Apr 172012
 

Have you dreamed of having a walk in shower in your bathroom? Has the thought of actually installing one given you a headache, or seemed overwhelming? The answer may be a walk in shower kit.

What is a walk in shower kit? A walk in shower kit is a complete walk in shower package. A basic kit will have the walls, floor, and door included. A more expensive kit will also include the fixtures and perhaps a towel bar. The more expensive the kit, the more features available, and the more options for customization.

Why get a walk in shower kit? The main reasons are convenience and price.

Since these kits have everything you need, you are saved from buying pieces separately. You also know that they are going to all fit together, because they were made to go together.

It is very convenient to install them as well. Think of a walk in shower kit as building a free standing shower stall that you attach to the wall with glue. Very simplified, but that’s the general idea. This is much quicker and easier that laying tile. Also, the kit will include all the necessary fasteners for the door and glass walls, although you will have to get any construction adhesive separately.

The price of walk in shower kits ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. However, without a kit, you could spend thousands more than even the most expensive kit. Especially when you factor in the cost of labor for a custom walk in shower, you can see the cost savings a kit brings.

American Shower and Bath 402005 American Shower and Bath Neo Angle Shower Kit
Although a walk in shower kit can be a big time and cost savings, that doesn’t mean you can’t just throw one up in a weekend. You will still need to evaluate your bathroom for space and plumbing needs.

There are some other important considerations for building your walk in shower using a kit. You will need to know the orientation of the kit you plan to use as well as the requirements for installing the shower.

Kits are big and heavy. Delivery is best, or you will need a large truck to bring it home from the store. Also, some kits come as one piece, while others are in pieces that you put together at your home. If you are building a new home, you should be able to get the one piece kits in since there will not be walls in the way. However, if you are renovating, you will probably need a kit that comes in several pieces so that they can be moved into the bathroom area.

Carefully read the manufacturers instructions and warranty. Returning one of these kits is possible, but very difficult. Make sure you understand all instructions before you purchase the kit. You will need to know what extras you need – plumbing, adhesive, and tools. You will also need to know if your bathroom is suitable for that shower kit.

Check the manufacturers website for a copy of the instructions and warranty. If you are purchasing the kit from the store, make sure you discuss these points with a sales representative. They will be able to get you a copy of the instructions before you purchase.

Walk in shower kits can be a big time and money savings. However, you still need to evaluate your space and decide what kind of kit you want and what will work with your bathroom. In the end, you will have a beautiful bathroom as well as a heavier wallet and more time by using a kit for your walk in shower.

What types of shower enclosure kits are there?

1. Neo angle shower kit: Neo angle shower kits are ones that fit into a corner of your bathroom. The best way to describe what they look like is to image a large square shower in the corner of your bathroom. Then, cut off the corner that juts into the room. Two sides still fit into the corner, but now there are three additional sides to your shower. The pictures above and below show a neo angle shower design.

These corner shower kits are usually made with a glass sides. These can be clear or frosted and of course are made of safety glass. They most often have silver colored joints; a high end corner shower kit will have brushed nickel joints. However, some come with white supports which can blend in better with some designs.

The back wall of these shower enclosure kits are usually made of fiberglass and are white. Some kits contain the shower base, called a shower pan, and the glass walls and mounting hardware. With this type of shower stall kit, the back wall of the shower is then the walls of your bathroom. In this way, you can have a tiled shower, but still take advantage of the shower kit.

Sterling NI3190A-38S/W Economy Shower Kit Neoangle 18-1/4" x 25-1/4" x 36-1/4" x 72" Hammered Glass
2. Glass block shower kits: Glass block can be a very beautiful addition to your bathroom and they make great shower surrounds. They can be installed by themselves as part of an overall shower installation. But, an easier way to get a glass block shower is to go with a kit. Many companies sell these kits.

And, you aren’t limited to just a square or rectangular shape. Some kits come with a curved wall made of glass block. The more expensive the kit, the more options it will have.

3. Other bathroom shower kits: In general, stand up shower kits are self contained units. Meaning that they can fit anywhere into a bathroom. A corner shower kit is of course made to fit into a corner, but other kits can fit on a side wall; they don’t need a corner specifically.

Also, remember that no matter what style of kit you get, the more you pay, the more features you can get. For instance, some kits with at least one fiberglass wall have shelves built in. At the higher end you can also get shower kits with seats. Some kits come with everything, including the fixtures, while others just include the shower portion and you add your own fixtures.

As you plan your bathroom, and decide what features you want, remember that shower stall kits come with many different options. They will all save you time and money, but you don’t have to get a boring glass box if you don’t want to. Shower stalls and kits are quite versatile and you can probably find one that you really like and will enhance your bathroom.

 

References:

  1. Buying Guide: Showers Bases & Walls
  2. Buying Guide: Showers Bases & Walls
  3. Purchasing a Walk-In Shower Kit

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