There are two types of people in this world: those who have run into unexpected costs during a bathroom renovation and those who haven’t experienced a bathroom renovation. If you’ve been through a remodeling project you know hidden costs creep out of nowhere. The average bathroom remodel varies from $15,000 – $20,000 and that’s just a basic surface upgrade. Showers and bathtubs can be a big part of the budget and so this article is made especially for those of you replacing their current shower or bathtub with a walk in shower. We want to take the surprise out of your renovation.
If you are thinking of installing a handicapped accessible shower, whether it is for safety, independence, or you are preparing to age-in-home, read on for a detailed layout on ‘how much a walk-in shower costs.’
Note: this article is specific to residential bathrooms. Commercial projects have their own parameters. If you’re a business or building owner/operator, stay tuned for a future article on commercial walk-in shower costs
The total cost of installing a walk-in shower varies by the following 6 criteria:
Product specific costs:
- Full shower unit vs. Shower pan
- New construction vs. Remodeling
- Shower size
- Shower material (fiberglass, acrylic, solid surface)
Non-product costs (these are costs that are separate from the actual shower purchase):
- Shower location
- Quality: future costs
Full shower unit vs. Shower pan
Full shower unit
Full showers are exactly as you’d imagine, complete shower kits that fit perfectly in your selected space. No grouting is required, which means no mold will grow in the grout… because there is none! When properly installed (these are easy to install by the way) a full-unit accessible shower kit is leak-proof, easy-to-clean, and supports accessories in its wood-backed walls.
That said, the main feature of an accessible walk-in shower is the barrier-free entrance. About 1 in 3 people aged 65, and older, fall each year in the U.S. Unfortunately, the household bathtub shower is a major falling hazard with conventional bathtubs having a step 2’ high or more. Full-unit showers typically retail anywhere from $1,000 to $2,300 USD, depending on a number of factors, which you’ll discover throughout this article.
If you are set on tiled walls or want a less expensive accessible option, walk-in shower bases are an equally effective accessible solution. Shower pans are, in effect, a full shower but just the base. Retailing anywhere from $400 to $700 USD, depending on size and material, shower bases are an inexpensive way to create a safe, accessible shower.
Bonus: tiled shower pan
Some of you are set on having tiles on the shower floor opposed to a pre-fabricated shower pan. We’ll help you settle the debate—why not both? Tile-ready shower pans are hitting the industry by storm, they are leak-proof and can accept tile directly on the surface (for easy installation). The typical tile-over accessible shower retails for approximately $600 USD.
If you are replacing a traditional bathtub, the base size you are looking for in is 60” x 31”. See below for price comparisons of the same sized base:
- Full-unit 60” x 31” Shower = Price ~$1,860
- Freedom Shower Base 60” x 31” = Price ~$499
- Tile-over Shower Base 60” x 31” = Price ~$600
New construction vs. Remodeling
One of the more influential variables in the cost of a full walk-in shower is whether your project is new construction or a bathroom remodel.
Unlike IKEA furniture, a multi-piece walk-in shower is more expensive than a fully built 1-piece model. The reason being, 1-piece showers can be manufactured at a much lower price, as they require only one mold compared to the multiple molds and assembly line steps in creating a multi-piece shower.
Most bathroom renovations will require a multi-piece unit, as 1-piece units are just too large. Often standing 6.25 feet high with a 6-foot x 3-foot base, 1-piece units are typically installed or at least placed in the bathroom before the walls go up.
Click the following links to compare two types of units of the same size, there is often a $1,000 cost difference between 1-piece and multi-piece showers.
Note: these showers are lowest prices guaranteed, so take comfort that the comparison is about the same for all types of shower brands.
- 1-piece, Freedom Accessible Shower for New Construction = Price ~$878 USD
- 5-piece, Freedom Accessible Shower for Remodeling = Price ~$1,958 USD
As a remodeler, you don’t always have a choice as to what size your shower will be. Most remodelers are replacing a 5’ traditional bathtub/shower with a new accessible walk-in shower and thus require a 60” x 31” base.
The 60” x 31” Freedom Accessible Shower is the most popular product for an easy bathtub replacement and has a low price of ~$1,850 USD for the 5-piece shower stall.
However, if you have a smaller space, such as a mobile home bathroom or a shower stall, it will cost about ~$1,700 USD for a 48” x 37”, 4-piece Accessible Shower.
For those who want to go much, much larger, your solution would be a 60” x 61” Accessible Shower, which comes in 5-pieces and retails at about ~$2,650 USD
Alternatively, a 5-piece 60” x 49” Freedom Accessible Shower is also an excellent choice for when space allows. It’s at a guaranteed lowest price of ~$2,250 USD
Showers generally come in 1 of 3 materials: fiberglass, acrylic, and solid surface. Click through the tabs below for a pros & cons price comparison:
Price = $
Pros: • Low-cost • Light weight • Easy-to-install • Low-maintenance • Finish can be repaired
Cons: • Less durable than solid surface • Can scratch over time (but can be repaired)
Example: • 60” x 33” Freedom Accessible Shower ~$1,860 USD
Price = $$
Pros: • Many colors to choose from • Easy-to-install • Good at resisting stains
• Can be expensive, esp. when fiberglass is comparable • Lacks a high-end appeal for some bathers • Layering sheets can leave weak spots that are expensive to repair
Example: • 60” x 32” Accessible Shower Pan
Price = $$$
Pros: • Solid throughout and so are very durable • Retains heat well • Finish can be repaired if needed • Easy-to-clean
• Generally the most expensive • Very heavy • Often requires a longer lead time to create and ship
Example: • 60” x 33” Freedom Easy Step Shower ~$1,570 USD
Note: usually solid surface is more expensive. However, we offer this shower in 3 pieces compared to the usual 5 pieces and hence the lower price.
These are the five common accessories that help make a walk-in shower functional:
Most accessible bathers put in a fold down shower seat to reduce the risk of falling. Having the option to sit down while showering is important for anyone who has troubles with balance, tires easily, or just wants to sit as they bathe.
Shower seats range in price from:
- ~$240 USD, for a padded white folding 18” x 15” seat, to
- ~$390 USD for a large 28” x 15” phenolic slatted bench.
- The most common seat size (24” x 15” padded folding bench with legs) retails for ~$379 USD with free shipping in the U.S.
When choosing grab bars for your bathroom, you don’t have to sacrifice style for function:
- Straight and wave grab bars are an important safety feature of any accessible shower. You can get a wave grab bar set of 3 polished bars (18”, 24”, 36”) for ~$400 USD
- Corner grab bars also function as a shelf and retail for ~$130 USD
- You can purchase a full grab bar package for ~$322 USD, which includes a corner shelf bar, towel bar, 36” straight grab bar and a 24” straight grab bar.
Pressure balanced mixing valve
Installing a Freedom Pressure Balanced Mixing Valve in your shower ensures that water temperatures remain constant and independent of water pressure changes in the household or facility. Priced at ~$195 USD
Hand-held shower Kit with slide bar
Installing a handheld shower head is an easy way to make your shower safer and easier to use. Glide bars allow for an adjustable stationary position for the shower head or alternatively the shower head can be removed from the glide bar and held in hand. They retail for ~$195 USD
Collapsible Water Retainer
Collapsible Water Retainers are made of durable neoprene rubber. Typically 1″ in height, the rubber material is removable and keeps water off your floor. The retainer allows wheelchair users and those with limited mobility, to easily roll or step into the shower. Collapsible Water retainers come in sizes 3’+ and retail starting at ~$79 USD
You were watching HGTV the other day and in a moment of inspiration dreamed up a blueprint of what your bathroom could be. All you want to do is knock down a wall or two, move the shower over there, vanity here–you want your neighbors to be jealous. We get it. But maybe all you need is a simple bathtub replacement.
We’re hoping you fall into the second camp because it’s hard to estimate what your whole bathroom makeover would cost when you begin knocking down walls. But more importantly for this article, the location of your shower has a major influence on your renovation costs. Second only to knocking out walls, moving plumbing is one of the most expensive construction costs. Moving your plumbing is not a question of will it be a $1,000 but how many $1,000s. Moving your shower to a location without existing plumbing can cost anywhere from $1,400 to $5,000+.
You might think an easy solution would be swapping the shower location with the sink or toilet. Although this could work out better than moving a shower to a place with no existing plumbing, it’s not as easy as you might think. Water comes out there and also comes out there, why can’t it work? The problem is the drain size. You could move a shower to a toilet location since showers require at least a 2” drain line and a toilet has a 3” line, but then where does the toilet go? In the end, moving plumbing is expensive. It might be worth reconsidering if your layout isn’t actually all that bad.
If we just ripped up your dream bathroom plans, please don’t be mad. We’re here to help you avoid unexpected costs and give you solutions, so here: Walk-in showers can really open up your bathroom, not just physically, but visually. They can provide a dramatic facelift and make you glad you didn’t change your entire layout.
Quality: Future Costs
When it comes to plumbing a lot can go wrong. You’re dealing with drainage, moisture, and much more. Cracks, improper drainage, and leaks can wreak havoc on any bathroom. Mold and water damage can rot floor joists and damage walls, not to mention your health. Thus, quality of shower is paramount.
It’s important that you look for a quality accessible shower provider. Warranties are something you should keep an eye out for and solid materials are a testament to the quality of the product. Enjoy your new shower for years without worrying you’ll end up dishing out more costs in the future. We don’t even want to get into the potential costs of a rotten floor joist, so let’s just avoid it.
When planning a handicapped accessible bathroom for loved ones living with a disability or age-related accessibility needs it can be a challenge to address all the requirements of a safe and accessible space. We don’t want unexpected renovations to be another challenge, and so we hope this article has taught you ‘how much a walk-in shower costs.
Our parent company, Accessibility Professionals, offers a wide-range of Freedom Walk-in & Roll-in Shower solutions with full wood backing and a 30-year warranty, that can be customized for elderly and disabled individuals’ needs.
If you are a homeowner or public building manager planning for current or future accessibility needs, call Accessibility Professionals expert customer service team to experience the high-quality, customizable options in handicapped accessible bathrooms, and step in shower units.
Making Independence a Reality | Freedom Showers™
Please don’t hesitate to at 1-877-947-7769
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