Walk-in showers can look elegant and modern. Without a door, they can appear to meld seamlessly with the rest of the bathroom. However, is this popular design choice right for you? Consider the pros and cons first:
4 Pros and Cons of Walk-in Showers
Pro: Walk-In Showers Make the Bathroom Appear Visually Bigger
Because a walk-in shower doesn’t have a door, it presents no full barrier between the shower and the rest of the bathroom. This allows the eye to take in the full square footage all at once, helping make the space appear visually bigger.
Con: Walk-In Showers Can Allow Excess Water to Escape Throughout the Bathroom
Because there are no barrier, there is nothing to keep the water from pooling and running throughout the bathroom floor. However, if designed correctly, this shouldn’t be a problem. A properly designed and installed walk-in shower, slopes just slightly towards the drain so that the water goes where you want. (However, if you choose to have a water fight, that is entirely your decision.)
Pro: Walk-In Showers are Safest
Whether due to old age or injury, you or a loved one may have issues with mobility. For those who struggle to get around or aren’t as steady as they may like, even a small barrier can pose a serious threat. It can be difficult to hike your leg up and over a tub wall and into the shower. Or you might find that you clip your toe on the small lip of the raised shower pan. With a walk-in, barrier-free shower, this doesn’t have to be a worry. You can access the shower while still maintaining your solid footing.
Con: Walk-In Showers can be Cold
This is one folks rarely think about, but walk-in showers can be cold. Because the space is not enclosed, the steam and heat from the water escapes freely from the space around you. On a cold day and particularly if there is a draft, this can make your shower less than enjoyable. However, this could also be a good way to encourage those who like to linger from overstaying their welcome.
Walk-in Shower Alternatives
Glass Shower Doors Off the Best of Both Worlds
Want all the beauty of a walk-in shower? Whether it is because you have a small bathroom you are trying to make appear larger or because you love the minimalistic look of the walk-in shower, you can have your shower-cake and eat it too.
How? By installing a shower with clear glass doors. This allows the eye to visually see the entire bathroom, while also allowing you to limit moisture from escaping and keep your bathing experience toasty.
What About Frosted Shower Glass Doors?
Frosted shower glass doors are a good alternative to clear glass. This is especially true if you share the bathroom with multiple individuals and want a bit of privacy while bathing. It’s important to keep in mind though, that frosted shower glass doors won’t give your bathroom quite the same amount of visual space as the clear glass doors. The upside is, the frosted glass won’t show water spots as quickly, meaning you won’t feel like you need to clean the shower constantly.
Are Sliding Doors Just as Good?
Sliding glass doors require rails at the top and bottom. This creates another visual barrier to the eye, separating the shower from the rest of the bathroom. Additionally, the sliding door is two parts, which creates a seam, another visual break to the eye.
That being said, sliding glass doors can be a good alternative to a shower curtain. A shower curtain generally places a solid visual divide in your bathroom, which is one of the fastest ways to make a small space seem smaller. The glass shower doors allow you to see through everything.
Sliding glass doors can be installed in both clear glass and in frosted glass. To keep the space as open as possible, you will want to keep the hardware on the minimal side. The lighter-weight the hardware, the lighter it is to the eye. Often white hardware or stainless steel are ideal as they reflect the light. Black or dark hardware is heavier visually.