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Key Things to Know About Installing a Walk-In Shower in Your Bathroom

Walk-in showers have become a centerpiece of the modern bathroom and have many advantages over other bathroom layouts. For example, walk-in showers are easy to clean, easy to decorate with, and save space in small bathroom layouts. Walk-in showers can also make small spaces feel larger and provide a sleek and minimalist look to your personal hygiene space.

So, if you are considering installing a walk-in shower in your bathroom, here are the most important things you need to know about space, design, plumbing, accessibility, and key features.

Space Considerations

How large your walk-in shower can be determined by how much floor space you have in your bathroom. As a general rule, leave at least 30 to 32 inches of space to walk between each of your bathroom fixtures. You can play around with the shape of your shower to best fit your floor space, as essentially any wall space can accommodate this type of shower.

Design Considerations

Aside from these space considerations, homeowners have a lot of flexibility in terms of design and custom decorations. For example, you can choose the colors of tile and type of tile you like best for the walls and the floor. Another popular option is to install glass panels or blocks on a side of the walk-in shower. Visit bath showrooms to learn more about what works well design-wise for walk-in showers and to find your inspiration.

Price Considerations

You can often find prefabricated walk-in shower kits in the $1,000 to $2,000 range, based upon the quality you’re looking for and the size you need. But if you are not confident with your DIY installation skills, you may need to hire a professional to do the job for you, which can run an additional $1,000 to $2,000 in many instances. Meanwhile, custom walk-in showers are almost always a job for experienced professionals, and these jobs can run as high as $10,000 to $15,000.

Plumbing Considerations

The cost of your walk-in shower installation will increase if you have special plumbing requirements. To build a walk-in shower, this process often requires gutting walls to get access to the plumbing pipes, rebuilding walls with moisture-resistant materials, and installing drains. Your pipes may need to be shifted to accommodate the new locations of sprays and showerheads as well.

Accessibility Considerations

It is also very possible (and even a practical move to increase your home’s future resale value) to make your shower ADA compliant. A walk-in shower that complies with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) will have a shower size of at least 36 inches by 36 inches and also a sitting bench available inside the shower. To make your walk-in shower accommodate a wheelchair user, make the shower at least 30 inches by 60 inches to ensure easy roll-in and roll-out access.

Features of a Walk-In Shower

As you begin thinking more seriously for the various components of a walk-in shower, you’ll need to consider the splash distance from the showerhead and where to put the controls so that they are conveniently accessible for primary users. This means that the showerhead layout should be designed to contain spraying water inside the shower and not make a mess all over the bathroom. As a rule of thumb, install the shower controls about 50 inches from the floor and shower heads about 70 inches from the shower floor.

Curb-less showers and walk-in showers that have low-threshold entries help users move more safely into and out of the shower. This is very important because one of the potential downsides to walk-in showers is their risk for slips and falls. Consider adding handles and grab bars around the shower to prevent slip-and-fall accidents, as well as non-slip mats and rugs on the bathroom floors.

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