If you’ve been keeping your finger on the pulse of bathroom design in recent years, you may have noticed that one of the more prevalent remodeling trends of the past decade is the rise of walk-in showers. Whether it’s a homeowner working with a bathroom remodeling company to reconfigure their current shower setup or to execute a tub-to-shower conversion, there are a number of benefits provided by this sleek, curbless configuration. However, if you’re not careful when making some key design decisions, there are a few aspects of these showers that can have unintended consequences.
Benefit: Understated Elegance
If you want a decidedly modern, stylish look for your bathroom remodel, you’re in luck. With no threshold or door, walk-in showers blend seamlessly with the rest of the bathroom, creating a cohesive facade that unifies the space with no distractions. Imagine 1-by-1-inch tile in a solid color like charcoal or slate grey wrapping around the entire bathroom, adding texture in a subtle, clean-lined pattern. Not only will this blended style make the space look harmonious, it will make it feel larger, too.
Potential Drawback: Slippery When Wet
If you’re worried about door-less showers causing slippery water spills on the floor, there are fixes for this. A glass or marble wall can be put up adjacent to the showerhead to contain water that deflects off your body when bathing. Your remodeler might also suggest a nozzle that jets water straight down, such as a rainfall showerhead. To cover all your bases, opt for slip-resistant flooring that slopes slightly toward a central drain for maximum safety.
Benefit: Greater Accessibility
Aging in place is a growing trend: 87% of adults age 65+want to stay in their current home as they grow older, according to AARP. Updating bathrooms for aging and accessibility is critical to your safety and comfort. According to the National Institute on Aging, one in three seniors takes a fall in their home every year, and 80% of those falls occur in the bathroom. The zero-threshold aspect of walk-in showers makes bathing accessible for people of all levels of mobility, and not having to worry about door/entrance width is a bonus for those who use wheelchairs. The cherry on top is that the more accessibility features your bathroom has, the more it appeals to a wide-range of buyers, thus increasing your home’s value.
Potential Drawback: Chilly Airflow
Depending on the size of your bathroom and its ventilation situation, a door-less shower might be conducive to a draft of cool air greeting you as soon as you turn off the hot water. As we touched on earlier, a small wall or barrier may be beneficial for multiple reasons, another one being that it can block any unwanted airstreams. If staying warm and cozy in the bathroom is a luxury you’d love to have consider adding heated floors to your remodel.
Benefit: Easy Cleaning
Let’s face it, no one has a blast cleaning the bathroom, so the less time it takes the better. That’s part of the beauty of a walk-in shower: there are fewer nooks and crannies to scrub than with a traditional shower enclosure. Its surfaces are smooth and nonporous, so a simple wipe down and they’re good as new. Also, you can say goodbye to dingy, mold-attracting shower doors and curtains!
Potential Drawback: Bathroom Size
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a huge bathroom to accommodate a walk-in shower. While it’s true that big bathrooms give you more elbow room, these showers can easily work well in bathrooms of all sizes., Since they don’t have a stall, they’re a great way to make the area feel bigger. As referenced above, proper drainage will minimize slick flooring from rogue splashes, and a frameless piece of glass or marble wall can help keep water contained.