These walk-in shower ideas will inspire you to introduce a luxurious shower to your bathroom – no matter the size of the space or your budget.
Acting as a hybrid between an open-plan wet room and fully-enclosed shower cubicle, a walk-in shower offers easy, low-level access and a luxuriously spacious showering area.
'There are several benefits to having a walk-in shower,' says Rebecca Milnes, C.P. Hart designer. 'Due to the lack of a proper enclosure, you’ll be able to utilize a small or awkward corner where a bath or standard shower wouldn’t fit. By tanking the room you’re also future-proofing your home, as having waterproof surfaces will prove incredibly useful during bath time with small children.'
Whether you're looking to create a statement space on a small footprint or want help choosing bathroom ideas for a more spacious room, these statement enclosures and different walk-in showers ideas are sure to provide plenty of inspiration.
What is a walk-in shower?
A walk-in shower has no door but does include at least one shower screen. Walk-ins come in two main styles:
- A single entry has access at one end, and is great for installing in a corner or alcove.
- A double entry, or walk-through, is designed to be sited centrally and can be accessed from either end.
Walk-in shower ideas
1. Use luxurious materials to create a statement walk-in shower
There are few materials that can create the feeling of luxury in bathroom design that marble can. Elegant, understated and effortlessly beautiful, marble is usually used in bathrooms to create a statement finish, and although it is an expensive investment, it is a look that will last a lifetime.
Consider the use of marble carefully for spaces where you are using it in swathes because no slab of marble is the same as another. 'What I love most with marble is the activity and coloration,' says interior designer Cara Woodhouse.
'I also adore the fact that all stones are different and have their one of a kind unique colors and veining. However, I always suggest going to a stone or tile showroom or a stone-yard to view full slabs before choosing your final stone.'
2. Build a walk-in shower beneath the eaves or an alcove
When planning a walk-in shower layout in a loft or attic room, make sure you position the shower where the room is at full height. It’s surprising how little space is needed – and what can be achieved by building a walk-in shower under the eaves.
Be sure to check that your floor joists are up to the job. If planning a walk-in shower or looking at wet room ideas, make sure the room is tanked to prevent leaks.
3. Opt for a compact corner shower
Placing a walk-in shower in a tucked away corner is a smart option for busy households, where the main bathroom needs to be used by everyone. Consider walk-in shower ideas with a sunken shower tray or a complete wet room if you have children or live with anyone with mobility issues, to prevent any trips.
Although small, the space above certainly isn't dull. Opt for dark and moody metro tiles, or veined marble for a five-star boutique hotel aesthetic. The feather jacket is optional...
4. Think outside the box when it comes to layout
If you have a fairly large space to devote to a walk-in shower room, then we suggest going for a substantial – and statement – design when planning your bathroom layout.
This rather large walk-in shower really commands attention. Featuring double entry, twin shower heads and marble surrounds with recessed shelving, this luxurious design really is a showstopper.
5. Add a step up to the shower
Walk-in showers look great with a flush shower tray, which creates a seamless and streamlined appearance. You can also go for a traditional wet room style floor, where you tile the floor of the walk-in shower. However, you will need to ensure your room is completely watertight. This can be a significant upheaval, not to mention costly, too.
Alternatively, a step up to your walk-in shower adds an extra dimension – and will act as a zone to differentiate the space in your bathroom.
6. Choose a feature backsplash for a walk-in shower
There’s no greater example of how bathroom planning and interior design have become intertwined than the backsplash. And no, the backsplash isn't just for the kitchen – it can make for an intriguing look in the bathroom, too.
‘A backsplash is a key decision in a project, especially in a bathroom,’ explains Alex Beaugeard, design director at McCarron & Co. ‘As vertical surfaces, they carry significant design weight, and there is a real appetite to experiment at the moment. I’m seeing artwork installed behind glass and resin bronze, as well as wallpapers.'
No matter what material you choose for your backsplash, be sure to make the most of it visually. Maximize the area of wall space for your backsplash, and use clever bathroom lighting ideas to help highlight subtle sparkle or delicate details hidden within the surface.
7. Use color in a small walk-in shower
Don't be afraid to use color in a small walk-in shower room. A good bathroom color scheme is essential for creating the look, feel and design you want in your space – and you can use everything, from tiles and sanitaryware to accessories, to create a unique look.
Adding a bright and beautiful – or dark and dramatic – hue to your walk-in shower will really lift your whole home, bringing this functional space in line with the rest of your decor.
8. Go for a statement tiles
Embracing strong bathroom colors can produce joyful results. While the tiles may be dramatic, the overall scheme can be timeless if you choose a color that truly resonates. Unsurprisingly, yellow – the Pantone Color of the Year 2021 – is an obvious choice for this walk-in shower room.
‘Boldly colored and patterned tiles can add such personality, dynamism and impact to walk-in showers, really lifting the space,’ enthuses Caz Myers, director, Caz Myers Design.
9. Work with seamless glass door frames
Don’t opt for a dated, step-in enclosure. Instead look for walk-in shower ideas with ultra-clean lines, and minimalist styling with a sleek glass screen. Invest in the slimmest frames you can afford (frameless, if possible) and thick glass.
Paired with a flush floor these frameless, clear glass panels help to make even the smallest of spaces feel less claustrophobic and therefore a more calming showering experience.
10. Add interest with a patterned tile
Much like paint effects, the walk-in shower tiles you choose can alter the look of a room, making it feel bigger than it actually is or adding visual interest to a dull space. However, unlike paint, tiles can be a costly expense, so it is vital that you get it right first time.
Bathroom tile ideas are endless, and it’s a great place to really show off your personality. But one thing to remember when it comes to floor tiles for a wet room is to go for a design with a raised matt finish, for an anti-slip surface.
11. Invest in luxurious accessories
‘Team your minimalist enclosure with a statement shower head for a really boutique finish,’ suggests David Osbourne, managing director of Roman Showers. Oversized shower heads in square profiles are the latest bathroom trends and make a fantastic focal point.
‘Enhance the luxe factor with a three-way shower set, complete with spa-style jets,’ adds Bathroom.com’s Lucy Powell. But remember to check that your water pressure is up to the task – some plumbing systems can be fitted with booster pumps to increase performance.
How much does it cost to put in a walk-in shower?
How much a walk-in shower costs depends on the design and walk-in shower ideas you go for, the materials you use, and whether or not you need to have your space tanked.
A simple, tray and screen design can cost around $1,000 for a pre-fab unit – but if you are after a luxurious design, the prices go up from there. For something fully customized you could pay anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000.
You have to add in the cost of installation too. This depends on how much plumbing work you need doing, but it could cost between $2,000 and $5,000 if pipes need changing. You might have to add to that the cost of waterproofing the space, which will be around $2,000 plus. This will also depend on the size of your space.
If you are opting for a fully marble-clad design, expect to pay upwards of $50,000.
Does a walk-in shower add value?
Stealing a little bit of extra space can transform a bathroom with luxury proportions. Wet rooms and walk-in showers are becoming increasingly desirable, and they're a great way to add value to your home.
Are walk-in showers practical?
Walk-in showers are an incredibly practical choice for a bathroom. They are particularly good for busy households with children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. What's more, they often take up less square footage than a bathtub, making them an ideal option for small bathrooms.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space.
Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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