Showers Enclosure: Building codes Requirements

If you’re planning on installing a window above your shower to add more lighting and have a better ventilation. Apart from the usual windows, shower window triggers many building code sections.

Showers Code Requirements

shower enclosure

Shower window size

Significantly, the code requires to provide A window of 3 square feet or more. This window should be at least halfway open. In addition of a mechanical ventilation ”Exhaust Fan”‘. (R303.3)

Size of the shower

The shower’s minimum size is 30×30 inches or 900 square inches, where the disk should fit 30 inches in diameter. A minimum distance of 15″ from the toilet center line and bidet to any bath fixture, wall, or other obstacle is requested. 

Surroundings: the surrounding shower shall extend at least 3″ above the height of the showerhead. 

Shower Door

Doors to the shower must swing outside. The door opening should be minimum of 22 inches wide. If the existing structure prevents the modification of the opening, a minimum two-foot entry is permitted.

Shower Window Type

If windows installed in the walls of shower or tub and bottom of window glass was located 60 inches or less measured vertically from standing surface, the glass shall be one of the following, (R308.4.5) (R308.6.2)

  • Fully tempered Glass.
  • Wired Glass
  • Approved rigid plastic
  • Heated-Strengthened Glass

Shower Ceiling Height

Ceiling height above shower head is required to be a minimum of 6 feet and 8 inches and shall cover the minimum shower area of ( 30 * 30 ) inches. (R305.1)

Shower wall Height

Shower walls with installed shower heads and in shower compartments shall be finished with a nonabsorbent surface (Tile, vinyl enclosure, etc.).

Such wall surfaces shall extend to a height of not less than 6 feet (72 inches) above the floor.

shower interior lath
Shower lath prior installing shower tile

Shower Head water Consumption

Shower head shall have a maximum flow water rate of 1.8 Gallons per minute at 80 psi water pressure. (CPC 408.1)(UPC 408.1).

Control valve

A pressure balance/thermostatic mixing valve is required for all shower head to prevent scald and thermal shock during showers. Water temperature shall not exceed 120 F degrees. (CPC 408.3) (UCP 408.3).

Grab Bar

The height of the shower grab bar should be at least one meter. Shower grab bars should be placed between 33-inches and 36-inches ( 84-91 cm ) above the shower floor. 

Window Location

Ideally, we should use a narrow and tall bathroom window to compliment the ceiling’s height. But everyone has a picture taste of what they want. 

Windows should be over the toilet facing the other wall, as our cool doors can escape outside easily.

Shower Lighting

One of the most significant installation problems when dealing with a shower window or a tub location was determining if a luminaries is subjected to condensation or water intrusion.

Will a shower lead water into the luminaire, shortening it or causing electrocution. Light fixture above the shower shall be a wet location use. if the light fixture installed outside the shower enclosure a damp location use shall be permitted.

Pipe Running Test

When testing a shower system, you should always use the plug inserted just below the water overflow holes.

After the water is sprayed on the vinyl-lined shower stall to make a flushable surface, must leave water left for approximately twenty-four hours inside the receiver; the drain stopper is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to solve the problem.

There is a small tool that will allow water to pass through. It should put on top of the drain, and it should be suggested to open the shower.

Every time the shower is filled up by more than 3 inches, water will flow down the hole in the plug that is located inside the battery. Sometimes the shower test takes some more time than usual. But you may consider this to avert leakage.

It is common, but many bathroom contractor or renovators do not even conduct such a test. It’s not just installers who ruin these things.

Some people do not like to do a shower pan leak test. Here are some of the reasons why not flood testing a shower.

How to Ensure Privacy On Shower Windows

Privacy is a critical consideration in your shower room; you must avoid prying eyes and instils confidentiality. Simultaneously, with this privacy enhancement, Window blinds are the easiest and quickest way to add privacy, using:

The Shutters  

Shutters mounted over the window are two top choices: vinyl, polyvinyl chloride, or wood fitted into the window frame itself, with vertical and horizontal rails. and it create one of the best privacy in the shower area.


Shades can be pulled up or lowered by a cord lifted from the top rod to add light and visibility or block it to increase Privacy. Moreover, there are no heat layers to escape, making it more isolating, energy-efficient than shutters. 

However, shutters offer more light and privacy control. Turning the tilt bar (a long, stick-like device) moves the laths up and down, altering the entry angle into the light. 

Reference Codes – International Residential Code – California plumbing Code – Uniform Plumbing Code.

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