Walk-In Showers: Everything You Need to Know

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If you have ever taken the time and thought about renovating your house’s bathroom, it is likely that you have considered getting rid of an old bathtub for a walk-in shower. Walk-in showers make your bathroom look bigger and gives it a more streamlined look. Additionally, a walk-in shower is convenient when you are in a hurry to get out the door. There are a lot of walk-in shower designs to choose from. So, before you get rid of your bathtub, consider items like installation, cost, and preference when it comes to interior design. When looking through design ideas, pay attention to your bathroom’s logistics to ensure success in your bathroom renovation adventure.

Advantages of a Walk-In Shower

When you invest in a walk-in shower, you won’t have to worry about using a standard shower curtain. More often than not, a prefab walk-in shower will have a shallow curb around the bottom to ensure extra water doesn’t run onto your bathroom floor. However, if you go with a custom walk-in shower, there may be a sloping floor design to make sure your bathroom stays clean. The lack of a lip is excellent for those that have joint problems or mobility issues.

Another thing about walk-in shower options that will work to your advantage is the multi-spray shower head options that are typically utilized. You can have up to ten different spray nozzles that can massage and spray every part of your body while behind the shower door.

Disadvantages of a Walk-In Shower

If there aren’t any bathtubs in your house, it could affect your home’s resale value. In the best-case scenario, you will have a bathroom with a tub and one with a walk-in shower. For your home to qualify as having a full bathroom, there will need to be at least one bathtub. This is because real estate agents and appraisers classify bathrooms based on their fixtures. If there is no tub in a bathroom, it will be considered a three-quarter bath.

Considerations Before Converting to a Walk-In Shower Enclosure

While walk-in showers may seem like the perfect option for your home, there are some points you need to think about first. Your shower is going to affect your entire family, and there are some features that people end up not liking after spending a lot of money on a shower and bathroom renovation.

Walk-in showers are lacking when it comes to privacy. This type of shower doesn’t use a curtain, and some don’t even have doors. This can leave you feeling exposed while you are taking a shower. For most people, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but for others, it can be.

Another thing to consider when choosing whether this type of shower will be a good fit or not is your children. If you have small children bathing them in a walk-in shower can be difficult. Most parents prefer to use a tub for this task. It isn’t impossible to handle your little ones in a walk-in shower, but you may find it to be inconvenient and time-consuming.

One last consideration when choosing this type of shower is the fact that it can feel pretty drafty while using it. This will depend, however, on whether or not you add a shower door. If your shower is simply an open space, it may not warm up the way you are used to. This can be a pretty big downfall for some consumers.

Freedom of Design with Walk-In Showers

You may be limited to how big your new walk-in shower is. This will, of course, depend on the size of your bathroom and how much floor space is available. However, when it comes to how your walk-in shower looks, you will have a lot of input into the design. There are a plethora of ideas available to help you find the perfect fit for your walk-in shower.

You will be able to pick the type of tile that is used for your shower walls. Tile is typically used for the shower walls and for the floor. You will have your choice of color, texture, size, and style. Additionally, you will be able to pick glass panels or glass blocks if you prefer the look of a glass wall in your bath. Glass can give an immaculate look to your bathroom.

Next, you will need to consider the shape of the design. Think about whether you prefer squares, rectangles, or hexagonal lines. Realistically you can choose any shower wall shape that you prefer. This even includes utilizing a curved wall in your design ideas.

When you are putting in a walk-in shower, you may also want to consider the American’s with Disabilities act. They recommend how to best accommodate someone that has mobility problems. You should also check-in with a local building authority to see if there are any codes you need to consider. Walk-in showers in a bathroom made for mobility issues should offer showers that are at least thirty-six inches by thirty-six inches. Additionally, they should have a bench attached to a wall so that you can sit down.

Cost of Walk-In Showers

You can purchase a prefab kit for walk-in showers, and they are some of the most affordable shower s available. Typically, you will be looking at a price tag between eight hundred and twenty-five hundred dollars. This depends on the overall size you choose for your bathroom and the quality of the shower. You will be able to save a decent chunk of change by installing the shower floor and door on your own. You will need some plumbing and framing knowledge to do this correctly if you don’t have that knowledge. You can add between seven hundred and fifty and twenty-five hundred dollars to the bathroom budget for professional installation.

Now, if you are looking for a custom-built walk-in shower, it is going to cost quite a bit more to put in your home than a prefab kit. The floor of your custom walk-in shower is typically formed from concrete by hand. This is then covered with a waterproof material and the tile of your choosing. The tile for the floor and wall/walls can vary based on individual preference. From there, additional plumbing for the shower head and extra nozzles will need to be handled. The wall construction is also intricate. It will require concrete backboards to hold the tile and waterproofing.

If you add a glass wall, the cost will also jump as it is not standard glass. The glass wall will be much thicker and will be very large, starting on the floor. When you figure out size and materials, you will have a good look at what a custom walk-in shower for your bathroom will cost. With professional installation, you are likely looking at seven to fifteen thousand dollars. Be aware that your ideas could end up costing you even more than that.

Installation Expectations

A walk-in shower project entails a variety of different steps. Knowing what to expect as your design comes to fruition can save you some anxiety as your bath transforms. It will all start with the demolition of the old wall or walls and the disposal of the existing tub. Before your shower can really be started, your bathroom has to get down to the basics. After the tub and wall/walls are taken care of, it will be time to do any necessary framing. This will accommodate the new design and shower configuration.

Next, the new water lines for faucets and the shower nozzle will need to be installed. This will also include the positioning of the drain as it will likely need to move from where it was with your old tub. If you have nozzles put into the back or side wall, they will also need lines run to them to fill out your design. If your ideas include an overhead light, an electrician will come to your home and get it wired at this step, as well. Once these steps are done, the installation of moisture-resistant materials will go over the studs in the walls.

After these steps, it is time to deal with the floor. If using a prefab kit, the shower pan or floor will be set into place and attached to the framework. If you go with a custom walk-in shower design, it will need to be hand-formed to ensure you get the correct drain slope on the shower floor. From there, a waterproof membrane is installed to ensure there aren’t any leaks in your shower.

Now it is time to install your walk-in shower’s walls. Positioning the surround of a prefab unit is reasonably quick and straightforward. It can be a little bit more of a challenge if you are going for a custom walk-in shower. If you are using tile, this is where it will come into play. Many people prefer a tile shower because it is pleasing to the eye. Tile comes in a genuinely massive variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. This will ensure the look of your walk-in shower is unique. Keep in mind that the cost of tile can vary drastically, so choosing a tile design that isn’t very expensive can cut down on the total cost of your bath renovation.

After the walls go up in your shower, it will be time to install all of the fixtures. This includes a drain cover, nozzle spray heads, faucet handles, and the showers’ head.

If you are adding a glass panel to your shower or a glass door, it will happen after the fixtures are installed. Glass is put in last to ensure that it doesn’t get chipped or broken. If you install glass panels or a glass door before this point, the damage is much more likely to occur, and these are expensive items that are critical to your walk-in shower. While the glass is much thicker and sturdier, it does not mean it can not be damaged during installation.

Caring for Your Walk-In Shower

Taking care of walk-in shoers is not quite the same as taking care of your old tub. Keeping it looking and smelling great will ensure you enjoy yourself each time you walk into it to take a shower.

  1. When you shower, make sure the exhaust fan is running. This helps remove extra moisture, which helps cut down on mold that can grow on or in between your shower tile pieces.
  2. Invest in a shower caddy that drains well. If you leave items like your shampoo, conditioner, and soap sitting on a tile shelf or the bottom of the shower, you will be left with a slimy residue that can easily grow mold or mildew.
  3. Your tile will need lots of attention. After each shower, you should spray it down with cleaner built to break down soap scum. A quick spray on your tile walls and floors will help keep hard water deposits and soap scum at bay.
  4. Once you have sprayed the walls down after your shower, you will want to remove the excess water from the walls. A rubber squeegee is a truly wonderful way to do this. It will help your tile walls dry faster and eliminate water spots from any glass that is included in the overall design. When it comes to mildew issues and tile, a squeegee in the shower can help make your fight much more straightforward.
  5. You should also clean the outside of any glass panels with a glass cleaner and a soft cloth. This will keep walk-in showers looking their absolute best.
  6. You will also need to seal the grout lines between your tile roughly every six months. This will ensure your shower doesn’t succumb to hard water stains and mildew.


Choosing to renovate your house can be daunting, especially when you don’t know what you are getting into. Going with a walk-in shower is an excellent option for many homes that helps open up space and give your home a more modern look. Remember to take the time and do the research to ensure you get what you are actually looking for. Prefab kits may be more affordable, but you won’t get the customization to make the space truly what you want it to be.

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