Purchasing a Walk-In Shower Kit

Purchasing a Walk-In Shower Kit

Add a shower to your bathroom with an all-inclusive kit

By Glyn Sheridan

Bathroom shower and sink
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Nothing feels better than a warm, invigorating shower to start your day. A walk-in shower is an independent unit with a drain, hot and cold water faucets, and one or more showerheads. Unlike a tub/shower combination, a walk-in shower does not retain water in the base. With numerous kits on the market in a variety of styles, you can choose one that suits your taste, but pay close attention to the product specifications and any special installation requirements.

  • What You Need to Know
  • In order to install a shower kit, you will first need a drain in your bathroom.
  • A quality shower kit should include all of the components required to install a watertight shower assembly, without having to make your own mortar bed.
  • The shower door may not come with some shower kits.
  • You'll need a sketch of your bathroom, complete with the dimensions, when you're ready to purchase a walk-in shower.
  • Shower kits are extremely heavy and cumberson, so bring a large vehicle to take one home or, better yet, ask if your store offers delivery.
Finding a Shower Kit That's Right For Your Bathroom

Step 1:

View shower kits that meet your floor plan requirements. While the interior of the shower will determine how much room the occupant has to turn around and suds up, it is not the dimension used in determining how much floor space you need. On the shower carton, or on the manufacturer's detail sheet, you will find the "framing dimensions." These measurements tell you exactly how much room the shower will occupy in your bathroom.

Step 2:

Purchase a one-piece walk-in shower kit for new construction and a multiple-piece kit for a remodeling project. While a one-piece kit offers the greatest protection against water leaks, because there are no panels to fit together, it may be too big to fit through finished doorways. In a new home, purchase a one-piece kit and move the carton into the future bathroom before the builder frames the walls.

Step 3:

Notice the orientation of the shower. You may see either "right hand" or "left hand" on the detail sheet. This indicates which direction the shower door will open. Consider ease of entry and exit when choosing an orientation. In addition, note the acceptable placement of the water supply faucets and the showerhead. If the holes are pre-drilled, they should be on the same side of the shower as your current plumbing configuration.

Step 4:

Choose the extras that will enhance your showering experience. If the shower is large, you might enjoy a fold-down seat for relaxation or shower-shaving. If you want to experience the sensation of more than one showerhead, the time to buy the additional heads is when you purchase the shower.

Step 5:

Upload your bathroom floor plan if you're buying a walk-in shower kit online. Shopping online can save you money and you will have a greater number of kit choices, but deal directly with a knowledgeable installation agent who can spot potential problems and make suggestions before you buy.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Consult a plumber about installing new pipes if you are not using existing plumbing.
  • Returning a large shower kit is a tremendous hassle, so read the manufacturer's detail sheet carefully before you buy.
  • If you modify the shower kit during installation, such as changing the drain configuration, it may void your warranty.

About the Author

Glyn Sheridan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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