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The walk-in shower: 6 things to know about installation

Last modified: 2021-04-30 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Amanda Harvey

Have you always dreamed of owning a beautiful walk-in shower in your bathroom? Whether this large-scale project is carried out for aesthetic or functional purposes, it’s essential to be well informed before embarking on the adventure. Here are some important facts about the installation of a walk-in shower!

Installing a walk-in shower: What you need to know

1- The floor and slope

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First, you should know that a walk-in shower installation initially begins with taking note of something very important: this relates to the possibility of embedding the system (water drainage, shower tray, etc.) below the flooring. This implies a full floor removal to integrate the entire device under it.

After this step, it’s usually possible to obtain a slope (between 1 and 3%) which will be sufficient to ensure good water flow. In a situation where this is not the case, it’s necessary to raise your shower or build a platform on which the shower will be placed.

2- Sealing is of utmost importance

To ensure optimal waterproofing, it’ll be essential to use only water-repellent products for the jointing between the walls and the floor. Otherwise, issues will not take long to reveal themselves!

At this point, there are many elements to take into account: sealing strips on each side and in the corners, the presence of seals at the siphon as well as the use of waterproof paint at the tank level.

3- Installing a shower with or without a wall?

Most homeowners who consider installing a walk-in shower do so because of its unique design, which is often open-concept. Of course, keep in mind that a shower without walls allows for splashing water to disperse around the room.

This can be very unpleasant, especially if your bathroom configuration wasn’t designed with this reality in mind. In this case, all is not lost! It’s always possible to lean towards integrating transparent walls to preserve the unique charm of this style of shower. Moreover, be aware that the integration of sliding, hinged or pivoting doors are among the available options.

4- The cost of installation

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Unsurprisingly, the budget required for the installation of a walk-in shower will be substantial. Due to the complexity of this project and the nature of the plumbing work required to complete it, it’s impossible to get out of it without spending several thousand dollars. So, if you need to renovate the entire bathroom, planning your budget will be of the utmost importance.

5- The choice of tiles for your walk-in shower

When choosing the floor tiles for your walk-in shower, you’ll naturally have the choice between small or large tiles. How do you make a decision about something which will have a major impact on your shower’s aesthetic appearance? First, note that each of these options has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

First, regarding the large tiles, let us mention that these have the ability to visually enlarge the space. Moreover, when used with glass panels extending down to the floor, they create continuity with the flooring.

However, it’s important to mention that these will be much more slippery than the small squares. If this option is the one that catches your attention due to aesthetic considerations, be sure to purchase a shower mat and install it on your shower’s floor to prevent slips and falls.

Now concerning small tiles, these will have more of a non-slip effect. This is a huge advantage for some people, especially those with reduced mobility. For those concerned about the extra maintenance involved with small tiles, note that the use of an epoxy-cement grout will reduce the required frequency for cleaning.

6- The integration of niches and benches

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Looking at various illustrations of walk-in showers, it’s common to notice the presence of niches. Very practical for resting various items such as shampoo and soap, keep in mind that these pose a very specific problem: water accumulation. Indeed, these cavities will inevitably end up accumulating small amounts of water, favourable to the proliferation of moulds.

Similarly, the installation of ceramic benches is also not recommended. Not only are they also susceptible to collecting water, but in the event of a fall, they’re very dangerous due to their protruding corners.

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