McClurg's Home Remodeling Blog

Project of the Month: Master Bath with Walk-in Shower and Walk-in Closet

Posted by Paul Jones on Tue, Mar 4, 2014

Our “Project of the Month” is a master bathroom remodel in Fayetteville, NY featuring a large walk-in shower without doors, a walk-in closet, and a vanity with his and her sinks and white painted semi-custom cabinets.

Walk-in showers have become one of the features that customers frequently ask us about in planning their bathroom remodeling projects. More homeowners are trading tubs for the ease of maintenance as well as the access, safety and comfort a walk-in shower can provide. Multiple showerheads and wall jets are replacing whirlpool tubs. A functional shower seat aids grooming. While doors can be used, a walk-in shower without doors can simplify the task of cleaning the shower.

Master bath walk-in shower without doors

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There are many design options for walk-in showers. Walk-in showers can be designed for small bathrooms, occupying no more than nine square feet of space, or they can be custom designed for large, luxurious baths. They can be placed in a corner or in the center of a room. They also can be integrated with soaking tubs.

Walk-in closets are equally as desirable. They can be designed with wall cabinets, open shelving, multiple rods and islands. Walk-in closets can minimize the need for large dressers in a bedroom and make it easier to organize clothing items.

Project Consultant: Paul Jones

Lead Carpenter: Pete Henderson


The homeowners wanted a functional and stylish master bath that was easy to maintain and suited to their lifestyle. They seldom used a whirlpool tub that was collecting dust in the room. The old configuration, which included a small shower with sliding glass doors placed near a commode in an enclosed area, didn’t meet their needs. There was a small walk-in closet with sliding mirrored doors located near the tub that lacked adequate space for the couple’s clothing.

The homeowners wanted to completely redesign and remodel the existing bathroom. Their objectives included:

  • Removing the tub.
  • Adding a large walk-in shower without doors.
  • Expanding the walk-in closet.
  • Maintaining a private area for the toilet.
  • Adding ample cabinet storage.
  • Replacing the vanity cabinets, sinks, counters and lighting with a new configuration that would include storage cabinets and drawers for towels.
  • Replacing the flooring.
  • Updating the style of the room with new paint colors, cabinet finishes, tile, hardware, molding and light fixtures.

BEFORE master bath and closet


  • The initial challenge was to create a design plan that met all of the homeowners’ objectives. That would include relocating and creating a larger shower, expanding the closet, adding more storage to the vanity, maintaining the private commode area, and determining a layout for cabinets in both the bathroom and walk-in closet.
  • A wall would need to be removed and rebuilt to create a larger closet and enclose it. The window behind the tub would remain and become part of the closet.
  • The whirlpool tub would be removed and plumbing relocated to provide water to the shower.
  • Mechanicals (i.e., plumbing, electrical and ventilation) needed to be reworked for the room.
  • The shower would have no doors therefore the plan included provisions for water containment, a built-in niche, a bench, ventilation, lighting and placement of the showerhead.
  • A door that swung into the toilet area made the room even more constrained. Increasing the size of the closet would reduce the floor space of the overall bathroom and changing the door swing would not be an option to remediate the problem.


The entire old master bathroom was removed and rebuilt according to the new design plan.

1)    Walk-In Shower Design

The size of the shower was doubled. Since the homeowners opted for a walk-in shower, the floor was sloped for adequate drainage and tiled with slip resistant tumbled pebble tile. Twelve inch slate tile was used on the walls for easy care and a 1-inch mosaic tile accent border was added. The mosaic tile was also used to accent a built-in wall niche. Glass shelves were added to the niche to hold bath supplies.  A built-in shower bench provides additional storage for supplies and an area for grooming. A wall-mounted showerhead with a burnished bronze finish was selected to match the tile. Floor tile in the bathroom matches the 12-inch slate tile used for the walls of the shower.

walk-in shower with stone tile design

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2)    Vanity Design

The double sink vanity with a knee-hole opening for seating was redesigned to accommodate a “storage tower” for linens that would separate the sinks. The white painted cabinets, moldings and framed mirrors are from Jim Bishop Cabinets. Burnished bronze fixtures were used with oval bisque drop-in sinks. The counters and backsplash are quartz from Cambria in “New Quay”.

double sink vanity

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3)    Closet Design

The closet was expanded into the area that had included the whirlpool tub and incorporated the demi-lune window. Adjustable shelving was used for the perimeter storage. Closet shelves and cabinets are from our line of custom built storage cabinets. Cambria “New Quay” quartz counters were used for the island. In addition to the natural light from the window, there are pendant lights supplied by the homeowners and new recessed LED lights used to illuminate the space.

walk-in closet with island

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4)    Private Commode Room Design

A pocket door was installed to maintain a private space for the toilet. There is no door swing, which makes the space more functional. Storage cabinets were added to the wall where the shower had once been. The space under the cabinets was left open for laundry hampers.

private commode room

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5)    Adding Style

The project consultant worked with the homeowners in finding the right products for the project to meet their expectations. Project consultants will visit showrooms with clients to select decorative elements and help to plan the installation of tile, flooring, lighting and fixtures to create a stylish room.

double sink vanity with white painted cabinets

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Walk-In Shower Guide

Topics: Bathrooms, Cabinets, Walk-In Showers, Projects of the Month, Closets