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Bathroom Resources

Walk-in Shower Ideas for Small Bathrooms

When you look at your small bathroom, do you feel like you’re walking into a spa or an out-of-date mess? 

Whether you’re looking to say goodbye to your blue bathtub or want to update your shower, there are plenty of walk-in shower ideas for small bathrooms. Yes, the serene and contemporary walk-in shower is attainable for even small bathrooms, thanks to their versatility in size, design, as well as accessibility for every member of the family. We’ll talk about each of these facets of walk-in showers, as well as ideas for updating your small bathroom.

walk in corner shower

Table of Contents

Can I Add a Walk-In Shower to a Small Bathroom?

Walk-in showers come in a variety of sizes, from just enough room to bathe yourself to luxurious, spacious showers that can comfortably fit two people. They can also be in the shape of a rectangle or a square, depending on your style preference and the amount of room you have. It’s this flexibility that makes walk-in showers so appealing for small bathrooms. Rather than being struck with the confines of a standard bathtub, homeowners can customize and work with the different dimensions offered by a walk-in shower. 

According to Kohler, the average size of a walk-in shower in the United States is 60 inches by 30 inches. However, for small bathrooms, they can go down to 48 inches by 36 inches to comfortably fit an adult. For saving space (and money), consider a corner walk-in shower, which allows the wall to also be utilized for a vanity and other storage.

Is a Walk-In Shower Worth It?

Whether a walk-in shower is a fit for your family will depend on your lifestyle. Unless there are small children or family members who require a bathtub, a walk-in shower is a great choice. If you do need a bathtub — or if you enjoy a relaxing bubble bath every now and then — a bathtub/shower combo is the best bet as it allows everyone in the family, including guests, to use it as they need.

Monetarily, walk-in showers add value to a home. They’re chic and modern, and prospective home buyers will be more likely to see the bathroom as updated. However, it’s recommended that there be at least one bathtub in the home, since there are often family members who will need it. A good option is to have a walk-in shower in the primary bathroom and have a bathtub/shower combo in the guest or secondary bathroom.

Adding a Shower to a Half-Bath

Wondering if you can add a shower to an existing half-bath? Here's what to know.

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Will a Walk-In Shower Fit in my Small Bathroom?

There are tricks homeowners can utilize to install a walk-in shower but still create a sense of openness. For example, rather than using sliding doors, install a frameless shower. This means there are glass walls with an open space for the bather to walk through. Its design keeps water from getting out of the shower, even without a door.  A tile or tinted glass wall are also good options if you prefer more privacy. Frameless showers are a great option for households that have family members who use wheelchairs or need to more easily access the shower, since they won’t have to navigate a slider. 

A frameless shower is more costly than a shower with sliding doors, however. Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $3,000 for a frameless shower, in addition to $70 per hour for labor and installation.

How do I Renovate or Update a Walk-In Shower in a Small Bathroom?

There are lots of ideas to take your existing walk-in shower design to the next level, even in a small bathroom:

Tile

No matter your budget, there are plenty of walk-in shower tile ideas that will cover the bases: safety, durability, and appearance. Because you and your family will be standing while bathing, it’s important to pick the right tile to avoid slip and falls. The most affordable, and perhaps the most popular, are ceramic and porcelain tile. They are tough, resistant to scratches and stains, and because of its production process, they come in a seemingly endless array of colors and shapes to match your design aesthetic. Using smaller tile pieces also helps create traction underfoot for a safe shower experience.

Rain Showerhead

Since rain showerheads spray downward instead of at an angle, it cuts down on the space required for a walk-in shower — and it looks fancy, too! Rain showerheads are also cover the largest surface area, although this also means that shower/bathtub combination bathrooms are probably not the best fit for this due to their size. However, they do complement frameless walk-in showers aesthetically, giving you an opportunity to show off a bit. The showerheads cost anywhere from $100 to $600 at your favorite home improvement store. 

Bathroom Remodel Cost Calculator

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Hardware

Updating the other hardware in your walk-in shower can also make a big impact during a renovation or update. More contemporary bathroom design is leaning towards gold, brass, and even black hardware, giving it an updated look that you can accomplish yourself in an afternoon. The best part? If it goes out of style, or if you’re looking for a more basic look if you put the house on the market, it’s an easy swap.

Bathroom Color Scheme

Another easy fix is to change the paint color of your small bathroom. This is a space where you want to feel at ease, whether it’s first thing in the morning or the end of a long day, so go for relaxing and light colors. If you’re a fan of design and color, add an accent wall or pops of interesting tile to add visual interest.

Storage Space

Take advantage of every square inch of your small bathroom’s walk-in shower with small storage solutions. Your favorite home store will probably have many in-shower storage options, and you can also install folding chairs for family members who need it instead of having a bulky seat taking up space. If you do have the space, consider installing a bench. This serves as a seat as well as a place to store your shampoo, soaps, and other supplies.

A project updating or renovating your small bathroom can vary in complexity, from simple DIY projects to full-on demolition jobs that require a team of professionals. As always, it’s best to reach out to an experienced bathroom contractor for their advice and tips before moving forward. 

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