Finishing up demo on our master bathroom and working towards plans to get it all back together. Located on the top floor of our split level, over the laundry room.

The existing entry to the shower was fully tiled, floated over metal lath. The shower ceiling was built down approx. 12" from the bathroom ceiling and it felt like a tiled bomb shelter.

The ideal plan is to remove the entry completely and have the ceiling and walls flush into the shower area.

My question is - the shower opening looks to be framed out as a load bearing opening. Is the case?

This wall runs parallel to the joists above (attic). The wall is not centered directly under one of the joists, but is running just next to one. There is a drop ceiling below this bathroom, and nothing in the ceiling indicates to me that it's bearing - it is not over another wall or over a joist.

My hope would be to have everything flush in the end and that would require only a couple new studs to finish out corners in the long run.

I'm 99% sure it was framed this way for the tile installation... but better safe than sorry.

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Looks load-bearing to me, but I'm definitely not a pro. And, thanks for taking our tour before posting; few newbies do. Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 16:16
  • Thanks for the reply. Yeah - it’s definitely framed as bearing it just goes against all the “usual” bearing wall tests... so it’s throwing me for a loop.
    – stagewhat
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 19:46
  • Is that a 2x12 or such over the door opening? It looks "massive" for that context.
    – gnicko
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 17:58
  • It is a 2x10, yes. I thought so too - since it’s the same as the bearing headers. But that’s what makes me think it’s simply a “frame this as an opening”, and that’s the lumber they had onsite type of situation.
    – stagewhat
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 3:17

1 Answer 1


With your joist direction following the same without support it is probably built for a door. With a door and no header the wall may wobble a bit as many shower doors are glass and heavy. I was taught to always put a header in for a door for that reason. If you are not going to have a door and want it open to the ceiling I would do it. Depending on the depth and spray a shower curtain can span the opening with an expanding rod if needed. Opening up the area (this also held ventilation and may reduce mold growth as your extractor fan can pull the steam out.

  • Thanks Ed. That’s what I was feeling. We are going to try for no door to help the room feel less closed-in and a rain shower head placed off center to help control the spray out of the opening, since it’s fairly shallow. One of the main reasons we wanted to do this renovation was to get the outer walls and ceiling flush - so I’m hoping this works!
    – stagewhat
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 3:19

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