Mar 242012

How to decide on the look of your new walk in shower
For information on how the style of your bathroom guides your remodeling design, please see: Walk In Shower Designs: Decorating Themes and Bathroom Layouts

Walk in showers have become very popular recently. A walk in shower is a great way to enhance a bathroom and it can also provide a great way to relax. If you are renovating your bathroom and installing a walk in shower is a great addition.

While walk in showers can take up more room than a traditional bath tub and shower combo, if you have the room it’s well worth it. There are many benefits, in addition to the beauty and relaxation mentioned above. You can make them upscale and provide a spa like experience, you can add accessibility if needed, you have room to add a shower bench, and you can even designed it to be a steam room.

Their many styles of walk in shower, below are a few of the most common.

Plate Glass

Many, many walk in showers have plate glass walls. Most are built into a corner so that two walls are tile and the others are glass. Alternatively, some only have one wall that is style and the rest glass. This style can either be square, or sometimes what is called neo-angle, which is like a square with one corner cut off.

Sometimes the walls can be curved although this is very difficult to achieve with a sheet of glass. Therefore, if you want a curved wall, glass blocks would be more appropriate.

A great advantage of plate glass walk in showers is that you can easily see through the glass. First, with minimal hardware, the walls seem to disappear. This makes your bathroom look much bigger. Second, it allows you to see the tile on the walls. Sense many tile designs are quite intricate, they deserve to be seen.

Pittsburgh Corning 110498 "Decora" Glass Block 8x8x4" - (Pack of 8)

Glass Block

Glass block provides a very different look from plate glass, although it can be quite pretty. Glass block offers many advantages that plate glass doesn’t have. First, you can create curved walls. This means it’s quite simple to have D shaped showers, or even an S shaped shower. Second, glass block also gives you the option of creating a stair stepped effect on the edge. Third, glass block comes in several colors. Fourth, some manufacturers are even creating glass blocks that would put together form a mural.

Glass blocks are also ideal when you don’t want to be able to see into the shower. Because of their pattern, they let light through, but obscure what is on the other side. So, in addition to using them for the walls of the shower itself, they also were great in place of a traditional window.

Finally, glass blocks can be used to create half walls. Since they are a couple of inches thick, and the edges are smooth, they are great choice for these half walls.


Another style of walk in shower is where most of the walls are tile. Although they are part of the bathroom, they often form a small room of their own. Many don’t have doors. I’ve even seen ones where the entrance is built like an arch. Glass tile looks quite beautiful in these type of walk in showers. This is also a good place to highlight large tiles. Since the focus is on the tile in these type of showers, they’re great place to try different tile designs.

Door Less

Usually not a style all by itself, a door less walk in shower is almost like a finishing touch on other styles. Glass block and tile walk in showers are most often the ones done without a door. Although if constructed properly, a plate glass walk in showers  can also be constructed without a door.

Showers without a door do need little bit more care in construction. Because there isn’t a continuous seal around the entire shower, a door less design is usually longer than a style with a door. This gives extra room for water to splash and run into the drain without getting the rest of the bathroom floor wet.

Master-bath shower before repair
Creative Commons License photo credit: Don Nunn

Other Styles

The styles above refer to the overall design and construction of the walk in shower. Once you have the basic design chosen, you can then customize it with your fixtures and other hardware. Depending on the style and material of your fixtures, you can make your shower, and the rest of your bathroom, have a spa or zen feel. Copper fixtures and other hardware, can add a rustic touch to a bathroom.

No matter which style you choose, when you add a walk in shower to your bathroom you will have added class, relaxation, and beauty.

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