Walk-in showers are elegant and functional for any bathroom. Whether you also have a bathtub or just this area, your décor will be functional and chic. It will also give your bathroom a modern appeal and it will give you the possibility to efficiently use the space you have available. Get creative or find some inspiration somewhere else. We have selected five designs to get you started.
The different types of showers
Prefab vs custom
Before we start getting into all the details, it’s important to figure whether you want a prefabricated shower or a custom-built one for your bathroom. The two are obviously different in the fact that that one is a single, self-contained structure which you can buy as-is and easily install yourself and the other is built from scratch specifically for you and thus unique.
Prefabricated showers are available in all price ranges so even if you’re on a small budget you can still find something suitable. These are usually made from materials such as molded fiberglass, plastic or other synthetic options. Of course, since these are designed to be as versatile as possible, they don’t look particularly interesting and they’re usually quite plain. They also come in a few standard sizes and not a lot of options in terms of shape.
Custom-built showers on the other hand offer a lot of freedom. They’re of course more expensive but you can choose your favorite materials, style, shape and size for them and you can also add a lot of little details and features to make them more suited for your tastes and needs. The options are endless.
A shower, whether it’s prefabricated or custom-built, can use various types of mixers. A mixer is the part of the shower that combines the hot and the cold water and which controls the pressure.
The most common type is the manual mixer. They’re affordable and come in lots of different styles and they basically allow you to choose the temperature and pressure of the water each time you use the shower which can be convenient if several people are constantly using it and they each have different preferences regarding these settings.
On the other hand, if you like you shower temperature and pressure to always be the same, consider a thermostatic mixer. You can set it to the desired settings and it will remember them and automatically set them each time but most importantly it will maintain a constant temperature for the water at all times.
An electric mixer is different in the sense that it doesn’t require a hot water supply. It only needs a connection to cold water and they contain a built-in heating unit that takes care of the rest. They’re particularly useful for basements and areas of the house that don’t have a hot water supply.
We can also distinguish between several different types of showers based on the shape and style of the enclosure. A rectangular shower enclosure is obviously rectangular in shape but can also be square. They usually have a simple look and the straight lines and edges give them a modern appearance.
A curved shower enclosure is one that has a rounded entryway. One of the sides (the one facing the room) is rounded while the other is squared off and that allows the shower to fit nicely into a corner. This is more space-efficient than a rectangular shower is better-suited for a small bathroom.
A shower can also fit nicely in a corner even if it’s not curved. Corner shower enclosures are designed to be space-efficient and come in a variety of different sizes, styles and shapes.
There are also showers that have less common shapes. For example, some can have a diamond-shaped base or a completely asymmetrical structure. These are referred to as neo-angle enclosure showers. Obviously, if you’re opting for a custom-built shower you can have it designed in any shape you want.
There’s also another option, to have a combination between a shower and a bathtub. This is usually a great compromise for bathrooms that are really small. They’re space-efficient and allow you to save a lot of floor space and they’re typically a good option for apartments.
Showers can also have various different types of doors. Sliding doors for example are quite common and they’re very practical if you have a small bathroom because they don’t take up any extra space when you open them.
Pivot doors are also pretty common and they look really nice and simple, especially on glass showers. They have hinges situated at the top and the bottom and they usually open outwards. They’re space-efficient and a good alternative to sliding doors in small bathrooms.
Hinged doors are the classical type that we’re all familiar with but they’re not exactly very common when it comes to showers. The reason for that is that they’re not space-saving in any way. They can however swing open inward which can be an interesting option.
Of course, there’s also the option to have a shower with no door but with a partition wall instead or nothing at all. This is something to take into consideration if you want a custom-built shower and if you have a large bathroom in general.
You don’t really have a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to prefabricated shower as these are usually made from fiberglass, acrylic or other synthetic materials. However, a custom-built shower offers a lot of freedom. You have a choice between various natural materials like stone or something more practical like tile.
Tiles are really great in general because they’re water-resistant, easy to clean and they come in lots and lots of different styles, patterns, colors, shapes and sizes. You can use them to give your shower a really special and unique look.
Stone is a wonderful material if you want a shower that has a spa-like vibe. It’s a beautiful material which can adapt to all styles and it’s also easy to clean and to care for although it does require regular resealing. Stone is also quite expensive.
The obviously cheaper option is to go for fiberglass or acrylic. These materials are very durable, waterproof and quite versatile as well. They can however scratch easily and they tend to show their age.
1. Glass-enclosed shower.
If you want to create a seamless transition between the shower area and the rest of the bathroom, transparent glass is the perfect materials to help you with that. In this example the shower is encased in floor-to-ceiling glass panels. Inside there’s a bench and small, practical shelves mounted on the wall. The oversized showerhead is an interesting statement element.
2. Light-filled shower.
A window in the bathroom, regardless of its dimensions, can make a huge difference. It’s an especially beautiful addition in the shower. The sensation that you get when you see and feel the light embrace you is unique. Of course, a skylight would be even better. The shower will be bathed in natural light and will have an almost divine look. The decorations you choose for this space can also make a big difference.
3. Shower and steam room in one space.
A designer shower enclosures walk-in and a steam generator can be combined to create your very own steam room. It’s a simple way of making your own spa. The amenities are critical is this case. It would be wise to include a small window that can be opened when you use the shower alone to let the air circulate. You’ll be able to use this space both as a regular shower and a steam room and you can enjoy relaxing moments right there in your own home.
4. Small shower unit.
If you have a small bathroom you can still have the walk-in shower you wanted without sacrificing too much space. It would simply be a smaller version of the ones presented previously. To avoid making the bathroom feel cramped you can opt for simple lines and materials such as glass that would ensure a seamless transition. In this case, the frameless shower door was a clever choice.
5. Private spa.
If you have the space and resources, you can take these ideas one step further and create your own spa. In this example we have a beautiful and spacious spa-like shower with a limestone bench and white and black mosaic tiles. A wall niche ensures the storage space needed for the usual products used in the shower and a large window lets in lots of natural light.
Modern trend – round shower.
Perhaps one of the most important elements to take into consideration, the shape of the walk-in shower can be the detail that defines your whole design. Round showers tend to look more glamorous, especially if they’re encased in glass. However, a round shower is not ideal for small bathrooms.
Perhaps you’d like to feel closer to nature when you’re taking a shower, in which case you should consider using materials like stone and wood. Try a combination of materials and make sure you use the contrasts to your advantage, to create a unique design. You could have stone or river stones on the floor and use wood as a decorative feature.
Maybe you’re used with showers being encased in glass or having curtains and dividing walls to separate them from the rest of the bathrooms. Although that’s the case in most homes, such features are not strictly necessary. You can also have an open shower and this will make the room feel more spacious.
Consider placing the indoor and outdoor showers side by side. Allow them to communicate with each other through glass walls and create a connection between them. This way light get in and illuminates the indoor shower area and the outdoor one feels less out of place and more comfortable.
It’s hard to say what makes a shower look luxurious. It’s a combination between the materials used, the finishes, the colors and the overall ambiance. A luxury walk-in shower has no visual defects. Everything it perfectly aligned and there’s always one element that puts it over the top.
Benefits of Walk-in showers
It’s not just the stylish design that makes walk-in showers so versatile and popular. There are numerous other benefits that they offer. For example:
Walk-in showers are both safer and easier to use. This makes them more user-friendly than tubs or regular showers, especially in the case of kids, elderly people or those with medical issues.
They are wheelchair-accessible, which allows them to stand out as superior compared to tubs or other types of showers.
Apart from being minimalist and elegant, they also offer extra space in the bathroom. Because of their simplicity and straight-forward design, they allow the room to be more airy and bright.
It’s also this simplicity that also makes walk-in showers easier to clean. Because they have fewer parts and areas where grime and dirt can accumulate, they reduce the risk of having mold in the corners or a look that’s not pure.
In addition, fewer parts in general means that there are fewer elements that can break and this makes walk-in shower particularly durable. This is also due to the fact that they are made of durable and think materials designed to make them safe to use.
Walk-in showers also offers versatility in terms of design. They can customized in numerous different ways and outfitted with lots of different features, types of doors, etc.
The general structure and design of a walk-in shower is created so that it traps vapors inside. This means there’s less potential damage which can be caused to the walls, especially if they’re made of wood. Also, mold is less likely to appear.
It goes without saying that if you want your shower to look in a specific way or to have specific proportions you should choose a custom design. There are many inspiring custom designs out there, like this one which is completely enclosed in glass and has a sleek and modern appearance. It blends in with the rest of the bathroom and allows it to maintain a very airy look even though it takes up quite a bit of space. This is part of a beautiful residence designed by studio Architrend Architecture.
We mentioned before that it’s not always necessary for a shower to have a door or to be fully enclosed. This is a lovely example. This is an open walk-in shower with tiled walls that frame it and help it stand out and look like a separate section of the bathroom. It’s a modern design by studio Rina Lovko, one which perfectly mimics the style and color palette featured in the other areas of the house.
A small shower can fit in a variety of different types of spaces and you can even have the area surrounding it modeled around it. This is a master bathroom in a penthouse designed by FORM design architecture and it features a shower and a toilet enclosure positioned side by side for a symmetrical look.
Marble tiles look wonderful in showers. They give it an elegant and timeless look and they go really well with transparent glass enclosures because they’re not concealed and you have a continuous and harmonious bathroom décor without needing a lot of floor space. You can find inspiration in this stylish bathroom interior by October Design Studio.
Subway tiles also look great on shower walls. Here you can see a small bathroom which features white subway tiles in the shower as well as on the backsplash wall while everything else is plain and simple. It’s a nice way to add some detail to a small room without complicating it too much. This was one as part of a renovation by studio RM \ Architecture.
Speaking of simple bathroom designs, this one is a beautiful example. It has plain white walls without visible patterns except on one and the shower is positioned in a corner lengthwise, leaving enough room next to it for other features. It has a rectangular glass enclosure which suits the overall contemporary style of the room perfectly. The design is done by studio ghiroldidesign.
Here’s a small bathroom designed by architect Anca Ionescu. It’s a typical size for an apartment which means there’s not enough space for both a tub and a shower. As a result, a combo was the perfect compromise. The glass divider acts as an enclosure but still keeps the area open for a bright and airy look.
When space is not an issue, that’s when you can truly have the shower of your dreams. It could look simple, similar to the one designed by architect Stuart Silk but it can be customized with various extra features like wall nooks for storage, hydro massage and so on. We love the use of white marble tiles to give this minimalistic shower a distinguished look.
If you want a bit of glitz and glamour into your life how about a classic, Hollywood-inspired bathroom like the one designed by Stylt Trampoli. It has such an eye-catching look without being overwhelming or overly decorated. The mesh shower wall and the mirrors really help to bring it together and the purple ceiling is the cherry on top.
A monochromatic palette can also look beautiful in a bathroom, especially if you want to put an emphasis on its simplicity and spaciousness. This one has a minimalistic walk-in shower custom designed to fit in the corner by the vanity which opens up the room quite a lot. This is part of an interior designed by studio OOOOX.