What Is a Roll-In Shower?

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What is a roll in shower

Caregivers, occupational therapists, and family members know the frustration experienced by those indefinitely dependent upon a wheelchair, especially when it comes to bathing.

Roll-In Showers to the Rescue

A roll-in shower is exactly what the name implies–a shower specifically designed to accommodate a bather in a shower wheelchair. Just roll in, sit in safety, and enjoy a shower. It’s that simple, and much safer, as well as less costly, than a traditional wet room.

Permanent vs Portable

A wet room is a bathroom that has been modified to allow wheelchair users access to the shower. This is a permanent and expensive renovation for your home. Shower Bay can be assembled–in only a few minutes–in any room of your house; no need for remodeling. The convenience of the Shower Bay design provides a temporary and portable solution.

What Are Roll-In Showers Made Of?

Generally, a roll-in shower is constructed with either fiberglass with a polyester gel coat or acrylic that covers both the walls and bathtub. Polyester gel coats are sprayed onto a mold and then cured. This creates a uniquely uniform and consistent thickness throughout the roll-in shower.

If acrylic sheets are used, they are heated and then vacuum-formed to a mold. The material gets thinner in spots where the acrylic is stretched out. It’s possible the mold may lose its shape due to the heat. As well, roll-in showers are often made with full plywood backings. As a result, no drywall is necessary behind the shower. This allows for the installation of necessary shelving in convenient locations for shower users as opposed to where the wall studs are located. Necessities like body wash, shampoo, and soap are much easier to reach as a result.

What Features Are Included in Roll-in Showers?

There are several features that can be made available to you if you decide to install a roll-in shower. Of course, the more features you wish to have included, the more costly the installation will be. For the most part, users of roll-in showers prefer to have as many features as possible. This helps for the showering experience to be easier and more enjoyable.

Shower Heads

Shower head roll-in shower

It should probably go without saying that shower heads are necessities in any type of shower. They are typically mounted on vertical bars that are height adjustable. That way, they conveniently accommodate wheelchair users who prefer for their water to be expelled at lower heights. The height-adjustable vertical bars also make it easier for other users of the shower to comfortably take showers with the shower head at a higher height. Many shower heads in roll-in showers are also of the handheld variety.

Grab Bars

Roll in shower grab bar

One of the main and most important features of a roll-in shower is the grab bar. Grab bars are well known for providing bathroom users with balance assistance. Strong and sturdy, grab bars help to give people additional leverage to prevent slips and falls. In a roll-in shower, grab bars are often installed horizontally and on every wall. However, if requested, they can also be installed vertically or at an angle.

Shower Seats

Roll-in shower seats

Of course, it isn’t a must that roll-in showers are used exclusively by individuals sitting in shower wheelchairs. A shower seat or bench can be attached to the wall of the shower if needed. They can fold either up or down when not in use. As well, if a free-standing shower seat is preferred, it can be removed and placed back into the shower at the user’s convenience.


As mentioned, roll-in showers require thresholds. Most often, they are beveled thresholds that are 0.5” high. This helps to keep water in the shower instead of spilling out onto the bathroom floor. However, some roll-in showers use thresholds that are approximately a quarter of an inch in height. These do not need to be beveled.

 What Makes Shower Bay The Perfect ADA Roll-In Shower?

  • Slips and falls are eliminated when using a roll-in shower. Whether you are the user or the caregiver, you’ll enjoy an anxiety-free bathing experience.
  • Easy ramp access allows the user’s smooth transition and access to a real shower.
  • A roll-in shower provides privacy.
  • No tools are needed to assemble the ShowerBay roll-in shower. A quick-connect system attaches to almost any faucet, while a return hose empties the water into the nearest sink. The time and expense of a remodel are avoided.
  • A roll-in shower does not require installment or any changes to the structure of your home. It can be set up in any room of your home with no expensive renovations.

How Does Shower Bay Meet Ada Roll in Shower Specifications?

Ada specifications-santa cruz, ca

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA roll-in showers must have inside dimensions of at least 60” x 30”. The Shower Bay portable shower more than accommodates these dimensions. The Shower Bay’s specs are 80” in length and 43 ¾” in width. As well it stands at 50 ½” in height. It most certainly meets ADA requirements.
As a result, the Shower Bay makes an ideal alternative to the traditional shower or walk-in tub for your long-term care facility. Because it can be snapped together in any room with a faucet, the Shower Bay provides the perfect solution for wheelchair users who may face the difficulties of having to travel to other floors in order to bathe. Shower Bay portable showers make it so that no unnecessary travel is taken.

In fact, Shower Bay users have heralded it for helping them to enjoy the comforts of living at home with their families instead of in long-term care facilities. Making bathing a daily task that is no longer dreaded because of bathrooms with inadequate space, these portable showers go a long way in restoring the dignity of those with mobility issues. Providing full and thorough showers with running water, the Shower Bay also enables a private bathing experience.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Roll In Shower?

As you can imagine, it can be a pricey decision. Installing a roll-in shower requires remodeling your bathroom. Of course, that involves removing your traditional bathtub. However, the cost all depends on the type of roll-in shower you install and the nature of your bathroom. Traditionally, remodeling a bathroom that includes the installation of a roll-in shower can cost north of $10,000.

Naturally, the size of your roll-in shower should be able to accommodate the shower wheelchair used by the shower taker. There should be enough room in the shower for the shower wheelchair to move around. The majority of roll-in showers are created with beveled thresholds that are half an inch high. This allows for shower wheelchairs to easily roll over into the shower.

Shower Bay: The Best Alternative to a Roll-in Shower?

Portable shower designed for wheelchair users
Portable shower designed for wheelchair users

At Forward Day, we’re elated to be able to offer the Shower Bay portable shower. Designed with wheelchair users in mind, Shower Bay can be quickly assembled in any room of the home where there is a faucet nearby. Simply snap the unit together, connect it to a standard faucet, and turn on the pump. These uniquely designed portable showers make it so that no remodeling of your bathroom is necessary.

Needless to say, this saves people a ton of money. The Shower Bay portable shower is a cost-effective solution for people with mobility issues. This is especially true when the costs are compared to those of installing a roll-in shower. We’re proud of the fact that Shower Bay provides a true shower experience without dangerous wet environment transfers or expensive home renovations. It enables users to enjoy relaxing showers without even having to enter their bathrooms.

Shower wheel chair - santa cruz ca
Shower wheelchair allows a user to safely roll into a shower

A shower wheelchair allows a user to safely roll into a shower

The way we see it, a daily shower should be enjoyed, not dreaded. The warm, gentle massage of water running through our hair and down our back is one of the best parts of our day. Most of us take this rejuvenating sensation for granted. However, many people with mobility limitations miss their shower times because it’s too dangerous and time-consuming for a family member or caregiver to assist them.

If you have any questions about our Shower Bay portable showers, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask them. Give us a call at 1-877-593-4461 or email us at info@showerbay.com. You may also send us a message by filling out the form on our Contact Us page.

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First published on: Jun 16, 2015

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

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