Doorless Showers - Are taking showers cold?

kelvarJanuary 15, 2014

Love the look, but have to wonder if taking a shower in one is as warm as taking a shower with a door to trap heat. I do like the idea of designing it such that that it is doorless and curbless, but if you don't live in a year round warm/hot climate, do you end up with a coldish shower experience?

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ineffablespace

When I have used them and its essentially a bathtub or smallish shower that is open or has a splash screen, I think yes, they are cold. In a larger shower that has no door but I am surrounded by glass closer to the shower heads and the opening is not close or has a vestibule, it's been fine.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 7:33PM
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sjhockeyfan325

We had a doorless shower for about 19 years, and when we remodeled we put in a door. I was so much happier (i.e. warmer) after the door was installed. The shower was about 3-1/2' w X 5' l, with tiled walls to the ceiling except where the opening was. I live in a temperate climate, too.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 7:50PM
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Katy60

I don't find it cold, but the house is well-insulated. I find that rush of cold air when opening a shower door more unpleasant than maintaining a more constant temperature.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 9:24PM
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Linelle

I get chills just thinking about it.

And more than that, all the steam and splashes that would have been trapped by the glass or curtain and stayed *inside* the shower stall gotta go somewhere.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 12:49AM
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nycbluedevil

What katy60 said.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 7:46AM
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writersblock

My brother has a large doorless shower and whenever I visit them in the winter it's darned cold in there once you step out of the water flow, just as cold as opening a door would be.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 10:34AM
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Katy60

I should mention my shower is 8 feet long, and 38 inches wide. The glass on one side is 5 feet long and 7 feet tall. As a result, there is not a lot of air movement where I'm standing within the shower even with the ventilation fan on.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 10:36AM
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divotdiva

we are putting one in and I expect it will be much cooler than our demolished tub/shower combo with a curtain. I'm in Hawaii so the coldest the room will ever get would be high 50s low 60s. Chilly but probably no more so than taking a soaking bath in the winter any place else. The curtain held in all the heat from the shower but also made for a lot of mildew cleaning

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 12:25AM
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enduring

I would venture to guess that most people that live in the northern climates keep their temps up in the higher 60's to low 70's. This can be cold when getting out of the shower in the winter.

I have always had a ceiling heat lamp just outside the shower door, and I am replacing it with the remodel. In our old 5x8 Bathroom it heated up the space very well. I know that is the size of some people's showers LOL. The remodel will be 8x9 in size. The heat lamps are not for use in the shower that I know of.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 5:31AM
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sandmtn_gw

I absolutely love my doorless shower. Cold showers are not a problem for me.

Our bathroom is about 7.5' X 8' and has a wall heater with a blower 4' across from the shower entrance. The heater gets no splash even when two are using the shower (and with two shower heads in each end) and so having the heater there is not a problem. It can be cool coming out of the shower in cold weather. If I remember to turn the heater on, I don't get cold at all when I get out. The opening is only 23" wide so that probably helps keep the shower warm while the water is running.

I'm attaching a view - not sure why my photo is not upright and I don't know how to turn it.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 8:59PM
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mongoct

I do think the construction of the house does have something to do with it.

My house is fairly well built, and I have hydronic radiant floor heat throughout. When you walk through my house, there are no cold spots, no drafts, etc. I'm in CT.

My shower is 5' by 8'. No door. One 8' wall is on an exterior wall of the house. My wife grew up in WI and absolutely hates the cold. She loves our shower. Originally I was going to put a swinging teak door on the shower, she nixed that idea. She prefers it doorless.

I'd say that if you have a cold drafty house, you'd probably have a cold drafty shower.

You can always plan for a door (proper framing, a nicely squared up entry) and a door can be added at a later date if needed.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:56PM
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terriks

We have a doorless shower, but it's in a small room with just the shower and toilet. I'm never cold when I get out.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 11:18PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Air against a wet body is chilling. That is why people sweat....to cool them off. A long skinny shower traps the heat more than a square one with the door open. The temperature in the room is what is important...not the construction of the house. I love you, Mongoct, but I have to disagree with you here.

I have taken outside showers in Bali (90 degrees air temp) and inside showers in hotels in Penang (w/o ac) again 90 degrees. Air on a wet body cools you off. The design of the shower is what makes the difference. Long and skinny with the door at a skinny end traps the heat enough for you to grab a towel.

Although...I had daughter who would wear shorts in California when it was 50 degrees, who later moved to the UP Michigan and loved the weather...so all bets are off.

Different strokes for different folks.

-Babka

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 1:40AM
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enduring

Moving air makes a big diff, and as Mongoct describes his house, he has no moving air because of his heating system. I have forced air heating/cooling and it can really cool me off when I'm wet.

Radiant heat loss, my DH explains like this. If the temp in the house is 68 degrees and the walls are colder because of, for example, a winter deep freeze, then you lose body heat to the walls, its called radiant cooling. DH says that the air temp wont change but your body is cooling down. If Mongoct's house is very nicely insulated there wouldn't be the cold walls to extract the heat from objects in the room.

Mongct could explain this better than me. I think he is an engineer, and would know about heat transfer and the variety of ways that it takes place.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 10:08AM
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Linelle

Or if you have a heat thief in the house.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 1:48PM
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scpalmetto

We put a doorless shower in our guestroom bath last year during an unusually mild winter when the house stayed pretty warm. Up until now no one mentioned it being hot or cold. However, recently while we have been going through some unusually cold weather my visiting son noted it was uncomfortable because it was not steamy hot in there. The house itself has been colder than normal this winter and I think that has made the difference.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:21AM
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scpalmetto

We put a doorless shower in our guestroom bath last year during an unusually mild winter when the house stayed pretty warm. Up until now no one mentioned it being hot or cold. However, recently while we have been going through some unusually cold weather my visiting son noted it was uncomfortable because it was not steamy hot in there. The house itself has been colder than normal this winter and I think that has made the difference.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:22AM
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redlodger

Our master bathroom has a doorless shower and we like it just fine. I always run the water before I get in so everything is warmed up nicely before I set foot into the shower. We also have radiant heat in the bathroom so the warm floor makes the room warmer also. I love not having to worry about cleaning or squeegeeing a shower door.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 2:18PM
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gabbythecat

We have been able to use the walk in shower in our new house for about 2 weeks now; our shower is about 3.5 feet by 6 feet, and the side wall doesn't go all the way to the ceiling - there is about a 1.5 foot gap at the top. Yes, it's cool - we don't get the steamy enclosure experience that we had from our enclosed shower stall at our old house. On the other hand, it's easy to clean without a shower door, and it makes life easier if you ever have physical challenges like a broken leg or major leg surgery.

Oh - if you haven't decided on a shower head, I *really* recommend the shower heads on the sliding bar (what are those called?). Dh is taller than I am; the adjustable head allows for the difference in height. When you want to wash the shower stall, or wash a dog (whatever), remove the sprayer and get the water exactly where you want it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 3:22PM
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debinnh

Our contractor built our master bath shower doorless, but after a couple of months, we put a glass door in because I thought it was too cold. I now like to pretend I have a steam shower. :)

Having had both, I don't regret the decision.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 7:19AM
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leela4

sandmtn-what are the dimensions of your shower-you said the bathroom was 7.5' X 8'?
Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 5:16PM
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ladycfp

I have a custom doorless shower and am very cold natured. It really is not an issue. You need to consider logistics in your planning, common sense dictates the opening faces an interior wall and NOT the bank of windows, for example. But if there is not an existing draft, it is not like it creates one. If you step out of the warm water, you are cold, door or no door. My two cents.

This post was edited by ladycfp on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 15:21

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 3:16PM
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