Walk-in shower

Squaro Infinity shower tray from Villeroy & Boch

A walk-in shower creates additional comfort and quality of life – for people of all ages. A walk-in shower is a shower cabinet with a low threshold close to ground level, i.e. without a raised shower tray, for which the bathroom walls or glass panels serve as spray guards. With an open shower, there is often no glass door in the shower cabinet. Walk-in showers are often installed to make bathrooms accessible and thus easier for elderly people to use. 

How big should a walk-in shower be?

Under certain conditions, you can receive a grant from the KfW bank for the age-based conversion of your home. In order to be eligible for this funding, however, the shower should not only be of a walk-in design, but should also be installed at ground level and thus accessible to wheelchair users. To be considered accessible, it must meet defined and standardised criteria.

In addition to the size, these also include some other requirements that are summarised in DIN standard 18040-2: 

If you would like to take advantage of an available grant or subsidy, please note that the application must be submitted before you have your walk-in shower installed. To be on the safe side, consult an expert advisor or a specialised plumbing company. 

Benefits of walk-in showers

A walk-in shower has many advantages, and not necessarily just for the elderly. These include the following: 

  • Safe and comfortable entry and exit 

  • Timelessly elegant and clear designs 

  • Very good hygiene and easy cleaning 

  • Jointless design possible 

  • Greater freedom of movement when showering 

  • Increased perceived size of the bathroom 

  • Independent showering possible in old age 

Squaro Infinity shower tray from Villeroy & Boch

Can walk-in showers be retrofitted?

In most cases, a walk-in shower can be retrofitted – as a rule, it makes sense to ask a specialist company to do this. If your bathroom already has a shower, converting this into a walk-in shower in the same spot is no problem because the corresponding water connections and the drain are already in place. A bath can also be easily replaced with a floor-level shower. 

If the bathroom has neither a shower nor a bath, the easiest place to install the floor-level shower tray is where the toilet used to be due to the existing water connection and drain. Of course, it is also possible to retrofit a new shower in a completely different location – in this case, however, the project may be more complex, as the water connection and drain will need to be installed first. 

What else should be considered when planning a walk-in shower?

If you want to retrofit a walk-in shower, the height of the floor foundation is important. The floor foundation height is the thickness of the floor including the floor covering, insulation and screed. Exact details can be found in the construction drawings – however, the specialist installer will often also need to drill a test hole to determine the floor height. As the shower tray in many models has a specific thickness, it typically requires a minimum floor foundation height of seven centimetres.

In new buildings, the floor usually has a reasonable foundation height due to the various construction layers, which means a walk-in shower can be installed without any problems. In older buildings, the floor foundation height may be lower – but there are also practical solutions to get around this. If the shower has a sloping drain, the shower tray will require a correspondingly greater installation height – an additional three to four centimetres are usually needed. Less height is required for a shower tray with a wall drain or with a surrounding shower channel. However, there are also simple solutions that can be installed quite easily on the existing tiled floor.

Villeroy & Boch’s extra-flat shower trays are a perfect choice. Thanks to innovative materials, such as the super-stable MetalRim with high-quality acrylic and galvanised steel reinforcement at the edges, these shower trays are extremely robust and durable and have been load-tested at up to 1000 kilograms. The shower tray can be installed flush with the surface, requiring a low floor height – or resting on the tiles. 

Many other Villeroy & Boch models can also be installed directly on the tiles – such as the shower trays in the Lifetime Plus line. A shower tray that rests on the tiles is not completely level, because it has an edge that is about two to four centimetres high. However, this edge is so flat that safe and comfortable entry and exit is also possible – it is thus effectively a walk-in shower cabinet. 

Lifetime Plus shower tray from Villeroy & Boch

If you are looking to replace your shower, you should take the opportunity to think about creating a completely accessible bathroom. At Villeroy & Boch, you will find many additional accessible solutions for the bathroom that perfectly combine form and function.