Doorless showers provide homeowners with a walk-in design that can come with a variety of different benefits. Although it would seem like such an option would cause water to spill everywhere, you are still given a partition in front of where the water arrives to reduce splashing throughout the bathroom. Most models come equipped with shower glass that resists scale buildup, soap scum, or mold and mildew formation.
When you’re finished with the shower, just wipe things down, and it is clean for the day.
There are a variety of design options available with doorless showers as well. Even though the wet room style is the most popular, you can include a toilet or a tub with a full sink to complete the perfect bathroom. An enclosure alcove can give you three walls to use to reduce water exposure, or even a two-wall, corridor-style shower is an option for those with limited space.
Many homeowners are considering these doorless shower pros and cons as a way to improve the value of their home without making a significant investment. If you’re thinking about this upgrade, then these are the key points to consider.
List of the Pros of a Doorless Shower
1. it can integrate into the current structure of your home.
Your home structure will usually dictate the type of doorless shower that is possible for your property. It is not unusual to incorporate this option in an existing hallway or walkway to maximize the space you have without creating a full bathroom remodeling project. Some models can work with your existing bathtub if you install a partition on the current unit. If you have mobility issues, then choose this design with a curbless option so that no one even needs to step up into the space to take a shower.
2. It will add more space to your bathroom.
Even a small bathtub can take up a lot of space in a home’s bathroom. By replacing it with a doorless shower, you will create the illusion of more space because you can open up the structure of the room with this design. The usable square footage increases because you don’t need to work around the tub, while the lack of a door offers the illusion of more space. Curbless designs are the best option for this advantage, but it is also something that you can experience when adding a shower to your existing space.
If you want to add more space to your bathroom, then a doorless shower can take up one corner of where you currently use the bathtub. Think about how much space the tub takes, and then you can gain about 50% of that in a usable area when you incorporate the corner design into your plans. This option tends to be less intrusive as well since you already have two walls with which to work.
3. It offers a global design that you can use.
The visual aesthetics of a doorless shower create the illusion of more space and comfort because you’re not cutting off part of the bathroom. That is why almost any home can benefit from this project. All you need to do is upgrade the space where the bathroom is with some tile that goes from the floor to almost the ceiling. Then install a fan to remove the excess moisture if one is not present. Even if your space is limited, you will discover that a shower tends to be more comfortable than a small bathtub when you need to relax.
4. It reduces moisture accumulation in the bathroom.
When a doorless shower is correctly installed, then you will no longer have collection points for moisture throughout the bathroom. If you are taking a long shower, then the condensation can collect on the ceiling and walls, even creating yellow streaks that need to be cleaned if you have hard water. By removing the door and opening the space (and including an exhaust vent or fan), you will get rid of those water spots for good. Wiping down the shower is usually the only thing that you need to do to ensure there is a sanitary experience.
5. It can be installed almost anywhere on your property.
One of the unique advantages of a doorless shower is that you can install it almost anywhere. If you have a little extra space and a drain in your basement, then route the plumbing there to add a small bathroom to your home. Treehouses can have a doorless shower that works with the treated wood of your deck. You can even incorporate this option in an oversized closet if you wish with the help of a plumber.
Just remember to secure any building permits that you might need before starting this project if you’re doing it yourself. Your contractor should be able to get them for you otherwise, but make sure to ask them first to ensure that it happens.
6. It allows you to create a spa in your own home.
A doorless shower provides a contemporary look for your home. Whether you choose to use tile, glass, or wood to create the perfect bathroom, the end result can be a comforting space which allows you to unwind at the end of the day. It doesn’t cost a lot to obtain this feeling of luxury either, although you will pay more for this upgrade than you would a product like Bath Fitter. When the work is complete, you will have a custom place that allows you to either start or end your day in the way that works best for your needs.
7. It gives you the opportunity to choose the perfect showerhead.
When you have a doorless shower, then you can choose almost any showerhead that you want to create a luxurious experience in your bathroom. If you have a rain-mount showerhead that comes from the ceiling, then you can saturate the entire space with warmth to avoid the cost of adding a heat lamp or other warming option. If you want to incorporate water-based massage into this design, then that is possible as well. Think of this upgrade as a chance to create the perfect moment of relaxation.
8. It is much easier to use a doorless shower.
As the human body ages, it becomes more challenging to get in and out of the traditional shower setup with a bathtub. All it takes is one trip to the chiropractor to help you to remember that your flexibility from the college years is no longer around. By creating a doorless shower in your bathroom, you can eliminate all barriers to entry. If someone in your home has problems with prolonged standing, then you can quickly install a shower chair to help them as well. When you add in the advantages of cleaning it without the same bending or stooping, it really is a fantastic option to consider as you get older.
9. It offers a minimalist design.
Even if you are not living in a tiny home, the minimalist concept will help you to maximize your space. People are embracing simplicity in life these days partially due to the complications we face with data management every day. The action of stepping into a shower without a barrier might seem like a basic task, but it is one that provides relief because you don’t need to worry about the design. There are fewer moving parts, no shower curtain hangers that will rust, and you can even roll into or out of the structure in a wheelchair if needed.
10. It can use opaque glass or solid materials to offer some privacy.
Although a doorless shower is less private since there isn’t a structure to close, you can improve the disadvantage of being in the open by installing a half-wall, using opaque glass, or creating some other barrier that won’t leave you completely exposed when your clothes are off. Of course, if you don’t care about others seeing you, then this advantage is pointless anyway. For those who aren’t as secure, this design element is definitely something to consider.
List of the Cons of a Doorless Shower
1. It does not provide the same level of privacy as other showers.
Because you will not have a door on your shower with this option, there is not as much privacy available when you are using the bathroom. If you are living with kids or roommates, then it can mean that only one person can be in this space each time. Even when there are structures in place to contain the water, the contemporary design of the doorless shower usually incorporates glass, so you can still be seen if someone else is in there with you. If you only have one bathroom at home, then this disadvantage can be enough to consider alternative options.
2. It doesn’t stop all water from splashing into the bathroom.
Even if you are using a three-wall design for your doorless shower, there is always the risk that water will spray into the rest of the bathroom after it hits the floor or your body. This disadvantage occurs frequently when the showerhead for the structure faces the area where you would enter. The only way to truly prevent this issue from occurring is to install a mechanism that allows for a curtain or to create a cubicle design that minimizes the entryway to the shower itself.
Talk with your contractor about building a half-wall with a curve around where you would stand. This design can contain the water rather effectively, but it still won’t stop all of the moisture from escaping the enclosure.
3. It will feel colder when you are using the shower.
If you are used to taking a shower in a bathtub with a curtain, then you likely know the trick of pressing the fabric against the side of the tub to keep the cold air out. When you have a door the closes fully, then you can prevent cold air from coming into the area when the water is on too. The doorless shower design does create a draft that some people will not appreciate since the hot air rises as the water displaces it. You will want to consider adding a warming light, heated flooring, or a similar option to counter this disadvantage if you find it to be bothersome.
4. It will add more moisture to your bathroom walls.
As the water vapor turns into droplets as you take a shower, the design of your walls and ceiling will dictate whether or not your bathroom sustains water damage. Painted drywall can resist some moisture, but it does not have the same impact as tile. That is why many doorless shower designs use floor-to-ceiling tile as it will prevent damage from occurring. If tile is not for you, then consider using porcelain, glass, metal, or engineered quartz to create another level of resistance against the escaping water so that you are not caught with an expensive, unexpected repair one day because of this upgrade.
5. It will cost more to install than other shower options.
If you start shopping for your doorless shower at a store like The Home Depot, then you will see some options that start around $400. Although that amount is reasonably affordable, it will only work if you have a standardized space for the installation. It is not unusual for homeowners to need a custom build for this project, which means the cost can be as high as $3,500 (and sometimes more) depending on the complexity of the work, the size of the shower, and the type of fixtures and tile that you choose for the product.
Then you will need to add the cost of labor on top of that, which could run another $1,000 to $3,000. This cost element also depends on the level of skill necessary to install the items in question and the amount of plumbing work that is necessary to complete the task.
6. It increases the chance that you might slip and fall.
When you install a doorless shower in your bathroom, then there is an excellent chance that you will need to change the flooring in that space. You will need a non-slip surface to reduce the risk of suffering an accident because of the extra moisture that can be in the room. If you have a transition point between the shower and the rest of the space, then adding rugs or other non-slip features to the rest of the floor is necessary. Your upgrade may not pass a code inspection if you do not have safety flooring installed as part of the project.
The pros and cons of doorless showers depend on how comfortable you are with less privacy and the amount you are willing to pay for this upgrade. Even expert DIY’ers need help with this project, since it can require some plumbing systems to be rerouted, tile mounting, and other upgrades that are not usually part of the homeowner’s chore experience. If you can develop a plan that counters these potential disadvantages, then this upgrade could be the perfect addition to your home.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.