Walk in showers use an open plan to add space and elegance to your bathroom. And, for anyone with mobility issues, they make it exceptionally easy to get in and out of the shower.
Installing a walk in shower can give you the best of both worlds of an open plan shower – while keeping the water contained into a certain area so the rest of your bathroom stays dry. That makes them cheaper and more convenient than wet rooms, while preserving most of the aesthetic appeal and convenience.
If you’re planning to install a walk in shower, you can expect the average cost to be £1,000-£2,500. However, prices can be as little as £160 + a few hours of labour if you’re reusing old fittings. In addition, costs can go significantly higher if you want to build custom shower stalls.
On average, you can expect to pay around £2,000 for preparation, installation and materials.
Walk In Shower Overview
A walk in shower uses an open plan to create space and accessibility. Here, you normally have a low shower pan set against a wall. Then, you can use one or more shower screens to block water without blocking walk in access.
Here, a walk in shower allows you to simply step into the shower without opening a door or moving a curtain. It also does not have a large lip or step up, such as with a bath. This is easy to install, affordable to install, and much more accessible if you have mobility issues.
However, most walk in showers still use shower screens to limit accessibility to the shower. This means that if you’re in a wheelchair and would like to take it into the shower, you might still prefer a wet room or to carefully design your walk in shower around those needs.
How Much Does a Walk In Shower Cost To Install?*
In most cases, you’ll pay between £1,000 and £2,000 for a walk in shower, including fixtures, fittings, and labour. However, costs for shower screens can go well into the thousands per screen, so you can typically spend as much as you want.
The following chart covers expected price ranges for installing a new walk in shower.
|Costs||Task/Material||Hours||Cost per Unit||Total|
|Stripping Old Bathroom||0-8||£0-£480|
|Building Regulation Approval for Notifiable Work||£0-£690|
|Materials & Fittings||£335-£5,385|
*Please note these cost estimates are based on quotes in May of 2023. Actual costs are subject to change and may be different at the time of reading.
6 Walk In Shower Installation Pricing Factors
The largest factors influencing the cost of installing a walk in shower are normally the fittings you choose and what the state of your bathroom is.
For example, you can expect costs to be completely different depending on if you’re converting a bathtub to a walk in shower or installing a brand new shower in a room that never had one.
1. Preparation Needed
The state of the bathroom will be a defining pricing factor. For example, you’ll need a remarkably different amount of labour depending on whether you want to strip an old shower stall and fit a new one or you want to re-do the entire bathroom.
Here, there are a few major likely scenarios:
- Replacing an old shower cabin with a walk in shower – 2-6 hours of labour
- Converting a bathtub to a walk in shower – 4-8 hours of labour (although potentially more depending on tiling)
- Fitting a second bathroom – 60+ hours of labour
- Remodelling the full bathroom – 30+ hours of labour
In each of these cases, you can expect to invest an average of £40 per hour of labour, or £60 for a qualified electrician or plumber.
2. Cost of Materials
Material costs can be very low or very high. For example, if you’re ripping out an old floor-to-ceiling acrylic shower cabin, you might find you have to re-tile a large part of the wall.
Tiles can cost £120 per square metre or more – meaning you might find yourself paying for 4+ square metres of tile.
That’s also true if you’re moving the location of your shower or if you haven’t had a shower installed without a cabin before. In this case, you’ll likely want to remove the tile and install a liquid membrane or other waterproofing measure and then replace the tile.
Waterproofing membrane normally costs £10-£40 per square metre. However, you may have to replace tiles and even drywall when you remove it.
Materials you might need include:
- Replacement tile
- Grout and spacers
- Waterproofing membrane
These costs can add up – although it’s unlikely to be over £800 at most.
If your current shower area is not waterproofed, you’ll typically want to take the time to strip the tile back and add a layer of waterproofing. That can add time and costs to your project.
For example, removing the tile around the shower area could take half a day of work. You can then install the waterproofing membrane, allow it to set, and then re-install the tile on another day.
Therefore, if you have to waterproof, you can expect about a full day of added labour – or about £150-£200 in extra labour costs. In addition, you’ll have to calculate around £100 for the waterproofing membrane. And, if you break tiles when removing them, you’ll have to replace those as well.
4. Cost of Fittings
Fittings can cost as much as you want them to. The most basic shower screens typically start out at around £100 each. However, most people will be happier with quality at around £250+.
You can find shower screens, though, at over £5,000. Therefore, you’ll be able to set the budget and choose based on what you want to spend.
Walk in showers need fewer fittings than most other types of showers. This means costs can be lower than alternatives. However, you’ll still need:
- Shower head – £10- £2,000+
- Faucet – £45- £550+
- Shower pan – £45- £600+
- 1+ Shower screens – £100- £5,000 each
In each case, you can typically expect a middle ground. For example, budgeting £150 for a shower head, £100 for the faucet, £250 for the shower pan, and £800 for two shower screens will normally get you good quality fittings.
5. Cost of Labour
In most cases, you can expect to pay between £10 and £60 per hour for labour.
Most general contractors of a day rate of about £150 per day per person – although that may be as high as £200 in some locations. In addition, you might pay a day rate of £250 or more for electricians and plumbers.
Here, it’s also important to keep in mind that if you’re hiring someone for a few hours of work, you may pay a higher rate for the first hour.
For example, if you need an electrician to come in and move the ventilation and exhaust fans and lights – you’ll typically pay £150 for the first hour and £50 per hour for every hour following. This covers travel time and costs and ensures it’s worth their while to make the trip to your home.
6. Notifications and Planning Permission
In most cases, you won’t have to worry about planning permission when installing a walk in shower. However, if you’re fitting a new bathroom in your home, such as in an old bedroom or storage area, you’ll have to apply for planning permission before starting the work.
That’s also the case if you live in a listed building. In this case, you can expect the application fee to be £60 but administrative fees will normally add up to £250 by the end of the project. You’ll also have to choose your bathroom installer before applying for planning permission.
However, you’ll often have to notify building control when you make changes to your bathroom and electricity.
If you hire a Certified Competent Person, they should be able to do this notification for you. If not, you’ll have to handle notifications and a safety inspection yourself.
Here, costs are typically about £170 in most of the UK. However, costs can be as high as £690 depending on where you live.
Why Install a Walk In Shower?
A walk in shower can offer a lot of benefits. However, they aren’t right for everyone.
Walk in showers are extremely popular for their accessibility. Here, the shower has a flat or close to flat shower pan.
They also don’t require opening doors or shower curtains. This makes them ideal for anyone with limited mobility. As a result, they’re popular choices when remodelling for retirement.
Persons with mobility issues and disabilities also like these showers, because they maintain a balance between keeping water in an enclosed space and offering full accessibility.
Walk in showers limit the number of fittings you have to buy to install a shower.
Rather than fitting a full shower cabin, you can often fit a drain and a single shower screen. That can cut labour by more than half. And, it cuts the cost of fittings a great deal as well.
For example, shower cabins typically start at £350+ but average over £900. On the other hand, a shower screen starts at £100 and averages at about £350.
This means you can save a lot of money on your installation without sacrificing quality.
In addition, it means labourers will spend less time in your home, which means you’ll finish your project and get back to your life as quickly as possible.
Easy to Clean
Walk in showers are normally flat with no tubs or other areas that may stay damp or wet and collect mould. That makes them extremely easy to clean.
Often you can make do with a squeegee and simply keep them dry most of the time. That reduces time to clean over a shower cabin or a tub.
Easy to Repair
A walk in shower consists of a shower screen and a shower head and faucet. That’s it.
If something goes wrong, you can simply replace the screen or the faucet. If the tiles are damaged, replacing them is easier.
That’s significantly less money and hassle than replacing a tub or a shower cabin after it’s damaged. And, it means your shower is much more durable – because once it’s in, you can maintain it with very simple and cost-effective replacements or repairs.
Many people like the look and feel of an open shower because it adds the appearance of space and extra room to your shower. That can be a good aesthetic for your room.
In addition, it means it’s easier to use the shower for washing pets or for other types of cleaning – because it’s open and you don’t have a tub or a large shower pan in the way.
The fact that the shower is open also means the space can be as large as you want it. If you have a shower cabin, you’re usually either limited to 94 x 94 cm or you’ll pay up to twice the costs for a larger one.
With a shower screen, you simply install it wherever you want and your shower is as big as you want it.
Walk In Shower Fitting Process
Fitting a walk in shower will depend on what you’re starting from. For example, if you’re converting a bathtub to a walk in shower, you’ll have to remove the tub first and then install the shower.
However, in most cases, the process looks like this:
- Decide on the layout and where you want the shower and why.
- Find and hire a bathroom installer.
- Remove the existing fittings (e.g. shower cabin, shower pan, bath, etc.).
- Level and smooth the floor as necessary.
- Remove the tile around the shower area.
- Add a waterproofing membrane under the shower and behind the tiles.
- Refit the tiles.
- Place the shower pan and install the drain.
- Fit the new shower head and faucets.
- Place the shower screen.
That’s all that’s involved in fitting a walk in shower.
How To Save Money
There are several ways to save money on a walk in shower.
However, as walk in showers are already very cost-effective, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to reduce costs by much.
Don’t Move the Shower
Moving the drain and the shower can add significant costs to your building project. If you want to keep shower fitting costs as low as possible, make sure you keep the shower drain in the same place.
Unfortunately, that won’t always be possible – especially if you have a tub. However, you can always discuss options with your bathroom installer to try to minimise the cost of moving the drain and the fittings for the faucet and shower head.
Shop Around for Installers
Most bathroom fitters will charge about the same rates for the same work. However, costs will vary based on demand, how much extra time that fitter has, and their qualifications.
Shopping around and comparing quotes can give you a better idea of what a reasonable price for your new shower should be – so you can choose someone who offers good value for the money.
Install in the Fall or Winter
Spring and summer are often the high season for builders, which may mean that they charge extra for the work. However, this can vary from region to region, so it’s a good idea to ask.
Scheduling building work for fall and winter months, however, can greatly reduce costs, simply because builders have more time on their hands.
Do Prep Work Yourself
If you’re on a tight budget, you can do a lot of the work of removing the old shower and fittings yourself. For example, removing an old shower cabin can take several hours.
Doing the work yourself can save you from paying a professional to do that work for you. That’s especially true if you have an old acrylic shower cabin that’s been glued to the wall.
In this case, you’ll typically have to cut out the drywall to get it out. From there, you can replace the drywall and add waterproofing membrane yourself – which can save you a great deal.
However, it’s also important to keep in mind how much time it will take you to do work yourself versus a professional. DIY may not pay off if the professional will do it faster, with less inconvenience, and without taking up your free time.
Choose Fittings Carefully
The cost of fittings is often the largest part of the cost of a new shower. Therefore, you can save money by shopping around and trying to find the best price for the quality you want.
However, spending several extra hours to save a few extra pounds probably isn’t a good deal. Make sure you add your time into the cost equation and choose something accessible when shopping.
However, if you are on a budget, opting for budget shower pans and shower screens can be the way to go. If you end up having more budget later, you can typically replace them if you want.
Vetting Professionals For The Job
Your bathroom installer should be qualified, affordable, and well-reviewed.
- Are they in the Competent Persons Register?
- Do they have experience doing this kind of work?
- Are they reviewed on social media or Google?
- Do they have references?
- What about photos of previous work?
- Do their quotes compare favourably to alternatives?
- Can they offer a clear and detailed quote?
- Do they have liability insurance?
- What about a workmanship guarantee?
- Do they take ownership of leftover materials and debris/waste? Will they dispose of it for you?
- Are they going to handle notifications for you?
- If you need electrical work, will they subcontract a licensed electrician or do you have to do this?
- Are they a qualified plumber or a bathroom fitter? Which do you need?
In most cases, a general contractor or general bathroom fitter is more than enough to meet your needs. However, you may need an electrician if you’re moving ventilation and lights.
Fitting a walk in shower is a great way to redo your bathroom to add space and accessibility. Walk in showers offer a lot of benefits and often, they’re one of the most affordable shower options.
In fact, you can typically fit a new shower for under £2,000. On the other hand, you could end up paying that amount for just one shower screen if you want luxury fittings.
In addition, costs will always depend on the state of your bathroom. If you have to rip out a tub, waterproof, install tile, and then fit the shower, you’ll pay much more than if you simply have to cut out an old shower pan and fit a new one.
If you’re ready to fit your new walk in shower, the best place to start is by comparing quotes. Use the form at the top of the page to request quotes from local bathroom fitters.