The Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Cost of a Walk-In Shower 1

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Cost of a Walk-In Shower

If it is time for a bathroom makeover, you are likely considering a walk-in shower to replace an old tub.

Walk-in showers are great because they can be added to an existing bathroom and fit almost every scenario including a half bath. For the elderly and those with limited mobility, they offer a safe way to maintain proper hygiene. As a bonus, they also look great. 

There are a lot of factors that go into whether a new shower installation is right for you but the cost to install walk in shower is the most important.

In this article, we will cover many factors that go into walk in shower prices. Such as the type of walk in shower you are interested in and the materials so you can make an informed decision. 

Types of walk in showers

One of the first things you must decide on is the type of walk-in shower you want. You’ve got a few options to choose from: custom, prefabricated, and steam. They each have their pros and cons so read on.

Custom walk-in shower 

This walk in shower installation is made to fit your exact specifications, but it’s also an expensive option.

The unique design of a custom walk-in shower, tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the homeowner, often requires more materials and labor than standard, pre-fabricated options.

A custom shower installation often require more complex features, such as custom plumbing and electrical work. This requires specialized skills and expertise, which can add to the cost of the project.

They typically take longer to design and install compared to a prefab shower kit, adding to the overall walk in shower cost. You could even add his and hers shower heads which adds to the cost.

Walk in shower prefabricated kit

A pre-fabricated walk-in shower is often mass-produced in a factory, which reduces the cost of materials and labor compared to custom walk-in showers that are built on-site.

They are designed using standard sizes and shapes and can even fit a half bath, which can be more cost-effective than custom walk-in showers requiring unique designs.

Pre-fabricated walk-in showers often have a simpler installation process, as they come pre-assembled or in easy-to-install sections that can fit an existing bathroom space since they often fit into a standard sized shower. This can save on labor costs and reduce the overall time required for installation.

Prefabs also often feature basic materials, such as a fiberglass insert or basic tile, which are typically less expensive compared to higher-end materials used in custom walk-in showers.

Steam shower

A steam shower is a type of walk-in shower that generates steam to create a spa-like experience. It typically features a steam generator that heats water to produce steam, which is then circulated in the shower area. Steam showers are often equipped with adjustable temperature controls, lighting, and even aromatherapy options to enhance the experience.

They are very expensive since you will need to buy a steam generator and have a custom installation done by a technician. 

EliteSteam 10kW Steam Shower Generator Kit (Includes Steam Generator, Control, Steam Head, & Cable) (Brushed Nickel Inside Control) 
framed door shower enclosure

Average walk-in shower cost

The average cost of a walk-in shower can vary greatly depending on the size, materials, and features you choose. However, here’s a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay for a walk-in shower:

Basic prefabricated walk-in shower cost: $800 – $2,000

This type of walk-in shower typically features basic materials, such as fiberglass or basic tile, and is designed to fit standard bathroom spaces. They offer a cost-effective alternative to custom walk-in showers, but with limited design flexibility.

Mid-range custom walk-in shower cost: $2,500 – $5,000

This type of walk-in shower features a custom design and mid-range materials, such as ceramic or porcelain tile, glass enclosures, and high-end showerheads. They provide more design flexibility compared to basic prefabricated options, but still offer a more affordable option compared to high-end custom walk-in showers.

High-end custom walk-in shower cost: $7,000 and up

This type of walk-in shower features the highest-end materials, such as natural stone or mosaic tiles, and includes custom features such as a, waterfall showerhead, built-in shelving, bench seating, and steam shower options. These walk-in showers provide the ultimate in design flexibility and luxury features, but come at a much higher cost compared to basic and mid-range options.

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Cost of a Walk-In Shower 10

Factors that affect the walk in shower cost


If you are not going to be buying a prefabricated shower, the materials are going to determine how much your walk-in shower is going to cost you. They run the gamut from cheap to luxurious. 

Here are some of the most common materials for a prefabricated shower and what you might expect to pay for them:


A tile shower comes in a lot of different materials such as glass, porcelain, and even acrylics. The least expensive ones are acrylic with the most expensive being glass tiles since they are difficult to cut. Expect to pay around $2 and $17 per square foot of tile depending on what it is made from. 

Add in the cost of tiling to get an idea of how much it will cost for the installation. It can take about 20 minutes per square foot to tile a wall depending on the type of tile you bought. If you have a shower stall of around 30 square feet then at a pace of 20 minutes for a square foot it could take up to 11 hours to tile that are. Multiply this by the average labor rate for a shower installer in your area. 


The least expensive are acrylic shower panels for the walls. They are easy to install so the cost to install is less than other materials for the labor involved. You could pay between $500 and $2,000 depending on the size of the tiled walk in shower. Installation doesn’t take long if you buy standard sizes that don’t need to be custom fit. 

Natural stone

If you opt for the elegance of natural stone then expect to pay a premium. This material is the most expensive to buy and the most expensive cost to install . Generally, you will be required to hire shower installers with expertise in handling natural stone which costs more than the average. 

Cultured marble is a very popular product these days, for example, and can cost upwards of $35 per square foot. Granite tiles come in slightly lower at around $25 to $30 per square foot. 


If you opt for glass panels for the enclosure then the cost will add up quickly. There are framed and frameless shower doors to choose from with framed being the least expensive. However, expect to pay around $500 to $1,000 for a framed glass door plus another $100 to $300 for the installation. A frameless will be higher so expect $800 to $2,000 for the door. It costs more for installation for a frameless so that should be budgeted for $300 to $600.


The shower size can vary greatly depending on if you plan to use the footprint of your new walk-in shower stall for your old shower or if you want to expand and use more space. The size of typical small showers is roughly 36” by 36”, while the average walk in shower is around 60” x 36”.  

Whether you decide on a prefab kit or a custom shower, you can always fit a walk in to whatever your pre-existing space is without any trouble. The more standard the shower size space the less expensive it will be. 

Do keep in mind that if you are going to install a shower in an investment property such as a rental, it will need to meet the ADA standard of 36” x 36” with grab bars in the shower stall regardless of if it is a walk in or not. 

Walk in shower cost for labor

The cost of labor for a shower installer is going to highly depend on where you are in the country as well as the type of shower you decide on. A prefabricated kit will have much lower labor and material shower costs than one that is custom made, for instance.

We live in a high cost of living area in Massachusetts and paid $25 per hour for a shower installer to install out frameless shower door that was a tub to shower conversion, so most homeowners should expect to pay something around that. If we had a more complex build such as a custom tile shower, the labor and materials shower cost would be much higher. 

In addition to labor, you will also likely need to get a builder’s permit. Permits can cost up to $250 depending on the area. 


Often overlooked when calculating the replacement cost for a new shower installation is the cost of demolishing the old shower or tub. A shower installer may take a few hours to remove the old shower. It depends on how much of the bathroom needs to be demolished. The tile will be removed from the walls and floor, plumbing may need to be moved and then the debris has to be hauled away which typically costs up to $250.

Expect at least a day to do the demolition and calculate the cost of labor in your area to that. 

Shower pan

The cost of a shower pan will also be determined by the look and material of the surrounding walls since it should match. There are different materials available for a shower pan such as acrylic, PVC, and fiberglass. If you have tiled walls, you can tile the floor with the same material.

Acrylic shower pans are the least expensive and generally start at around $250 or so for small showers such as this one on Amazon. For larger ones like this one from Kohler, expect to pay around $600 to $850. 

A fiberglass shower pan is harder to find but go for around $450 like this one

PVC shower pans can be on the expensive side, but are very durable. This one from Amazon for small 36” by 36” is around $650.

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Cost of a Walk-In Shower 11

​​Cost-Saving Tips for Your Walk-In Shower

If you’re looking to save money on your walk-in shower project, consider these tips:

Keep it simple

A basic, rectangular-shaped shower with straightforward materials will be less expensive than a more elaborate design. Opt for a minimalist look with clean lines and neutral colors. Avoid excessive use of accents or add-ons that can drive up the cost.

Choose a prefab shower

Pre-fabricated units, such as fiberglass or acrylic showers, are often less expensive than custom-built options. They can be easily installed and are more budget-friendly. Pre-fabricated units come in standard sizes and shapes, making them affordable for those on a tight budget.

Skip the bench

Adding a built-in bench or seat can increase the cost of your walk-in shower, so consider whether it’s a necessary feature. Instead, consider adding a small shelf or opting for a wall-mounted seat. These options can be less expensive and still provide you with a place to sit or store soap and shampoo.

Go with tile or fiberglass

Tile and fiberglass are generally more budget-friendly options compared to stone or glass. They offer a wide range of styles and are cost-effective. Tile is durable and easy to maintain, while fiberglass is lightweight and easy to install. Both materials are great options for those who want to save money without sacrificing quality or style.

Choose low-maintenance materials

Materials that require less maintenance, such as fiberglass or an acrylic shower liner, will save you money in the long run by reducing the need for costly repairs or replacements. Consider materials that are easy to clean and will not stain or scratch easily.


If you have the skills, you can save money by doing some or all of the work yourself. You can handle tasks such as tiling or grouting to reduce labor costs. However, be mindful that certain tasks, such as plumbing or electrical work, should be left to professionals to ensure your safety and the longevity of your shower.

By following these tips, you can still have the walk-in shower of your dreams while sticking to a budget. With a little creativity and some careful planning, you can create a functional and stylish shower that fits your budget.

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