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Pros and Cons of a Doorless Walk In Shower: Is This Design Right for Your Home?

Love the idea of a doorless shower? Unless your bathroom is teeny-tiny, it’s likely that you can have one of these installed and enjoy the clean, streamlined look of this popular shower design.

What is a Doorless Shower?

Just as the name suggests, a doorless walkin shower is a shower without doors to clean or close behind you. There’s no need for curtains either, making doorless walk in showers feel more open than other common shower designs. Also known as Roman showers and roll in showers, these designs can really show off stone and tile work, making your bathroom a much nicer place to be.

For a doorless walk-in shower to work, every bit of the space that might possibly be exposed to moisture must be watertight. This means water-resistant walls as well as water-resistant floors. A water-resistant ceiling is another good feature to consider since water splashes in every direction as you’re showering.

Many doorless walk in shower ideas feature bathtubs as well as showers, all contained in a single space made up of water-resistant materials. The look is clean, modern, and beautiful, and with a great design, your bathroom will feel more like a high-end spa and less like a boring place to get a quick rinse-off.

Most showers without doors feature a built in ledge or lip to keep water contained and prevent it from flowing to other areas. Additionally, many of these showers are slightly elevated, which allows for a slightly longer drain pipe with a lower overflow risk.

Doorless Shower Pros and Cons

If you’re thinking about building a walk in shower no door required, then be sure to keep the pros and cons in mind.

Pros

As you might have guessed, there are plenty of reasons to choose a walk in shower. No doors or curtains to clean or replace tops the list! Here are some additional benefits that come with these unique shower designs.

There’s room for multiple showerheads.

Love having a handheld shower as well as an overhead showerhead, but hate having them crammed together on one narrow wall? With a walk in shower, you have plenty of room to spread these fixtures around and really enjoy your daily cleanse. If you have enough space, you might even be able to build a more luxurious shower with multiple heads at different heights.

Attractive appearance.

Basic bathrooms are functional, and many are even pretty nice to look at. But nothing quite beats a doorless shower for great looks! There are so many elegant shower designs to choose from, and once you’ve settled on your favorite, you’ll find that your new open shower has a wonderfully enticing look and feel.

Open showers keep your bathroom from looking cramped.

As any qualified decorator will tell you, the more open a space is, the larger it feels. Even showers with glass doors can make a bathroom feel a bit cramped, and that lack of spaciousness is intensified when the glass isn’t perfectly clean at all times. A walk in shower without a door completely eliminates visual barriers and makes your bathroom a nicer place to be.

Doorless showers are easier to Clean.

You’ll still have to clean your shower or hire someone to do the cleaning for you, but when your walk in shower has no doors, there’s one less surface to worry about, plus there are no troublesome tracks to catch water and debris. Choose smooth, streamlined surfaces for even easier cleanup. Craggy stone looks amazing, but it can attract soap scum if you’re not meticulous about staying on top of the daily cleanup.

You can enjoy plenty of light with a doorless shower.

Where a standard shower can feel a bit dark and even somewhat claustrophobic, a doorless shower lets in lots of light. You can even add a skylight or window made of frosted or stained glass, which will maximize the amount of light in your shower. Be sure to consider light fixtures as well, particularly if shower windows or skylights aren’t an option for your design.

Easy for everyone to get into.

If you have a wheelchair or other mobility aids or if you plan to share the shower with someone who does, then a roll in shower is definitely to your advantage. An ADA accessible shower design doesn’t have a threshold, and with other modifications such as grip bars, multiple fixtures, and comfortable bench seating, it’s also ideal for those who plan to remain in their homes as they age. A tilted floor keeps water flowing toward the drain. Textured tile and grippy mats can help prevent slip and fall accidents.

Cons

If you think it might seem strange to shower out in the open, then you’re not alone. A lack of privacy is one reason many people decide to go with a more traditional shower design. Here are a few other cons.

Nobody else can use the bathroom.

With a shower curtain or door, others can use the bathroom when they really need to, even while you’re in the shower. While you might not think this is possible with a doorless shower design, there’s an easy way to get around the issue: Consider giving the toilet a private chamber with a door, all to itself, and if you’re concerned about modesty for yourself and your family, add a half-wall or even a full wall of tempered frosted glass or glass blocks to your shower design so no one can see in.

Water, water, everywhere.

If you’re not careful with your design, you could end up with water everywhere. Luckily, there are a few ways to get around this issue: ledges can be very helpful, and so can half-walls or curved walls that keep your bathroom feeling open while lending a touch of privacy and keeping splashes to a minimum. A “rain” type showerhead can be very helpful with keeping water contained but this might seem like a compromise if you’re someone who prefers high-pressure showerheads.

Doorless showers can feel drafty.

You might not mind a cool breeze while showering in warm weather, but once winter arrives, you might miss your shower’s door or curtain, since it holds quite a bit of heat inside the shower. With radiant floor heating and warm overhead light fixtures, you can beat the chill. At the same time, these features do add to the cost of building a walk in doorless shower.

No room for a bathtub.

If your bathroom is small, you might not have enough room for a roll in shower as well as a bathtub. A bathtub may or may not be important to you, but there’s more to consider. Depending on the size of your house and regulations where you live, this might have an impact on resale value and whether that bathroom is counted as a full bath or a half bath. At the same time, walk-in doorless showers are considered luxury features and they can have a positive impact on your home’s value.

At the same time, a skilled contractor can usually fit a doorless, walk-in shower in a corner. The minimum size is normally 42×60 inches, although larger areas are considered more desirable.

Installation can be expensive.

Since Roman showers are almost always custom-designed, with specially angled flooring and watertight tilework, they can get pretty pricey. However, if you’re thinking about replacing an older bathtub or shower, you are still going to have to pay for something new – and if you’ve checked into bathtub prices lately, you know that a quality bathtub goes for a small fortune. If you really want a walk-in shower without doors, do some comparison pricing and see what you can fit into your budget. You might be surprised at what a contractor can come up with.

The Takeaway: Is a Walk-in Doorless Shower Right for Your Bathroom?

Whatever shower design you’re considering, be sure to double-check with a contractor and consider getting a few different opinions and quotes. Local reviews can help you decide who to contact, and some contractors may have more experience building walk in shower designs without doors than others.

While a shoddy design can cause costly damage to other parts of your home and the open feel isn’t right for everyone, Roman showers are more popular than ever. When properly designed and installed, they add value to your home and provide plenty of other desirable benefits. The bottom line? Be sure to consider all the angles so that you can make a well-informed decision about whether a doorless walk in shower is the right choice for your home.