What Is a Roll in Shower?

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Roll in showers are an alternative for elderly or disabled homeowners. The shower floor is flat and rimless, which allows a wheelchair to maneuver into the shower stall. A roll-in shower allows individuals with disabilities to have some independence when bathing, letting them get into and out of the shower on their own. The shower can be custom-built or homeowners can install a ready-made unit.

Roll-In Shower or Walk-In Bathtub?

Walk-in bathtubs have a door built into the front or side of the unit that allows bathers to walk into the tub, which provides easier access for the elderly or disabled users. Individuals in a wheelchair must still maneuver into a seat built into the tub to bathe, unlike a roll-in shower. Bathers in a wheelchair require assistance to get in and out of the walk-in tub. In addition, the user cannot open the door of the walk-in tub once it starts filling, requiring him to sit and wait.


Roll-in showers can feature fold-down bench seating, soap dishes and hand-held shower heads for showering in a wheelchair. Fold-down seating allows disabled individuals without a wheelchair to use the roll-in shower as well. The bench folds up to provide room for the wheelchair when not in use. Built-in soap dishes are at a lower height than in a standard model for showering while seated. For smaller bathrooms, handicapped showers are available that fit into the corner of the room. The corner units have three pieces with an open front.


The roll-in shower allows disabled or elderly homeowners to live an independent lifestyle. While it benefits homeowners in a wheelchair, it is also helpful to people who might find getting over the side of a tub difficult. Homeowners without a disability can also benefit with a roll-in shower stall. The units can take up less space in a bathroom than the standard bathtub and shower combination and can change the appearance of a smaller bathroom.

One- and Multi-Piece Units

Homeowners can choose a single unit or multi-piece unit for the bathroom. A single-piece unit is easier to install, but homeowners should ensure the unit fits through the door of the bathroom before making a purchase. The single-piece shower is appropriate for installation during construction of a new home.


Luanne Kelchner

Luanne Kelchner works out of Daytona Beach, Florida and has been freelance writing full time since 2008. Her ghostwriting work has covered a variety of topics but mainly focuses on health and home improvement articles. Kelchner has a degree from Southern New Hampshire University in English language and literature.