Shower Kits Buying Guide

Use shower enclosure kits to install a new shower and shower doors quickly and easily

Shower kits combine convenience with value by providing all the necessary elements ready to install. This guide will walk you through what materials, designs and installation options are available.

Materials and Design

Typically made of composite materials, shower kits have an acrylic finish resistant to chipping, cracking and peeling. Pre-formed wall panels reduce mold and mildew growth.  

Corner showers
  • Square shaped
  • Great for small bathrooms
  • Popular solution for master baths where a separate shower is desired
Neo-angle showers
  • Five-sided diamond-shaped base
  • Five-sided diamond-shaped base
  • Offer modern style
Round showers
  • Fit in a corner
  • Shaped like a slice of pie with rounded front entryway
  • Maximize shower space in relatively small area

Framed vs. Frameless

Shower kits incorporate either a framed or frameless design to hold the shower walls, door and top cap in place. Each has its own set of benefits.  

Framed showers
  • Use traditional exposed framework and trim for strength
  • Glass can be lighter and less expensive than frameless showers
  • Door track can collect and trap water, requiring periodic cleaning
  • Pivot shower doors only open outward
Frameless showers
  • Add elegant touch to your bath
  • Allow light in and draws attention to other elements in the bathroom
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Frameless pivot doors can open in and out

Measuring and Drain Configuration

The drain is typically centrally located in newer shower units, and many shower kits come in standard sizes of 36 x 36 inch, 38 x 38 inch and 42 x 42 inch.

Tip: If you’re replacing your shower, the drain configuration of your new shower should match the existing plumbing. If you’re installing a shower in new construction, you may have more flexibility to arrange the plumbing to match the configuration you prefer.

Measure the space where your shower will be installed before making your selection.

Measure the height in two places from the base to the top of the wall unit or tile wall. Measure the depth from back wall to the front of the enclosure area along both side walls. If the measurements differ slightly, use the larger of the two.

To measure for a corner shower, measure from the corner outward along both walls where the base will be installed.

Installation

When installing, choose between direct-to-stud showers or glue-up showers.  

  • Direct-to-stud shower walls are attached directly to studs in the wall with nails or screws. Installations in existing bathrooms require removing any wall cover in the area where the enclosure is installed. Experienced DIYers can install direct-to-stud showers themselves.
  • Also known as easy-up or adhesive-applied, glue-up showers attach securely to the wall with a strong adhesive. Installation may require replacing any drywall in the area with water-repellant green board. Beginner DIYers should have little trouble installing glue-up shower walls in new construction.