Boosting Home Value: Do Walk-In Showers Really Make a Difference?

As a woodworker and DIY enthusiast living in Chicago, I always look for ways to add value and function to my home. When it came time to renovate my aging bathroom, I wondered – could installing a walk-in shower make my house more attractive to potential buyers?

After digging, it became clear that a well-designed walk-in shower can boost a home’s resale value. Here’s a detailed look at how walk-in showers can impact your home’s value and tips for maximizing your return on investment. Let’s dive in!

What is a Walk-In Shower?

For those unfamiliar, a walk-in shower is exactly what it sounds like – a shower without doors or curtains that you simply walk right into. Unlike bathtub-shower combos, walk-in showers have an open entry and often include luxurious features like:

  • Multiple shower heads
  • Built-in seating
  • Easy-access controls
  • High-end materials like stone and glass

Walk-in showers are associated with spa-like, high-end bathrooms. But you don’t have to splurge to get one! Even a basic walk-in shower can provide an airy, minimalist look compared to traditional shower stalls.

Do walk in showers increase home value

Why Do Walk-In Showers Increase Value?

So why are walk-in showers becoming such a hot home feature? There are a few key reasons these showers can boost your home’s value:

Aesthetic Appeal

Walk-in showers lend a clean, contemporary look that’s right on trend with modern bathroom styles. The lack of doors and curtains creates a sleek, uncluttered appearance. Neutral tones, stone finishes, and glass walls exude a spa-like vibe. A walk-in shower is ideal for homeowners wanting a relaxing, upscale bathroom.


A threshold-free entry makes walk-in showers accessible for all ages and abilities. This appeals to families with young children or elderly relatives looking for a safe, comfortable bathing experience. A walk-in shower can make daily routines more accessible for aging homeowners who want to stay in their homes.

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Why a walk in shower is a selling point for your home

Efficient Use of Space

In small or awkward bathrooms, a walk-in shower can maximize every inch. Batteries can fit into tight corners or unconventional areas without bulky doors or a tub taking up space. The lack of obstructions also makes the bathroom feel more open and spacious.

Customization Options

One of the best aspects of walk-in showers is the ability to customize. You can choose from various colors, textures, materials, and high-end features. Add a built-in shelf for shower essentials, an invigorating rainfall showerhead, or even water jets for an actual spa experience.

Expert Insights on Value

Walk-in showers offer the aesthetics and functionality that today’s homeowners desire. But what do the experts say about their impact on home value? Here are some key insights:

“Walk-in showers are highly desirable for homebuyers, particularly in the luxury and senior living segments. They provide a safer and more comfortable bathing experience and enhance the bathroom’s overall aesthetic appeal.” – John Daugherty,

“A well-designed walk-in shower can add significant value to a home. It’s a feature buyers are willing to pay a premium for, especially in markets with an aging population.” – Brendon DeSimone, Zillow.

“Homeowners who installed a walk-in shower saw an average increase of $10,000 in their home’s resale value.” – National Association of Realtors.

The appeal of walk-in showers is clear across age demographics and home types. By transforming your bathroom into a relaxing, spa-like oasis, you can recoup the investment at resale.

How to design a walk in shower

Return on Investment

Speaking of return on investment, let’s break down the potential costs versus the payoff of installing a walk-in shower:


  • Basic: $2,500-$5,000
  • High-End: $10,000+

Value Added

  • Up to 100% return on investment
  • 12% higher resale value
  • $10,000 average increase in value

Though the upfront cost can be significant, you can expect to recoup 100% or more of your investment based on added home value. And as a woodworker, I think that’s a pretty darn good ROI!

Overall, data shows there’s strong demand for walk-in showers:

  • 60% of homeowners prefer walk-in showers over tubs
  • 70% of buyers are willing to pay more for a walk-in shower
  • Ranked in the top desired features by buyers
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Bottom line – if selling your home is on the horizon, a walk-in shower renovation can directly boost the sale price.

Walk in Shower Materials

Tips for Maximizing Value

If you’re sold on installing a walk-in shower, here are my tips as a DIYer for getting the most bang for your buck:

Choose Quality Materials

Durable, low-maintenance finishes like stone tiles or glass enclosures will retain their sleek, high-end look. Brass hardware adds a touch of luxury. Investing in top-notch materials and craftsmanship will preserve the value of your renovation.

Seek Universal Appeal

Keep the design clean and classic to appeal to the broadest range of buyers. Neutral tones, open layouts, and minimalist details feel current but not trendy. The timeless style will make the space feel fresh for years to come.

Focus on Function

Thoughtful details make all the difference. Add a fold-down seat for accessibility, a shelf for shower essentials, and adjustable body sprays for customized comfort. These purposeful touches enhance the shower’s functionality.

Don’t Neglect Maintenance

Stay on top of caulking, grout, and sealants. Check for leaks around valves and showerheads. Repair any issues immediately to prevent costly water damage and mold growth. Proper maintenance keeps your shower in tip-top shape.

How to install a walk in shower

Making the Investment Worthwhile

Installing a walk-in shower is a sizable investment, but the potential return can make it more than worthwhile. As with any home renovation, careful planning is vital:

  • Set a realistic budget and add a 10-20% cushion for unexpected costs.
  • Interview several contractors and read reviews to find the best value.
  • Choose durable, low-maintenance materials that provide the best ROI.
  • Stick to classic styles and versatile features to attract the broadest range of buyers.
  • Fully waterproof the shower to prevent leaks and damage.

Your walk-in shower should reflect your taste – while keeping future owners in mind. By maximizing practicality and visual appeal, you can create a space buyers will be eager to enjoy in the years ahead.

Enjoy Your Oasis Now

Beyond boosting home value down the road, an investment in a walk-in shower pays off in immediate benefits:

  • A relaxing, spa-like space to start and end your day
  • Soothing sore muscles with massaging body jets
  • Not having to step over a tub wall or slippery shower floor
  • Accommodating kids or elderly families who visit
  • Showing off your beautiful bathroom reno to dinner guests!
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As a homeowner, you spend a lot of time in your bathroom – so make it into a space you want to be in. Walk-in showers offer comfort, convenience, and just plain enjoyment.

How to keep your walk in shower sparkling clean

Remodeling Q&A

Still, mulling over a walk-in shower reno? Here are answers to some common questions:

What size should my walk-in shower be?

Aim for comfort and functionality at least 30” x 30” — but bigger is better! Expand it as large as your bathroom layout allows.

How do I make a small bathroom feel more significant?

Minimize bulky shower enclosures. Use reflective surfaces like glass, mirrored walls, or metallics. Add ceiling lights and sconces to brighten up the space.

What crucial steps prevent leaks?

Proper waterproofing with materials like RedGard and Kerdi is essential. Also, seal all joints with silicone caulk and install a sloped shower pan for drainage.

Should I install grab bars or a fold-down seat?

Absolutely! Even if you don’t need them now, including accessibility features will appeal to future home buyers and make guests or visiting families feel comfortable.

How complex is the installation process?

The demolition and installation can take several days to a few weeks. Be prepared for some dust and inconvenience. Working with an experienced contractor helps the project go smoothly.

What design choices have the best ROI?

Timeless subway tiles, wall niches, rainfall showerheads, body sprays, and built-in seating all add value. Clever storage, dimmable lighting, and Bluetooth controls also impress buyers.

The Bottom Line

Walk-in showers offer numerous benefits for homeowners. A rightly-executed renovation can pay off handsomely when it comes time to sell your home. Keep practicality, longevity, and accessibility in mind throughout your project. With strategic planning and design, you can create a custom walk-in shower that maximizes your investment.

As a Chicago DIYer, I’m excited to try a walk-in shower reno. I can already picture showing off my craftsmanship to potential homebuyers! And in the meantime, I’ll enjoy a daily dose of spa-like luxury.