, your cave shower can look fabulous for many years!
Create Your Own Spa Paradise
This inspired you to create a relaxing yet stylish cave shower right in your home. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make it distinctly YOU. Pick materials, colors, and textures that reflect your personality.
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out! I’m always happy to chat more about my favorite subject, design. And send photos once your beautiful new spa retreat is complete!
Happy decorating, friends.
Frequently Asked Cave Shower Questions
What kind of maintenance is required for a cave shower?
Cave showers require diligent cleaning, sealing, and general upkeep to prevent damage from moisture. Re-apply sealants, use gentle cleaners, open doors to ventilation, and watch for leaks.
What’s the best way to get lighting right in a cave shower?
Strategic sconces, LED strips, and skylights give a natural, soothing glow. Avoid harsh overhead lighting.
How do I add seating to my cave shower design?
Built-in benches, corner nooks, and step-down seating extend relaxation. Just ensure waterproof, non-slip materials.
What are the most low-maintenance materials for a cave shower?
Granite, marble, and tile stand up well to moisture with proper sealing. Avoid natural wood, which can warp.
How do I add storage to my cave shower without clutter?
Recessed or corner shelving keeps items organized but out of sight. Waterproof storage bins add a hidden function.
Should I waterproof walls before or after installing shower materials?
Always before. Waterproof all surfaces first to protect the structure from moisture damage once materials are installed.
What’s the benefit of body jets in a cave shower?
Body jets provide massaging relief for sore muscles. Look for adjustable strength and positioning.
How important is ventilation for preventing mold in a cave shower?
Vital! Proper ventilation and moisture control are musts. Consult HVAC experts on adequate airflow.
Should I grout then seal, or vice versa?
Seal natural stone first, then grout, taking care not to overlap sealant. With tile, seal after grouting once cured.