Walk in shower enclosures are all the rage in modern bathrooms. Indeed many of us with limited space are actually removing our standard length baths, ditching the shower curtains and replacing with walk-in showers.
Walk-in showers offer great aesthetics, convenience and good accessibility, especially for elderly persons. We take a look at some of the best options on the market and their key features and benefits.
It’s worth noting these shower screen reviews are made in an economic climate where value for money is paramount.
#1 Scudo i10 Glass Shower Panels
These new 10mm panels from Scudo (now called Shield X on our website) can be configured in a 1, 2 or 3 screen arrangement to suit your space. They share some characteristics with the existing i8 range like the 2000mm high panels, flipper panel options, Acqua Shield Glass treatment and lifetime guarantee.
What no wall profile?
What separates these screens from the i8 and the others in this review is the exclusion of a wall profile creating a frameless shower space. This is a deliberate design feature to achieve a sleek, more minimalist finish.
Although the image above shows the walk in against a subtly rendered wall they look superb partnered with a contrasting Showerwall panel.
Prior to the i10, this kind of products would have cost at least 50% more.
The profile has been exchanged for 2 robust and luxuriously finished chrome brackets. The space is made watertight with the wall by means of a transparent cushioned 10mm seal that runs the length of the glass.
A Choice On Minimalism
For an even more minimalist finish, providing you don’t live in too old a dwelling, this can be swapped for a bead of silicone sealant. The included seal offers a degree of adjustment for out of true walls but with just the silicon bead your walls need to be true.
To add support to the installation the panels are each supplied with a modern style support arm. In configurations of 2 or more panels, the arms can be joined by means of a T-piece.
Support Arms Add Rigidity
The salesperson that demonstrated the product to us said that the support arms weren’t actually necessary but can offer customers more confidence in the installation and a little more rigidity.
These i10 glass shower enclosures range in size from 600-1200mm with the option of a 275mm hinged deflector panel to make a 3 screen walk around shower. Retail prices range between £338.63 up to £485.10 (Feb 2022). With retailers perhaps offering up to 20-40% discount you can have a great quality wetroom panel for around £220.
More well-known brands offer a similar specification costing more than double this.
Update – The unique aspect of the Shield X has always been the frameless wall fixing. This looks great but as discussed above you need perfectly true floor and walls to accommodate the glass. Well good news, for those that don’t there is now the option of a standard wall profile. The edge of the glass just slots in and is clamped on the inside. In this setup, the chrome brackets won’t be required.
Check out the latest Scudo i10 / Shield X prices.
#2 Aquatech 8 & 10mm Walk In Showers
If the price is the biggest factor in your choice of wetroom shower screens then an Aquatech branded model might be for you. Just because something is available at a price point though doesn’t mean to say you should buy it. After all, you get what you pay for and if you buy a cheap walk in showers you may well end up buying twice.
With that said if you are looking to buy a walk in shower, we can safely say the Aquatech is affordable but doesn’t cut any corners in terms of safety. The glass is to EN standards and the profiles look half decent.
For walk in showers on the cheap, it’s a good option but they don’t have the refinement of more expensive options.
Still, 10mm glass, with an easy clean coating and at 2000mm high just doesn’t come any cheaper, see the latest prices.
Given the price, it’s difficult to get hold of and keep in stock in any great numbers.
Shower Deflector Panel Now Available Separately
The shower deflector panels for both the 8 and 10mm Aquatech screens are now available as a separate purchase. So if you’ve previously bought the walk-in screens and didn’t think you’d need one, you can now retrofit them.
Deflector panels, hinged return panels or flipper panels as they are otherwise called are great for temporarily extending your main screen. Step in, fold-out and shower.
Others use them to fold in behind them so that splashing water won’t leave the shower space. It’s a simple space-saving solution for those with small walk in showers or that don’t want wet floors.
#3 Aquaglass Tinted or Frosted Glass Shower Panels
For something a little different in your modern urban space why not consider these tinted or frosted glass options from Aquaglass?
Ok, so you don’t need to be living in an apartment in London to enjoy the product. Especially given the available sizes you can install in the space that a standard bath would usually take up.
Both tinted and frosted products are good quality 10mm and 8mm glass respectively. The tinting is also within the glass panels and not a cheap film as you see applied to the local boy racers windscreen.
There are a few manufacturers that offer this kind of finish but generally not at the price point that Aquaglass does.
The tinted screens start at £309.99 for an 800mm option and £449 for the 1200mm completely opaque frosted option. The frosted option can also be installed as a standalone option using an additional bracing bar.
Spare Your Modesty
If you do have an open plan space and share a bathroom with family then the frosted glass will also spare your modesty. We wouldn’t let this be the only reason for purchasing though, the black frame and contemporary styling should be enough.
#4 Nuie Fluted Glass Shower Screens
This is a new addition to our list of best walk-in shower enclosures. Like the Aquaglass models, they continue the theme of privacy and seclusion.
In this instance retro style, fluted glass helps diffuse and bend the light that passes through the screen. The surface of the glass has a grooved, bumpy feel. It reminds you of upmarket glass tumblers from John Lewis.
Architects have been using fluted glass for years to help separate spaces in open-plan buildings or hotel rooms while still maintaining a bright and airy environment.
We love the styling and the cutout image above doesn’t really do it justice. As with many of the other shower screens here, it’s a high-spec affair, with 8mm glass, slim profiles and the backing of Roxor behind the Nuie brand name. Although the model above has a chrome profile it’s also available with brushed brass or black frames to match your decor.
View the full range of fluted glass shower screens.
5# Velar Brushed Brass Window Frame Screen
If a brushed brass bathroom is what you’re looking for then you’re in luck as it’s also a great piece of hardware. The Velar uses a framed design rather like a standard shower door albeit without any moving parts.
You can’t really see from the computer-generated image above but this is nicely put together. Good quality slim profiles with no sharp edges and a more modern shade of brushed brass, nothing like the ornaments in a traditional pub!
The Aquaglass Velar is available in 4 sizes from 800 to 1200mm and the glass is a respectable 8mm thick. The discounted price starts at £569.99 for the 800mm unit. This isn’t a cheap option by any stretch, what it is is a luxury product for creating a fabulous showering space.
Final Thoughts On These 5 Walk In Shower Enclosures
We hope to have given you some great ideas for wet room shower screens for your bathroom. These are all current models and some of the best walk-in showers around.
What you choose will likely come down to price, your specific taste and what you can realistically install in your property.
Making A Price Conscious Purchase?
If you’re shopping on a budget then there’s nothing wrong with the 8 and 10mm glass from Aquatech. They’re made to a price without the frills of the Aquaglass products. Yet they will achieve the wetroom look on a budget.
Open Plan Living?
The Aquaglass brushed brass product will also find sales in a more niche market from those looking for something a little different in terms of the profile finish. In larger more open-plan bathrooms the frosted or tinted glass might just spare your modesty, likewise the fluted glass of the Nuie product.
Small Walk In Showers For Small Bathrooms
Most buyers will be looking at a walk in shower as an alternative to a bath. These people are therefore likely to have the 1700x800mm footprint to fit one in. Lucky you.
Many however will be looking to fit a walk in shower for a small bathroom. In the past, the smallest walk in was a product from Sanucci measuring 1200x800mm. This is no longer on the market. However many manufacturers are offering main screens at just 600mm wide. A small walk in shower is now a reality.
A Minimum Access Width of 400-500mm For Comfort
To comfortably access a corner walk in installation with 2 or 3 panels (including an inset panel) you’re going to need a minimum of 400mm access ideally 500mm for larger adults accessing side on.
The Identiti2 range now offers the smallest walkin panel we’ve ever heard of at just 500mm wide. With a 500mm access, you can effectively have a walk in shower at 1000mm in length.
It’s going to be a bit tight. A width of 700mm or more would really help with the elbow room. Furthermore, a flipper panel attached to the main screen would help prevent water spray onto the floor and create a wraparound effect. While you’re in the shower the flipper panel would actually make the main screen 750-800mm long if straightened out.
Aftermarket Bracket & Support Arms For Walk In Glass
Many people are amazed by the fact that walk in shower enclosures actually stand up at all. Think about it. A tall, heavy lump of glass attached to the wall via a thin metal profile. It just looks a little unnatural.
If you are worried about support and the model you choose doesn’t come with any kind of bracket then fear not, these can be bought separately.
They’re generally of stainless steel construction with chrome plating. Although most are fixed some have a rotating joint. This means you can choose which wall you get the support from. Perhaps the same wall the glass is mounted to or the one opposite.
The aftermarket arms tend to be longer too. In fact, many people purchase them for this reason alone. The ones that accompany the walk in glass tend to be a maximum of 100cm long, many are shorter. Those available as an addition can go up to 130cm long. Good for wider spaced showers.
Wet Room Shower Screen Floor Channel
For those of you who are fitting the wetroom panel directly to the floor rather than a shower tray, a floor channel can be a welcome accessory.
This is simply an aluminium strip that the bottom of the glass sits in. The bottom of the channel then becomes the sealing interface to the floor. The strip is slightly wider and makes a better seal to the floor than a slim profile of glass sat on a silicon bead. It also adds a degree of stability with the wider footprint.
Even if you’re creating a large walk in shower enclosure, lengths are available up to 1600mm which should suit most applications. You simply cut the channel to size. They’re priced at around £20-40 each depending on brand and finish.
Walk In Shower Enclosures To Replace A Bath?
Many people are removing baths from their homes. This can be in an effort to save water, for cleanliness or to provide a more accessible washing space. Walk in showers, especially when fitted with a low-profile tray are easier to access than a bath. This is especially true if you’re elderly or have limited mobility.
Landlords are also fans of walk in shower enclosures as they’re easier to maintain and access. They also incorporate fewer water points than an over bath solution does.
Look For Walk In Shower Trays 1600-1700mm
If you are installing a walk in shower screen to replace an existing bath then you’ll typically be looking for models with tray sizes that are in the region of 1600-1700mm long and 700-800mm wide. The majority of baths in the UK fall into these dimensions. Do check prior to ordering though!
All of the best shower screen models reviewed above can accommodate those sizes. If you’re buying separate glass and a tray rather than in a pack just be sure that you choose options that will provide enough access space.
For example, if you have a 1700mm wide walk in shower tray then we wouldn’t fit glass shower panels on it wider than 1200mm. This will give you 500mm of access space, typically enough for most people to pass through.
Hello, my name is Dean.
Together with my business partner we own and operate Shower Enclosures UK.com Ltd.
We’ve been running the business for over 9 years and have amassed a reasonable amount of knowledge and expertise on the subject of shower and bathroom hardware. Enough that we’ve been able to put together a series of blog posts that should make buying bathroom goods that little bit simpler and help answer all the most popular questions.
If there’s anything that doesn’t make sense or needs expanding on please let us know in the comments. You can also reach out to me on LinkedIn
Thanks for taking the time to read our posts.