If you're looking to give your bathroom a makeover, you might be wondering what size shower or tub is best suited for the space you have to work with. First, it's helpful to identify how you want to use your shower. If you're not planning on soaking in the tub very often, you might want to put more money into a shower-only unit that has tile accents or top-of-the-line heads and handles. Regardless of the route you go, it's important to know the common shower dimensions before you start planning your dream bathroom.

Marble mosaic herringbone tiled shower feature wall in a contemporary ensuite bathroom
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Common Shower Dimensions

Walk-In Shower

The smallest showers available are typically 32 inches by 32 inches, which is an interior dimension. If that sounds too tiny, you might want to look for a unit that has more elbow room, such as a rectangular shower that is 36 inches by 48 inches.

For planning purposes, the recommended dimensions you should start with are 36 inches by 36 inches, with 30 inches of clear space in front of the shower. If you are working with a very small space, you can go as small as 30 inches by 30 inches (minimum set by the International Residential Code), with a 24-inch entry to the shower. But note that this is very tight shower space, so if you have larger people living in your house, this size is not going to cut it.

Square-shaped and round-corner units are the most common solution when working with minimal shower dimensions. When planning your shower space, remember the drain is typically located in the center of the unit. Most shower kits come in standard sizes of 36 inches by 36 inches, 38 inches by 38 inches and 42 inches by 42 inches.

Measuring the Space for a Walk-In Shower

In order to determine which shower unit will fit your bathroom, you need to measure the space where the shower will be installed. If you're not a precise measurer, you might want to ask a professional for help. Being off on the dimensions could cause a lot of headaches if you buy the wrong size for the space.

But if you're ready to tackle the tape by yourself, it's important that you measure the height in two places, from the base to the top of the wall unit and the depth. This should be done by measuring from the back wall to the front of the enclosure and along both side walls (use the larger measurement). You also need to pay attention to the height of your ceiling. For bathrooms, the minimum height is 80 inches except in places where occupants can't walk.

Shower and Bathtub Combo

If you're looking to buy a bathtub and shower combo, you'll need a little more space than for a single shower unit. A bathtub and shower combo comes with a standard bathtub with shower walls attached. Some will include shower doors to enclose the unit, but others come open and require a curtain to keep the water in.

The standard bathtub dimensions are 32 inches wide and 60 inches long. Most bathtub and shower combos come standard and are 60 inches by 30 inches by 72 inches or 60 inches by 36 inches by 72 inches. This includes a 60-inch basin length, 30 or 36-inch basin width, and 60-inch wall width.