No Door Shower - Opinions?

pbx2_gwApril 12, 2012

Have always been interested in a no door shower for the master bathroom in our new custom build home.

Having used them at friend's house in SoCal on past vacations, I always found them be quite pleasant & easy to get in & out.

But living in the Mid-Atlantic with 4 seasons & varied temps, I have always opined the issues:

1) Water splash - flooding

2) Height/length of wall

3) Full wall or partial glass/wall ?

3) Material to use for ease of maintenance - tiles/marble

Would welcome & appreciate to hear any of your advice & opinions.

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In the winter, I like the build-up of the steam within the shower itself, especially if it's cold out. Also good if you have any congestion. But the doorless showers look very European, don't they?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 5:19PM
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@ colorfast: looks has a small bit to do with it - I hadn't thought of it that way.
My main reasons are ease of access - walk in - walk out.
No doors.

The winter steam is what worries me - the possible loss of it.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Living in the midwest where the winters are cold and last far too long, I knew that doorless wouldn't work for us. I hate even opening the shower door to get my towel! Our new masterbath has a full height shower door. I was afraid that it would be too steam-showerish and I would feel claustrophobic but instead I love the coziness of it (if a large shower can be cozy, that is!).

No shower door would be one less thing to clean and one less expense so if I lived in warm climate I'd probably consider it!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:00PM
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We have a doorless shower in our bathroom, but it shares a small room with the toilet, so it does get pretty steamy in there.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:51PM
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I had one in an apartment once. I liked the clean look and this particular apartment had radiators so it was always toasty warm in the winter.

I know that one would not work in my current bathroom. I have forced air heating/cooling and it is just too drafty.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:53PM
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We are building a new house in NJ and my husband had to have a walk in shower. I was a bit worried about the no door thing, but everyone I spoke to said it is great. Here is our layout.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:22PM
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We live in New England, and for 14 years had a shower w/ no door. It was fine, even with the end wall being a partial height wall (about 45" high) and one long wall being an exterior wall with two windows. What made the shower so comfortable was that the end with the shower head was the "enclosed" end.

I don't have any pictures -- and the bathroom is now being gutted and renovated. But I've attached a sketch of its former layout so you can see what I mean. From Bathroom

Based on our experience, I'd say that if you like the look, go for it! When it was cold outside, we could always get plenty o' steam built up in the shower.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:22PM
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LittleTownBigCity- would you mind sharing the dimension of the long full wall with the 30'' entry to your shower? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:52PM
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I'm moving to a no door shower in my master bath too. We have cold winters (well, expect for this past year), but the house is relatively well heated and the bathroom is fairly small, so I don't think the cold is an issue. Plus we are having radiant floor heat on the small floor area outside the shower. I love the clean look, ease of cleaning, etc.

The sudden change of temperature when you open the door to your shower makes the outside air feel cold, but if you don't have the door the whole room will warm/steam up a bit. Flooding shouldn't be an issue if you have a curb or a properly prepared wet room.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:49AM
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@sochi - great points. We don't have floor heating but intuitively one WOULD think that the heat would have to travel somewhere without a door.

Another Question:

Do you all think a solid floor to ceiling wall is preferable to maybe a half glass/half wall ?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Do you all think a solid floor-to-ceiling wall is preferable to maybe a half-glass/half wall?

IMHO, it depends! The answer depends on the look you are going for in your bathroom and how much light you need/want in the shower.

Even though we had two small awning windows on the long wall (see sketch above) and an open door, we still wanted a more open feeling in the shower.

Thus, on the side of the shower with the open door, we left an open section in the solid wall and inserted a piece of plain glass on the shower side and a piece of framed stained glass on the other (that completely filled the space). See sketch below. The "ears" at the top of the solid wall are posts that went up to the ceiling. Since it was a sloped ceiling and about 9' at that point, we didn't want the expense of tiling a full-height wall.
From Bathroom

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:52AM
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Thanks for the insights kashmi - it does depend on the style for sure. I've seen some wall/glass builds & they look like a compromise in looks.

Guess, I haven't seen a properly build setup yet.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 12:05PM
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No door, 1 pony wall (5'tall), no glass walls, no splash or cold issues.

As mentioned above, the cold feeling you get when you open a shower door is because of the drastic change in temp from basically a steamy shower space to the room temp bathroom space.

The biggest thing is making sure your shower spray direction is properly placed, you have enough depth to handle splash, and/or have a curb installed.

We opted to not do any glass in our shower--I didn't want to deal with cleaning it. We have all tile & we give it a quick squeegee after showering. Looks just like the day it was installed despite being used 3-5 times a day for the last 6 months. Here's a pic of ours...

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:06PM
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That is a great shower. I really like the tile work. Would you mind sharing the dimensions? I'm wondering if a wheelchair could turn in a similar space.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:51PM
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Lynne Reno

I argued with our GC about the shower door, I insisted that we didn't need one, but after using it without a door for about 2 weeks due to the glass company cutting one of the panels wrong and having to re-order it I realized he was correct, even with our panasonic fan/heater on, it was freezing cold, it's so much more comfortable with the door

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:45AM
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lvmadison--thanks for the compliment! The dimensions are 4'W x 7'4"L with a 12" deep bench on the back wall. The distance from the back wall to the 5' tall pony wall is ~3'10" give or take an inch or so.

As far as a wheelchair, the ADA sets the minimum turning radius diameter at 60" for a full 360 degree turn. So 48" wouldn't quite be wide enough for that. My parents' walk-in, no door shower is 5'x6' and there is plenty of room to turn in there IMO. Our plan with our shower is wheel in forward and wheel out backward without have to make a complete revolution--a T-configuration. Think of it like parking your car in a parking lot--90 degree turn into the space in a forward motion from the main lane of traffic and then back out and make another 90 degree turn in reverse to put your car in position to move down the lane again.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 9:13AM
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Thanks for the info, Dreamhome. I like your configuration with the opening at the end. We'll need to fit ours into an existing bathroom and we basically have tub and closet space to utilize. We were considering a side entrance but yours looks like it would keep the water more contained. Definitely an idea to explore.

Apologies to pbx2 for hijacking your thread.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Lynneblack - Is your bathroom fairly large? We're also planning to do a no-door shower in our small master bath - with the panasonic heat/light/vent - and the heated floors. Everything will be enclosed [2 walls tiled / 2 pony walls with glass panels going to ceiling] with the exception of a 29" door-less entrance. I am hoping that the small footprint will support much of the heat/steam generated from the shower to maintain a comfortable temperature in this room.....So I'm curious as to whether your bathroom might be fairly good-sized.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 11:49PM
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Lynne Reno

no, our bathroom isn't really large, I think it's about 9' x 11', but I would need to measure it to confirm that. We don't have heated floors, but without the shower glass it was just plain cold in the shower. We're in Reno NV and it's quite cold here in the winter. You might consider trying your shower without glass but designing it so that you could add it if necessary, then try it and see how it works for you. I'm quite sure if we lived in a warmer climate it would be fine without glass.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 12:06PM
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@ mydreamhome : That is a fabulous solution to water splashing. I am not sure with the way our shower is laid out this would be possible.

Compared to yours, our shower heads & fixture would be on your ledge wall & your opening would our back wall & sealed off & our no door entrance would be where your shampoo ledge is.

@lynneblack: The fear for me also is that cold air could get into the shower no matter how deep you set the shower heads & fixtures.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 12:21PM
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My thoughts for our remodel are that - with heated flooring, heat lamp above, floor-to-ceiling enclosed shower space with the exception of the 29" door-less opening - showering should remain pretty cozy thru our New England winters. My bathroom size is on the smaller scale - 8' x 9'.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 11:36PM
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I live in Southwest Florida and I have had a doorless shower for many years. Most days I love it, because it is super easy to clean and accessible. But on the very few cold days we have, and by cold I mean below 40 degress:), I hate it. I can't get warm in the shower even with the water as hot as I can stand it. If that is a problem here, I can't imagine what it would be like where it actually gets cold.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Hi kfhl - Do you have any source of heat in your bathroom? Overhead heat lamp or heated floors that would help with making the room warmer for those times you have those few cold days?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 10:16PM
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No, we do not. Those things aren't really necessary in Florida, but we might have the heat on. I'm sure those things would make a big difference.

We also have a fan tech vent - which means our shower is never steamy at all. That is great for keeping it clean and dry, but I miss the steaminess sometimes - especially in the winter.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:48AM
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HI I realize this is a couple of months old, but DH and I are just in starting phase of considering an extension to our very small master suite. He wants an accessible shower and I like mydreamhome's layout - I don't necessarily think a full 60 radius is required if you can still get a wheelchair in. I'm thinking linear drain which I suppose goes in the back of the shower? We're in HI so cold weather here is about 57 degrees, which is still cold as there is no central heating or insulation in our home. By that I mean no insulation whatsoever, although I suppose with a new build we could add some to the exterior wall. Maybe radiant heating underfoot would help?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 1:18PM
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