For those who enjoy clean, efficient lines and design, the spa-like feel of the curbless shower is an attractive option.
Originally designed 50 years ago for the physically disabled, this shower style has evolved into a burgeoning design trend.
Because modern homes are all about clean, sleek lines, it’s no wonder that homeowners are turning increasingly to curbless showers in their bath design --integrating it into their ultimate spa-like oasis.
The user-friendly curbless shower comes in various sizes, shapes, and styles. It is suitable to almost any budget and available space, while its timeless, barrier-free design works for every person, at every stage of life, thanks to the premise of universal design -- making design accessible and appealing to all users.
In general, curbless shower floors are flush with floors in adjoining spaces, which let users safely walk or roll into the shower without getting tripped up by a “curb.”
Homeowners enjoy the curbless shower because it:
- Exudes a stylish, continuous look
- Increases accessibility and ease of use
- Maximizes existing space
- Promotes cleaner lines in the bathroom
- Reduces visual clutter
- Mitigates tripping hazards
An added bonus of this universally designed shower is that it can make a small space appear larger.
While the benefits of installing a curbless shower are clear, there are certain requirements -- both design and municipal -- to consider.
Some of the design considerations will include size, location and drainage -- and whether the shower should be enclosed or unenclosed.
North Carolina State University’s Center for Universal Design has created a handy installation guide that covers the entire installation process.
With a clear focus on universal design, they have laid out everything that needs to be considered regarding the curbless shower: placement of fixtures, custom-built showers, pre-fabricated showers, shower curtains and doors, drainage and more.
It is a great resource to have access to during the installation process -- even if a contractor is hired.
It is also important that whoever is in charge of the installation is fully aware of any existing municipal requirements and more importantly, complies with them.
For example, the City of Los Angeles permits showers without thresholds as long as they comply with these six specific requirements.
As you can see, curbless showers require smart planning and thoughtful preparation.
That being said, when you are armed with the right information and a competent contractor, you are one step closer to becoming the proud owner of a sleek curbless shower that will always be there for you.