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How big is your walk-in shower?

BuildinginTN
7 years ago

Hi - our house plans call for a 3x4 walk-in shower in the master bath, next to a freestanding tub. We have 6' 8" reserved for the tub. My builder questions the size of the shower. He thinks it's too small and that we'll be unhappy.

We don't have this set up now. We've been fine with a tub/shower combo - so I don't have a good concept of what size we even need. If we opt for a bigger shower, we can either go with a smaller tub with tile surround - or nix the tub in the master altogether.

If we nix, then I want to reconfigure the guest bath to accommodate a tub. It can be done, but I have to get rid of a hall closet.

So back to my original question - how big is your walk-in shower?

Comments (82)

  • jo_in_tx
    7 years ago

    Another thing to remember - unless your shower is very large, a built in bench will take up space making it more difficult for a wheeled-shower chair. Besides, I don't like sitting on hard tile. A teak bench is more comfortable to sit on, imo, and is movable and removable. Besides, some are quite beautiful. :)


  • whaas_5a
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We have a 4-8" x 3-5" shower and I spent plenty time mapping out the size. Showers are by far the most annoying things to clean so I don't get why some are so big except for accessibility. This ones with tile and white grout even better!

  • Amy79
    7 years ago

    There are flip up benches that attach to the wall, but my FIL has one and has had nothing but problems with water leaking. He's having it re-done/un-done for the 3rd time in less than 15 years and having the bench taken out and just using a freestanding bench.

  • voila
    7 years ago

    Our last house had a shower that was 8x8, yes, feet. No door and was never drafty. One regular showerhead and one handheld on the sidewall. To be honest, it was the easiest shower to keep clean! The water never hit the walls. The handheld was to wash down the shower if needed. I usually just had to clean the floor, tiled bench and shower head and handles. Never had to squeegee anything. Our shower now is about 5x5 and with a glass door is much harder to keep clean. I wipe down the glass with a microfiber towel after squeegeeing which has helped tremendously. The biggest downfall is no operable window in the bathroom. I would opt for all the room you can get in the shower.

  • jn3344
    7 years ago

    I should have put it outside.

  • MagdalenaLee
    7 years ago

    I thought I was going to be the winner of the the huge shower but Voila has me beat by 6". Ours is 7'6" x 8'. We have two shower heads, a handheld and a rainshower. We are not small people and shower together regularly but that sucker is WAY too big. Drafty and cavernous! I do agree, it is easy to clean because the water only hits the floor. In our next house, our shower will be 7' x 3'6". Long enough for two people and wide enough for plenty of elbow room.

  • whaas_5a
    7 years ago

    Gotta love rain x for the glass shower doors

  • mrspete
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Some of y'all have BIG showers. Do keep in mind that if aging-in-place is a concern, you don't want your shower to be so large that you can't reach grab bars on both the right and the left ... so that means 4' or less for most of us (meaning wide, of course; length wouldn't matter for aging-in-place.

  • just_janni
    7 years ago

    I will end up with a 5'x 7' 2" shower with 2 shower heads. It was originally larger, but we backs it down after measuring our current configuration. The 5' front to back offers enough room for the water stream, and the 3' 7" for "each" spot was good without being too large (I think) The main difference is that the current shower is darker tile, no door and glass block - so it's visually restrictive. The new shower will be large format marble look tiles and 2+ sides glass. I am expecting it will feel huge.

    But the other main difference is that the glass will go all the way to the ceiling in the new shower and not be "open" at the top. That openness leads to my shower feeling cold in the winter.

    As for aging in place - you can put yourself on a seat in a shower like this and roll right in, do most of your washing "seated" and then roll out. I've seen the plastic yard chairs do decent duty as a shower chair. (I am also a fan of the teak bench and NOT a built in. I HATE the current built in bench - talked in another post - it's just WEIRD to sit naked on a flat tile surface....) We're also planning another low / zero threshold shower in the office / pool bath that will allow for a more standard "standing" experience with grab bars if necessary.

  • ILoveRed
    7 years ago

    i took care of my mom a couple of years ago after a bad fall. She was at my house for about 8 weeks. I showered her in my shower. I have a medium size corner tiled, "Better Bench". Not so bad to sit on. I just spread a small towel on it for her first. But it was wholly inadequate as far as size. And my mom is not large. my shower was too small for both of us to be in there. I had to leave the door open.

    My glass door is smallish. One thing I would advise...if you are using a door in your shower make sure it is big enough.

    shower planning for aging is tricky.

  • jn3344
    7 years ago

    I see this is still going.

    Like I said before, I thought I wanted a big shower after living with smaller ones. Maybe if they are designed with no glass. I'm telling you this 7' wide by 8' tall piece of glass is a monster. And there's as much tile here as in the shower at the gym.

    If I pamper it every day I feel like I have a job as a bathroom attendant. If I relax and let it go, I have the mess I have right now, where I am going over it for the third time and shopping for miracle products in between vinegar soakings.

    Maybe glass-less is the way to go if you really want the size.

  • cpartist
    7 years ago

    The new shower will be large format marble look tiles and 2+ sides glass. I am expecting it will feel huge.

    But the other main difference is that the glass will go all the way to the ceiling in the new shower and not be "open" at the top.

    It will feel open but also be quite the PITA to keep clean. I speak from experience. Have fun squeeging that daily. It got so bad that DH and I would race one another to shower first so we didn't have to squeegee. LOL.

    My new shower will only have glass on the door.

  • chispa
    7 years ago

    But ... don't you also squeegee the walls? We have 24" x 24" marble-look porcelain tiles on our shower walls and a 36" glass door. I squeegee the whole thing! We have hard water and you can see (or at least I can) the water spots on the slightly glossy porcelain tile. Of course, DH thinks I'm crazy, but the shower looks much better!

  • ILoveRed
    7 years ago

    I have a whole house water softener and I don't squeegee anything. One pony wall of glass and a glass door.

    My tile shower never looks bad and is cleaned thoroughly only every other week.

    I wonder if the water softener is the deal breaker.

    we also use liquid soap only. No bar soap.

  • just_janni
    7 years ago

    We squeegee today in our shower. Honestly - it takes about 2 minutes with the 2 of us. Less when it's one person because, quite frankly, the water using a single shower head is more contained.

    I will Rain-X the glass to make it bead water more effectively, but a little squeegee-ing and wiping with a microfiber towel isn't that big a deal for me - based on the last 19 years of doing this - and - doing it in a space with a lot of grout lines (PITA!)

    Using the scrubbing bubbles every couple of weeks or so isn't that bad either.

  • BuildinginTN
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    You guys and all this squeegee talk is about to convince me that a standard tub/shower combo may be the easiest way to go lol. ;) But I'm loving these tips like Rain-X.

  • ILoveRed
    7 years ago

    I don't even own a squeegee! :-)

  • chispa
    7 years ago

    I should probably start a new thread on water softeners ... ILoveRed I hope you'll describe your system there.

  • ILoveRed
    7 years ago

    It's just a simple water softener that we bought at Sears and our plumbers installed it when we were building this house. We have to add salt to it. Its 11 yrs old so I don't see the exact model but similar to this one. We have very hard water and if we didn't have softened water our fixtures would be a mess.

    http://www.sears.com/kenmore-extra-high-efficiency-water-softener/p-04238350000P?prdNo=3&blockNo=3&blockType=G3

  • tiffanygarrido
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    After seeing ours framed, we had him make it bigger. It was originally about 3 x 5.5, but next to the tub like yours which made one of the walls shorter. It felt cramped. Our closet is right next to the shower and is huge so we had plenty of room to extend it. We only went out another foot because we didn't want to end up with a huge drafty shower. It's now 4 x 5.5 and feels perfect (although still only framed).

    Edited to add: Ours also has a corner bench which took up more space. It felt small even for one person; however, our current shower is 3 x maybe 2.5 so we are ready for something bigger! If you ever want to both shower at the same time, 3 x 4 would probably be "ok" but cramped. We stood in ours together before enlarging the frame. It felt cramped and we are both about average size (5'3" and 5'8" - maybe that is short by some standards! LOL)

  • skw27
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ours was 42x54 but during framing my husband said he'd trade his closet to make it a shower. Well it ended up being "her" closet being turned into a shower because of the inside walls. So I lose 6" of closet space but I guess I'll live :). The new closet will be more shallow-36" instead of 42" so his vanity can be bigger. No pony wall of glass so it will look more symmetrical with the closet, the only glass will be the door. Now I need to figure out where to put the two showerheads...

    Btw, the window is actually 54x48 and it will be a clawfoot tub not a jacuzzi tub.

  • Ouida Stark Martin
    5 years ago

    We are in the building process now and have enjoyed reading this thread. Our Master shower is a 6 x 5 open shower with no glass. It has double shower heads and a niche as well as a bench. The shower heads are turned on as you enter the shower but the shower heads are on the opposite enclosed part of the shower.

    Also, instead of towel racks, we asked for shower hooks next to the opening of the shower to help the ease of drying off while in the shower so to keep water contained in the shower stall.

    We live in Florida so not a lot of worry about getting cold or drafts. We've opted for an open outer wall (actually 58' tall. We are 5'10 and 6'00 ft tall so we'll be able to see out of the shower to the rest of the bathroom. Hopefully, this open shower will keep the circulation open.

    We're using 18 x 18 tile in the shower walls and 6 x 6 on the floors.





  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    5 years ago

    Here's how we do it in Texas...

  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    We live in Florida so not a lot of worry about getting cold or drafts.

    I live in FL too. You may regret saying that especially if you have your AC on most of the time.

    When we were visiting S Africa, they had a shower just like you're describing. Trust me, Africa is even hotter than Fl. I will tell you I was always cold in that shower.

  • Ouida Stark Martin
    5 years ago

    LOL... Y'all need it bigger and better in Texas ... especially this time of year.

    Stay cool! =D

  • vinmarks
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    We had a big doorless shower in our old house. Hated it. We are in NC and the shower was always cold and drafty even in the summer. I hated cleaning it. We had 2 shower heads so me and DH could shower at the same time. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I hated that too. His soap suds would be landing on me. We had a large corner bench that was only ever used to hold shampoo etc or for a leg perch for shaving. Our new home has a 3ft 2 X 5 ft shower with a glass door. It only has a ledge wide enough to hold large shampoo bottles and at a height good for shaving legs. We also have a niche. No drafts. I love the smaller simpler shower. We squeegee the entire thing after showering and wipe the glass door with a microfiber towel. It stays very clean.

  • Nathan
    5 years ago

    We're building now and the plans had a small standard shower with a soaker tube next to it. I am 6'3" and "husky" and wanted more room so we pulled the tub and make the shower longer. Looking at the plans now its about 7' long and maybe 3'6"-4' wide with dual heads. Wall on 3 sides with a glass wall/door. We plan to squeegee the glass and treat it with rain-x once a month or so. I've also considered trying paste wax to see how long that would last.

    To take up the rest of the space from removing the tub we've added a linen closet thats about 3' wide. I think that'll be nice to have in the bathroom to store our towels, sheets, and toiletry consumables.

  • chisue
    5 years ago

    You want 'elbow room' as you face a shower head.

    I'm allergic to Rain-X type products. We have shower glass with baked-in water resistance, and we do not have hard water, but IME glass still needs a squeegee to look good.

    You also need a big supply of hot water if you have a lot of heads running at once.

  • Nathan
    5 years ago

    Our water is hard but we'll have a softener. Our last place had a glass enclosure that was bad when we moved in with build up and I tried EVERYTHING to clean it off. I ended up replacing it and for the last 4 months we lived there with the new glass we used a squeegee and rain-x and it worked great. We'll also have 2 water heaters so there ought to be no shortage of hot water. (In-laws will live in the basement.)

    Realistically though it'll be rare that both shower heads will be used at once. I tend to get up early and my wife....doesn't. :)

  • bwasek03
    5 years ago

    Our shower is 4x11 with a 3ft curbless opening on one end and a 14" bench on the other. 3 heads (rain, stationary, & handheld) that can all be on at the same time. It has 6x2 window in it set at shoulder height, and the wall that the shower heads are on is about 18" below the ceiling to let in more light from the window. We most definitely did not want a tub since we would probably never use it, instead the decision was made to oversize the shower. We've been in our new home for about 6 months, and I don't think we would have done anything different.




  • cpartist
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    We plan to squeegee the glass and treat it with rain-x once a month or so. I've also considered trying paste wax to see how long that would last.

    Get showerguard glass instead. You never have to treat it again.

    To take up the rest of the space from removing the tub we've added a linen closet thats about 3' wide.

    The problem is your linen closet as drawn is too deep at almost 4' deep. A linen closet shouldn't be deeper than 2'.

  • Sam Goh
    5 years ago

    We had one of those ever present garden tubs in our last house. Didn't use it a single time in 7 years. This time we nix'ed the tub completely and are just doing a 3.5 X 7.75 ' shower. I know resale bleh but oh well! :)

  • cfillyaw
    5 years ago

    We did the same thing Sam. Our builder told us most of the houses he has been building have a large shower without a tub. We could have went 40"x108", but opted to go with 40"x72".

  • Suru
    5 years ago

    The inside dimension of our shower is 36" x 65." It's plenty big and we have a glass shower door on the end. The door is far enough away that it rarely gets splashed.

    The one goof that I did was keep the ceiling height in there at 10' like the rest of the bath. Our framer asked if I wanted to lower it to 8' and I said no because at my old house, the ceiling was 7' tall and it would get mold on in. Unfortunately it is VERY cold in there. Our shower door is 7' tall so there is 3' of open space above that let's all the warmth out. We are going to install a piece of fixed glass starting about 6" above the shower door to the ceiling. I hope that will help.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    5 years ago

    If one is really worried about glass shower doors which may have water spots, it's very easy to design showers with no doors at all...!

  • jn3344
    5 years ago

    Now you tell me.

  • Pinebaron
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Did not start my design this way but made a change soon after we framed the master bath and moved the master bath door. Never had a shower so large but this one is 10’x4’ inside with 9’ floor to ceiling shower glass wall and a door in the center (minus the threshold). Made provision for a whole house water softener, brand/make TBD.

  • HU-418990949
    11 months ago

    @Nathan what’s your review of your shower after 4 years?

  • worthy
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    The approved plan calls for 5'x13' primary bath shower. It shows a door for which I see no need. The other five baths will be a mix of standard tubs or tub-sized showers, as I notice new builds and large renos here are going that route.



    However, bwasek03's pics above make me wonder if that space will feel too confining.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    11 months ago

    Well, after 6 years most folks will need a larger shower. How large depends on how many people will use the shower at the same time. I'd start with 4' X 5' and go from there...

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    11 months ago

    worthy - I know aesthetics is a major driving force in the design of your long awaited home, but I find small windowless spaces not all that pleasant to be in. I think windows to the outside or at least a skylight or glass in the door would make more pleasant shower and gas chamber to be in and use.

    To answer the OP's question: 3' x 5'

  • worthy
    11 months ago

    ^^^

    Figuring to leave shower doorless & swinging glass door for the chamber that mrs. worthy insists on.

  • nhb22
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    HU-418990949 Our shower is 6 x 5. It is not too big, nor too small. We built it to allow a small wheelchair, plus an extra body to fit in, should we if ever need help. There is a small lip to get in, and a 32" clearance with the door. Without the door, there is 35". Our contractor talked us out of a zero entry because he has seen problems arise with linear drains. There is a wide built-in bench in/under the half wall. We put in a bar that can easily be reached while standing under the shower head, or to help with getting up and down from the bench.

    We stay plenty warm enough in there even though the ceilings are 10'. The only downside of this shower is the cleaning. However, if the shower were smaller, we would still have about the same amount of wall tile to clean --- minus about a 2' vertical section. The floor space would be smaller, but that's the easy part. Cleaning those large tiles all the way to the ceiling requires a ladder!




  • Nathan
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    @HU-418990949 Its phenomenal, I wouldn't change a thing. Well, I guess I would add a light fixture to the "closet" that was the left over space to the left of the shower. The shower is great though.

  • HU-418990949
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    @Nathan nice! Thanks for your response. Ours is gonna be, as of right now, like this.



    I’m considering adding 6-8” just by decreasing width of toilet room because I’m worried my wife and i will be bumping butts and elbows with 5’ 10” width. I’m also considering doing a half or corner bench since it’s only for her to shave her legs.

    Are you happy with the glass door height and style you went with? What’s your ceiling height? Wanna make sure we stay warm in there. Did you add sprayers by chance?

  • HU-418990949
    11 months ago

    Correction, toilet room wall will be deeper, making it flush with shower wall.

  • nhb22
    11 months ago

    HU-418990949 - You might consider a shaving bar for your shower. You can see mine in the far corner of the shower. It is lower than the bench and works well. Our bench is set high for future handicap needs.

  • Nathan
    11 months ago

    No sprayerssprayers, just the two traditional style heads at opposite ends. I am happy with the glass and style. The support that comecomes down from the ceiling I think was a very good decision. Especially with a 2 year old and a 7 year old...


    Our ceiling is about 9' and I'd guess the glass goes up to about 7'. Maybe a little higher because of the curb. I've never been concerned with drafts or getting cold.


    You could try taping the dimensions on the ground and move around in the space. I get your idea on sjusting down the bathroom but that's also a space I don't necessarily want to skimp on either. Our half bath off the kitchen is rather small, I'd appreciate more room in there.

  • HU-418990949
    11 months ago

    @nhb22 that’s a good idea. Thank you.


    @Nathan I‘ll try to figure something out. Maybe have someone else do just that. I will be across the country for most of the build, unfortunately.

  • Nathan
    11 months ago

    I mean, if you have the plans you can do tape the floor anywhere.