Proof You Should Hop on the Exposed Pipe Shower Trend ASAP

Who knew plumbing could look this good?

Exposed Pipe Showers - Chrome shower head plumbing system
Photo: Zelma Brezinska/EyeEm/Getty Images

Exposed pipe showers are a newer style, and there's a good chance you'll be wanting this interior design trend in your bathroom as soon as possible. Sure, this bathroom design trend is a little unexpected, but the final look is absolutely gorgeous.

What Is an Exposed Pipe Shower?

Most exposed pipe shower systems consist of a shower knob, visible pipe to the showerhead, and the showerhead. Sometimes, a handheld showerhead or other attachment is also included. The whole system mounts on the wall of the shower, putting the internal workings of the shower on full display for a subtly rugged, industrial look. In most bathrooms, the showerhead and accompanying water controls are purely utilitarian, having minimal flair or style. They are barely visible and usually blend into the background. Exposed pipe showers make them (and the plumbing between them) a visible design choice.

Why Should You Install an Exposed Pipe Shower?

Exposed pipe shower systems are a way to bring a little personality into bathrooms—which are notoriously difficult to spice up— beyond buying a nice shower curtain. A little exposed plumbing is an opportunity to highlight some flashy (or decidedly matte) finishes, and everything from chrome to copper to pewter works. More luxe materials soften the industrial harshness of exposed pipes, while more rugged ones (like copper) emphasize it.

Exposed shower systems are available from several retailers (think Amazon, Wayfair, and Home Depot) and specialty fixture stores. Prices start around $200, while systems with more elaborate attachments and features or high-end finishes can cost thousands.

Customizing Exposed Pipe Showers

Design pros have already called out exposed pipe shower systems as a big design trend, and like any trend, there are ways to customize this one. In custom installations, pipes can be exposed throughout the bathroom, emphasizing the industrial look all exposed showers have. The look can also extend to sinks and standalone bathtubs.

Matte black fixtures with a streamlined shape look contemporary, while chrome ones look more traditional. For a retro twist, try a copper finish; gold looks incredibly luxurious. Need proof? Scroll on for exposed pipe shower ideas, plus a few sinks and tubs with exposed plumbing.

All That Glitters…

A strip of mosaic tile gives this exposed shower system an extra pop.

Contemporary Cleanliness

The clean lines and matte material of this showerhead make industrial chic feel doable.

Paired Pipes

Exposed plumbing and matching pipes repurposed as a curtain rod work together to help this shower feel cohesive.

Chrome Only

A standard chrome finish blends seamlessly into this tiled shower.

Retro All Over

An unexpected hardware finish pairs perfectly with an unexpected tile pattern.

Bath Time

A polished copper finish elevates the industrial feel of this elaborate exposed faucet fixture.

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