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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Walk-In Shower

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Walk-In Shower

March 15, 2022 | Bathroom Design

Is taking a shower posing more of a challenge than it should in your old bathroom? A walk-in shower would take the unused tub out of the room and provide a safer way to enjoy a hot shower. What would it take to have one installed? Our team at Columbus Bath Design is available with all the answers.

Marble Bathroom

A Walk-in Shower Adds Convenience, Style, and Accessibility to Your Bathroom

Since more Americans take a quick shower in the morning instead of a long soak, walk-in showers are trending as a smart upgrade for dated bathrooms. A walk-in shower features a lower or even no step-over transition compared to a tub. It is easier to step into, especially for those with accessibility challenges. The modern appearance brings even a mid-century bathroom up to date. You can also stop scrubbing your tub on your hands and knees. Why wouldn’t you want a walk-in shower?

Fitting a Shower into a Small or Sumptuous Ensuite

The average walk-in shower has dimensions comparable to your old tub, about 60 inches long and 30 inches wide. However, you can have a pre-fabbed corner enclosure installed that only takes up 42-inches square. This makes it a great addition to a small basement bathroom or can give back floor space in an old three-piece bathroom. Even smaller versions are designed for the RV and boating industry that could fit into a tinier space. Or if you opt for a wet-room design, there is no need to create a separate shower enclosure for the powder room under the stairs.

However, if you are building the ensuite of your dreams, there is no limit to how big a walk-in shower can be. A custom design that accommodates two may have a 60-inch square footprint with dual rain showerheads, benches, wall jets, sliding doors, and ambient lighting.

Take Your Pick of a Pre-fab Enclosure, Porcelain Panels, or Upscale Wet-room Tiled Shower

A walk-in shower is not just for a luxury home built near the golf course. There are a huge variety of kits and designs available to fit your budget.

Acrylic is one of the most common materials used to build a shower enclosure. The durable design will include a pre-formed pan, hidden leveling legs, trim skirts, and wall panels. Add the shower head and controls of your choosing. The kit may come with a sliding or swing door or the option to use a shower curtain for privacy. If you are simply replacing another shower, it can be installed with minimal demolition and time.

For a more luxurious option, upgrade the look of your walk-in shower with porcelain or compact surface panels that mimic the appearance of natural marble.

The ultimate walk-in shower will be tiled from floor to ceiling and feature no pre-formed pan. Instead, the floor of the bathroom is sloped to drain properly. You could even roll a wheelchair or walker into it without needing to step over even a minor transition strip. There may be a glass door fixed to the walls or an open wet-room concept.

Add Handles, Cubbies, and Soap Dispensers for Convenience and Safety

Were you always buying extra shelves that used suction cups to keep your shampoo, soaps, and loofahs under control? If you are planning on upgrading to a walk-in shower, grab the opportunity to customize the walls to your personal needs.

The acrylic enclosures often give you the choice of add grab bars, matching soap dishes, and storage cubbies. The accessories are formed at the same time as the walls, so there is no seam that will leak as the shower ages.

For a shower finished in tile or stone, the cubbies may be cut into the supporting blue board. Special attention is given to waterproofing the shelves so that every inch of the shower can last for decades. Your grab bars may be drilled into the tile or surface mounted with special adhesive.

Selecting a Showerhead Just for You

Did your old shower have a fixed shower head at an awkward height? Your walk-in shower can have a hand-held and fixed head. Raise the fixed portion, so you don’t have to duck to get under the water. Place the mixing valve at a height just right for an aging parent or a young teen. This is your opportunity to create a perfect shower experience for you!

Can I Replace My Tub/Shower Combination with a Walk-in Shower?

If it is only your old tub causing frustration in your bathroom, you can switch it up to a walk-in shower with minimal upheaval and mess. Since many walk-in shower designs are engineered as replacement fixtures, you will only need to demolish the old tub. In some cases the wall tiles can stay in place as the new panels are mounted to strips attached to the existing walls. In many instances, you won’t need to move the drain or even the supply pipes. When the renovation is done, you won’t see any sign of the old unused tub.

What Is the Difference Between A Walk-in and Standard Shower?

A walk-in shower indicates that there is only a very low lip or no lip where you enter the shower. You may need to step up an inch or two to get over the door frame. A standard shower may have a shallow pan at the bottom that creates a step that is four to six inches high.

Walk-in showers will not be able to hold enough water in the bottom to wash the dog or clothing by hand. If the drain clogs on a standard shower, the shallow pan can hold a few gallons of water before it starts to wash over the edge.

If you are searching for a shower that is suitable for wheelchairs or walkers, ask about roll-in designs.

Kickstart Your Shower Renovation with a Click or Call

Our team at Columbus Bath Design is eager to talk to you regarding your dream bathroom design, including a walk-in shower. We have the design experience and products available to turn your bathroom into a personal oasis. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment to explore all the possibilities.

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