Walk in Showers
A walk in shower may mean something different to different people. Some think of a walk in shower as a unit that stands alone, some think it just means easy entry so it may have no door, curb or the curb is very low. There are advantages to getting a walk in shower for people of any ability or age though.
Nowadays people are living a lot longer than they used to but need something that is easy to get into. More seniors are looking for alternatives in the bathroom so that they can maintain their independence while still being safe. Traditional bathroom sets do not provide that in most houses today. With new developments in the design and style of bathrooms it is not just seniors able to maintain their independence. Those with physical disabilities are also looking for options and the walk in shower answers a lot of those issues.
For everyone bathrooms can be a dangerous place. You have usually a hard surface and things can get slippery when wet. Lots of accidents happen in there. Often the instinct is to reach out for a towel rail but usually these are not sturdy enough to be grabbed and to support such weight. If you do not have handrails or gripping surfaces in there it is a good idea to consider adding them in along with your walk in shower. They can drastically help lower the chances of someone having a fall.
While a traditional bathroom with the standard fixtures may start at as meeting your needs they do not continue to as life happens. Today there are more options, more manufacturers offer Universal Design options that focus on being suitable for a lifetime. You can also get a lot of styles and designs that mean you can have the look you want while still being as safe as possible. If you need some designs for your home, check out fuzz-ieee2011.org for walk in shower design ideas that will surely make your bathroom stands out.
4 advantages to getting a walk in shower
- They are easier to use – Even for you this is true but for someone who is older, less-abled or even for younger children a walk in shower is easier to use than a traditional one. It is easier to get and out, once inside there is more space so it is easier to move around as you shower. You have the option of putting in a seat so you can sit if needed plus there are hand rails you can hold onto when needed. This is a fun place for kids to shower in and you can fit in more than one!
- They are easier to clean – Walk in showers are a lot easier to maintain and keep clean. There is not chance of limescale building up and because of their open nature that air dry so there is no mold or mildew from damp. All they need is an occasional wipe down for the glass walls and that is it.
- Easier to install – The walk in shower is easier to install and can be put into any bathroom. All you need is a corner or recessed area for it. If you are someone you know is a DIY type of person this is something you could handle yourself using the instructions that come with pre-assembled walk in shower units.
- Easier to add value to your home – Anything like a walk in shower that combines luxury with convenience is going to add value to your home. Walk in showers with glass walls look modern and help make a bathroom look more stylish and up to date. They can also help to make a bathroom feel bigger. Often when buyers are looking at a home they consider the bathrooms and the kitchens.
Looking at curbless walk in showers
The curbless walk in shower is a fairly recent design where the shower either has a very low threshold or curb, or none at all. This means it is easy to walk in to without the risk of tripping, or roll into if you or someone in the home is a wheelchair user. Proline Drain can create custom designed curbless shower with a linear designed drain system. You can also have a seat in them, bars to hold onto for support and as well as an over head shower fixture, a hand held option too. While it is true the walk in shower does not offer opportunities for soaking as you can when you have a bathtub if there is room you could always have a second fixture and have something like a whirlpool bath that can offer you therapeutic properties.
Installing a walk in shower
As mentioned this is something someone with DIY experience and knowledge could install but there are some regulations you need to be aware of. In single family homes, apart from a small number of exceptions, the bathrooms do not have to come up to the design requirements of the ADA. In multifamily homes where a certain number of fully accessible units are required if curbless walk in showers are being installed they do need to meet those design requirements.
The ADA standards for accessible design and the NC State accessibility code prohibit curbless or roll in showers from having thresholds. This means finding a way to contain the water so it does not splash outside the shower or drip into the subfloor can be challenging in terms of design. With the water containment issues you need to be aware before you install in case it affects you. With a few details you can have the walk in shower meet building codes, with no leaks and give you a shower of convenience and style.