How Much Does a Walk-In Shower Cost?
Walk-in showers are great bathroom safety solutions for those who have issues with mobility and/or cannot lift their legs over the wall of a tub, but how much do they cost and what is involved?
While many people prefer to be hands-off and ask that we come in and handle everything from start to finish, others prefer to have as much information up front so that they know what to expect, both during the project and for their pocketbooks.
This comprehensive guide will shed light on the process and the pricing for people who are considering installing a walk-in shower in their bathrooms.
The Many Names for a “Walk-In Shower”
First things first.
There are so many phrases that are interchangable with the term: “walk-in shower”.
Most often, the walk-in shower is converted from a tub into a shower. There are many ways to refer to a walk-in shower that you may see or hear, including curb-free, barrier-free, no-step, step-through, curb-less, ADA, zero-barrier. As the market continues to expand, there is no doubt that we will see even further variations of this terminology in the future.
Why a Walk-In Shower?
Walk-in showers are a safe alternative to the traditional tub/shower combination.
Walk-in showers do not have any type of ledge or lip to step over in order to enter into it, making them the perfect bathroom safety solution for those who have trouble walking, those who use a wheelchair or those who simply want a sleek, modern shower aesthetic.
The Process of Turning a Tub into a Walk-In Shower
Let’s break this process down step-by-step.
1. First, we demo the tub and the shower walls
Some people ask, “Why can’t you just remove the tub and leave the walls as-is?”
The answer: The tub is made up of one large piece and it is placed before all of the drywall and tile is installed.
Therefore, the tub is trapped by all of the product that’s around it. As a result, the existing walls must be removed in order to remove the tub.
2. Next, we reconfigure your plumbing
As part of redesigning your new walk-in shower area, we must reconfigure the existing plumbing to match your new shower pan, so that all of the water drains properly and does not cause plumbing issues.
3. After that, we sweat your new shower valve
After removing the tub, the location of the existing tub spigot and valve will no longer be practical.. These will need to be moved up to an area with which you’re most comfortable for turning on and off your shower water.
At this time, we typically take the opportunity to raise the existing location of the shower head as well, while it’s exposed, to make your walk-in shower fit precisely to your needs.
4. Then, we install your wall blocking
While all of the walls are exposed, we install 2 x 12’s around the entire wall area at a 36” height. This wall blocking provides the ability to install shower grab bars in the future, if needed.
5. Finally, we install your shower pan and shower walls
Without going into all of the construction-related technical details, after installing the wall blocking, we undergo the process of ensuring that the shower pan and walls are all secure, in alignment and up to par with how you want your shower to look.
6. Select your accessories
There are many ways to custom build your walk-in shower. Our goal is to provide customers with a safe, reliable and beautful new walk-in shower structure that meets their unique needs, while also allowing them to bathe confidently and comfortably.
We want our customers to be able to get everything they need in one place, so we offer a variety of standard shower accessories that can be integrated into your walk-in shower build.
- Shower bench: The shower bench can be built-in, hang on the shower wall or be free-standing.
- Soap/shampoo shelf: These shelves can be set in the corner or inset into the wall (with former preparation). We offer many styles and configurations to meet your personal taste.
- Personal shower wand: We offer several different kinds of shower wands, but all are adjustable and hang on a sliding bar that has a lever for selecting and turning on either the showerhead or the personal shower wand.
- Shower curtain: We always include a shower curtain and shower rod for the purpose of bathroom safety. Glass shower doors can complicate the process of entering and exiting the shower. However many of our customers prefer a shower door and, if so, we do install those for them. FYI – if we are installing a wet room style floor, we will sometimes just install a piece of glass on one side of the shower and have no door at all.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of our remodeling process and how we approach the construction aspect of your walk-in shower installation, let’s review the various types of shower materials that we use and the pricing for each.
Pricing Guide for the Three Different Types of Walk-In Shower Installations
Acrylic Walk-In Shower Pricing
Price: Between $6,000 and $7,000, which includes all labor/materials
For our acrylic shower systems, we install an Onyx low-profile shower pan. For this installation, we use either a one-inch lip or a one-inch lip with a ramp (for rolling over) and an acrylic wall system.
This is not the type of flimsy wall system you see at the big box lumber stores.
We have a local manufacturer who makes these walls from ¼” acrylic, with finished edges. They are very nice, plain and white. The acrylic walk-in shower is the simplest and most-cost effective (yet sturdy and clean) system that we offer.
Onyx Walk-In Shower Pricing
Price: Between $7,000 and $8,500, which includes all labor/materials
Our Onyx system is unique in several ways. You can choose from many different colors and textures. It also has a very low threshold (which we can leverage and use for several different applications). Finally, it has a lifetime warranty. For example, if you drill a hole in the onyx, the warranty will cover that damage. We have never seen a warranty like The Onyx Collection anywhere else in the industry.
Walk-In Shower with Custom-Tiled Walls Pricing
Price: Between $10,000 and $11,600, which includes all labor/materials
This is a very popular option for customers looking for custom tile work.
We can install a low-profile shower pan and follow all our normal procedures, but instead of installing large wall panels, we install ceramic or porcelain tile. The difference between the ceramic and porcelain is primarily aesthetics.
With the custom tile walls, we install a concrete backer board behind the tile. Additionally, a bullnose trim is required along the edge – where the tile meets the drywall – and we usually run the tile all the way to the ceiling.