Showers without doors, also known as walk-in showers, have several benefits. First, the doorless style can save time on the work spent cleaning a door. Shower glass is one of the most cleaning-intensive features of a bathroom, because any soap scum or mineral deposits show right away. The only way to entirely prevent spotting and soap scum to wipe down the shower door after every use.
Second, for owners with accessibility issues, these doors allow for a curbless design that eliminates the need to step over a rim. With a wide enough doorway opening, many walk-in showers are even wheelchair-friendly.
And walk-in showers also have a wide range of design options. You can go wet-room style, with a tub and even sometimes the toilet right in the showering area. Or you use an enclosure alcove style with three walls, or a corridor-style with two walls facing each other, and openings on both sides. Some doorless showers even have no walls at all!
Finally, a walk-in, or curbless, shower can be a decided selling feature when you put a home on the real estate market. A walk-in shower is regarded as a luxury feature and generally makes prospective buyers perk up.
However, walk-in showers tend to have more expensive design and construction costs, because they don't come in standard sizes and frames, like the typical shower pans and shower surround panels you can buy at your local home hardware store. A walk-in shower generally needs to be customized for each bathroom, and they usually are somewhat more complicated to build.
Curbless styles, in particular, must be carefully sloped to ensure that water empties down the drain, not out into the bathroom. This is work for a skilled craftsperson, and few DIYers are able to handle such construction. While shower walls can, and often are, completed by a skilled DIYer, a custom tile shower pan is a complicated project that most people will hire professionals to complete.
Maintenance and repair can also be a little more involved than with a standard shower. Rather than using a prefabricated shower pan, these showers are generally built from ceramic tile, which will need to be regrouted and sealed from time to time.
But with a little budget, some creativity, and inspiration from this gallery, you can plan the walk-in shower of your dreams.
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Colorful Mosaic Tile Shower
Glass mosaic tile brings lots of color to this doorless shower. Notice how the deep blue countertop recalls the bits of blue tile in the mosaic. This design by John Lum Architecture, via Houzz, is an example of a classic, low-cost, beautiful walk-in shower. Here, a transparent glass partial wall exposes the beauty of the tile job at all times.
This style of mosaic tile with long narrow pieces attached to a mesh backing is sometimes known as pencil tiles. It is often installed horizontally, but for a striking appearance, it can be installed vertically so the pieces run up-and-down.Continue to 2 of 17 below.
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Eclectic Marble Shower With Bench
The marble tile in this walk-in shower adds elegance to a very personal, eclectic bathroom design featuring an oil painting and a skirted cabinet. This design by Lisa Luby Ryan is a beautiful example of how you can combine classic decor and personal touches.
Large tiles like the ones used here have fewer grout lines to get dirty, and thus reduces cleaning chores. Small-square mosaic tiles used for the shower base adds some underfoot texture that helps prevent slipping.Continue to 3 of 17 below.
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Honeycomb Tile Shower
Black doesn't mean boring in this wonderful matte honeycomb tile. This bathroom design by GIA Renovations features plenty of natural light, a neutral color palette that works for both men and women and two super modern square-shaped rain shower heads and fixtures in black.
With a center entry point, transparent glass walls on both sides maximize the design impact of the graphic tiled wall. Although this is not technically a "wet-room," it has that appearance thanks to extending the same flooring tile throughout the bathroom.Continue to 4 of 17 below.
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Half-Wall Marble Shower
When light and openness are more important than privacy, this half-wall walk-in shower style is perfect for keeping the bathroom spacious and bright. This bathroom by Jenni Leasia Design, via Houzz, uses classic marble and dark tile for a contemporary, minimalist style.
A single accent wall tiled in a dark color helps ground the overall white theme, which could be overwhelming without some contrast.Continue to 5 of 17 below.
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Wet Room-Style Shower
Combine your tub and shower areas with a design like this wet room-style bathroom. Travertine tile instead of marble gives a different, more old-world look, and designer Kelly Stoneburgh, via Houzz, balanced the feminine touches with more masculine straight lines and brown colors.
Another tile option is porcelain tile, which is now available in styles that can closely resemble marble, granite, travertine and other natural stone tiles. Porcelain tiles are not only less expensive than natural stone, but also they are less porous and easier to care for.Continue to 6 of 17 below.
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Private and Bright Walk-In Enclosure
If you prefer more privacy, this nook-style walk-in shower will give you just that. This design by Holland & Knapp Construction, via Houzz, features a bright yellow and orange color scheme to keep the room light and spacious. No dark corner in this bathroom.
Note how the color of the subway tile used in the shower nook echos the color of the wood tones in the vanity cabinet. This tile pattern, classic for subway tile, is known as running bond or staggered brick.Continue to 7 of 17 below.
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Shower With Multiple Spray-Heads
Shower from every angle with this walk-through design from Rock Paper Hammer. Multiple shower heads and wall sprays provide maximum relaxation. The classic marble tile also makes this design timeless. Glass walls on all but the exterior side wall keep the shower bright.
Multiple spray-head showers can use a lot of water and somewhat complicated plumbing, so make sure your water heater and plumbing are up to the task before having such a shower installed.Continue to 8 of 17 below.
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When you have the luxury of space and an ample budget, you can feature showers like this one. Rounded at the end of the room, the vault-style area also defines the space for the drop-in tub. In this custom home by GNB Builders, there's enough space for two (or more) users. The same large tiles are used for the shower walls and the outer bathroom floor, with smaller tiles used for the shower floor and trim-work around doors.Continue to 9 of 17 below.
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Small Space Doorless Shower
This homey shower design by Harrell Remodeling, via Houzz, also has universal accessibility features for a multi-generational, aging-friendly bathroom. The muted green and blonde wood accents make this shower design-conscious but not pretentious, and its size is perfect for smaller spaces. A partial glass panel extending up from a partial tile wall allows plenty of light into the shower while confining the spray.Continue to 10 of 17 below.
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This white marble tile shower by Sarah Bartholomew Design will please lovers of minimalism. The all-over white gives this space a minimalist profile, and the pared-down space with a small alcove for personal-care products eliminates distractions. The effect would be quite different if the alcove was finished in a contrasting tile.Continue to 11 of 17 below.
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White Subway Tiles With Accent Bands
Subway tile is often installed in a uniform, solid wall, but you can avoid a boring white look by adding one or more rows of accent tiles, as in this walk-in shower by Fox Group Construction. The lines of dark marble bring visual interest and movement to white subway tile, and the same dark marble is used in the hex tile floor. This tile work is a study in contrast.
As is often done in walk-in showers, a partial glass wall helps bring in light to the shower and prevents users from feeling claustrophobic.Continue to 12 of 17 below.
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Glass blocks are definitely an 80s thing, but they are making a strong comeback. Glass block works perfectly well in this contemporary bathroom by Shasta Smith, via Houzz. The soft, muted neutral palette brings this 80s staple into the 21st century, and the fogged glass provide privacy and transparency.
Glass block can be effectively used almost anywhere you might use clear glass panel walls in a walk-in shower, even quite small showers.Continue to 13 of 17 below.
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Glass Tile Shower
Would you dare this glossy, reflective tile in your walk-in shower? This design by RW Anderson Homes makes it work by providing plenty of light and contrasting the silver glossiness with a matte white marble floor and matte fixtures.
Shiny glass tile can be bit harder to maintain, since the surfaces need to regularly polished to maintain the gleam and prevent water spots and mineral deposits. But the eye-opening effect of such a tile wall is undeniable.Continue to 14 of 17 below.
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Corner Shower With Bench
Marble is a great all-around luxurious material for walk-in showers, and this one is no exception. This great corner shower featuring several body sprays and a corner bench, by PLD Custom Homes, has everything you will ever want in a showering space and a luxury design that will add value to your home. Tiling all surfaces—including the ceiling—may not be for everyone, but it does give the impression of entering another world each time you enter the shower.Continue to 15 of 17 below.
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This beautiful bathroom features a modern take on the Craftsman style. The design by Norman Building and Design, via Houzz, is classic with a twist of contemporary: The light fixture and the sinks are especially cutting-edge. But you'll notice how the clever walk-in shower design maintains your privacy even when someone walks in and takes a bath. The use of large windows, natural wood, and earth-tone colors is right from the Craftsman/Prairie Style playbook.Continue to 16 of 17 below.
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Modern Shower and Tub Combo
The juxtaposition of cool marble tile and warm wood tones in the flooring makes this bathroom visually interesting and full of character. Designed by Jackson Paige Interiors, it also saves room by putting together the shower and the tub, wet room-style. Transparent glass walls preserve the beauty of the marble tile to anyone using the bathroom.Continue to 17 of 17 below.
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Shower With a View
What makes this walk-in shower so special isn't its size or its design, although it's pretty big, and has a great minimalist, neutral design, thanks to Zaher Architects via Houzz. The stunning feature is the view. Imagine walking out of this shower to watch the sunrise (or sunset) on this gorgeous ledge. What a way to use your location at its best.