Published: Wednesday, June 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 30, 2005 at 11:35 a.m.
With the hot summer time comes hot summer activities: gardening, home improvement, playing volleyball in the back yard, sunning on the beach, fishing off the dock.
Time for a shower. An outdoor shower.
As people are increasingly adding outdoor "rooms" for entertaining and dining, why not add a place where you can clean up and refresh yourself? Once you've rinsed off outdoors, you may decide this is the only way to wash in August.
Beach and pool showers are easy to install. Just hook up to an outdoor water source, provide a place for the runoff to gather and percolate - either into the soil or a bed of gravel, and depending on how exposed the site is, create a privacy screen.
Not much into cold showers? Some units have solar heating panels that will mix hot water with the cold.
Some showers include a foot spray operated by a push-button valve, which can be used to rinse off sand, grass or leaves.
Showers may be as simple as PVC pipe attached to a hose or as decorative as stainless steel, chrome or brass with a broad showerhead and solar panels. The prices range from about $50 for one cobbled together with hardware store elements to, well, nearly the sky. Clawfoot Supply has one with a hand spray and an 8- inch rain shower head for about $900. A slightly more economical alternative is to take their wall mounted shower riser set with optional hand sprayer fitted with a thermostat (this would involve having to hook up to a hot-water heater) with a 15 -inch long shower arm. It's $680.
The teak outdoor shower from Restoration Hardware - $299 from the catalog and Web only - has solid brass plumbing with satin-nickel finish hardware. A slatted platform provides a puddle- free place to stand, and a built-in shelf holds soap and shampoo. It's ample height - 6- foot-8 - accommodates just about anyone.
Target carries a dark wood outdoor shower at its stores as well as on its Web site. Made of weather resistant nyatoh wood (a fine-grained Indonesian redwood), the shower likewise has a handy soap tray. Its adjustable pole can be shortened for the kids. Price is about $100, and assembly is required.
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