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14 Hints For Designing A Small Walk-In Shower  

Gone are the days of oversized, suite-like American bathrooms. The new trend is sleek, spa-like smaller bathrooms with walk-in showers that make the space appear larger. Designing a small walk-in shower might seem like a tough nut to crack, but trust me, it’s easier than you think! With a few clever design transformations, you can make a big statement.  In this post, we’re diving into some fabulous hints for designing small walk-in showers. We’ll cover everything from the magic of frameless glass to the elegance of monochromatic schemes, the clever use of accent colors, and the spacious feel of large format tiles. 

Here are 14 tips to help you design the perfect small walk-in shower: 

1. Clean Lines in Small Walk-In Showers are Key

Adopting a simple, uncluttered design with straight lines and minimal embellishments is particularly effective in a small walk-in shower. This approach eliminates visual clutter within the shower area, making the space feel more open and expansive. By focusing on functional, streamlined elements, the walk-in shower gains a modern, spacious atmosphere, ideal for small bathrooms.

2. Using Frameless Glass

Using frameless glass panels for the shower enclosure creates a sleek and seamless look that opens up your bathroom. Without the visual interruption of frames, the glass allows light to pass through unobstructed, creating a sense of continuity and expansiveness. This design trick makes the walk-in shower feel airy and integrated with the rest of the bathroom, enhancing the overall sense of space.

Modern frameless small walk-in shower

Photo: Clay Brook Studio 

3. Go for a Monochromatic Scheme

All white with black hints is all the rage now in modern design. Maintaining a neutral color palette with shades of white, gray, and black in the walk-in shower ensures a clean and sophisticated design. Light colors reflect more light, making the shower area feel brighter and more open. 


4. Accent Colors

Incorporating subtle accent colors sparingly within your small walk-in shower adds a touch of contrast and depth without overwhelming the space. In the photo, you’ll notice how vibrant tiles offer a stark contrast to the white tiles. By incorporating a splash of color or a mosaic pattern within an all-white bathroom, it creates a captivating focal point. 

Accent colors for small walk-in showers

Photo: Kerry Kurk

5. Head to Toe Large Marble Tiles

Opting for large tiles or marble-effect tiles on the walls, ceiling, and floor of the walk-in shower reduces grout lines, creating a clean and expansive look. The lines in the marble create optical illusions of depth and height in the bathroom, as seen in the photo. Additionally, the larger tiles provide a continuous surface that enhances the room’s visual flow, contributing to a more spacious feel in the shower area.

head to toe marble large tiles for small walk-in shower

Photo : Decor Pad

6. Natural Stone and Concrete

Using materials like natural stone, concrete, or high-quality porcelain in the walk-in shower adds a touch of luxury and durability. Incorporating stone tiles into a walk-in shower in a small bathroom offers both aesthetic and practical advantages. One significant benefit is that stone tiles naturally retain and radiate heat, making your showering experience warmer and more comfortable. Additionally, the unique textures and patterns of natural stone can add a touch of elegance and sophistication.

stone and concrete tiles for small walk-in shower

7. Large Rain Shower Head

A large rain shower head can transform your walk-in shower into a relaxing, spa-like retreat. You don’t even need to install a glass wall in your already small bathroom. Just ensure that you properly design the shower area with a sloped floor and sufficient drainage space, so that the water is contained and efficiently drained. This thoughtful design keeps the shower area open and integrated, avoiding the feel of a cramped space and enhancing the overall shower experience.

large rain shower head for small walk-in shower

8. Minimalist Fixtures

Choosing sleek, minimalist fixtures in finishes like brushed nickel, matte black, or brushed brass for the walk-in shower helps maintain a clutter-free and spacious look. Minimalist fixtures have clean lines and understated elegance, reducing visual clutter within the shower.

minimalistic fixtures for a small walk-in shower

Found on Big Bathroom Shop 

9. Recessed Lighting

Extra lighting is especially important in small bathrooms when natural light is unavailable. Installing recessed lighting into the ceiling of the walk-in shower provides ample illumination without taking up valuable space. This type of lighting is unobtrusive and helps to highlight key features within the shower, creating a well-lit and inviting atmosphere. By eliminating the need for bulky light fixtures, recessed lighting keeps the ceiling clear, making the shower area feel taller and more open.

recessed lighting for small walk-in shower

10. Curbless Shower Design

A curbless shower design in a walk-in shower offers a seamless transition between the shower area and the rest of the bathroom, creating a sleek and accessible space. This modern design eliminates the traditional shower curb, making the shower area appear larger and more open. Curbless showers are also easier to clean and maintain, reducing the risk of mold and mildew and contributing to a more hygienic and spacious shower environment.

curbless walk-in shower design

11. Mix & Match Different Tiles 

Mixing different types of tiles in the walk-in shower can create a dynamic and visually interesting space. Combining tiles of various sizes, shapes, textures, or colors adds depth and character to the shower area. For instance, using large format tiles on the walls and smaller mosaic tiles on the floor can draw the eye upward, giving the impression of a taller, more spacious environment. This technique breaks up the monotony and adds layers of sophistication, transforming a small shower into a luxurious and spacious-feeling retreat.

mix and match different tiles for a small walk-in shower

Photo: Mandarin Stone 

12. Use Narrow Vertical Tiles

Utilizing narrow vertical tiles in the walk-in shower can dramatically enhance the perception of height and space. Arranging tiles vertically creates visual lines that draw the eye upward, elongating the walls and giving the shower area a taller, more open feel. The vertical tiles also introduce texture without overwhelming the space, perfect for creating a feature wall or a vertical stripe accent. 

vertical tiles for a small walk-in shower

Photo: Livingetc

13. Curved Glass Wall

Incorporating a curved glass wall in the walk-in shower adds a unique architectural element that enhances the sense of openness and flow. The gentle curve of the glass creates a more inviting and expansive shower area by allowing light to pass through and reflect seamlessly. This design choice eliminates harsh lines and corners, making the space feel softer and more fluid. A curved glass wall also maximizes the available space, providing an elegant and modern touch that transforms a small shower into a visually striking and spacious haven.

curved glass wall for a small walk-in shower

Photo: Future Glass

14. Shower with a Separating  Wall

You can be quite creative with small spaces these days. Instead of having a door for your shower, you can replace it with a separating wall where you can mount your sink or cabinets. To ensure the multipurpose wall looks cohesive from every angle, install the same tile throughout the bathroom. This approach creates visual continuity, makes the space appear larger, and simplifies maintenance. For a dash of contrast use brushed brass or nickel fixtures to reflect the light beautifully, especially against white tiles.  They are more sustainable too!

separating wall for a small walk-in shower
Designed by ELLIE LILLSTROM, found on Better Homes & Gardens 

Key Takeaways 

Creating the perfect small walk-in shower is all about smart design choices to make the most of your space. Keep things uncluttered and simple with clean lines and a minimalist look, and use frameless glass panels for a seamless, open feel. Stick to one color palette for a cohesive vibe with a monochromatic color scheme, and reduce grout lines for a cleaner look by opting for large format tiles. Use the same tile throughout to tie everything together, and consider a curbless design for a sleek, accessible shower. Enhance the mood with strategic lighting, such as recessed fixtures, and add a pop of color with accent tiles. Finally, choose high-quality materials like marble for a luxurious feel. These tips can help transform a small walk-in shower into a stylish and spacious-looking  retreat.


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