Are Curb-less Showers the Right Tile Installation for You?
One of the main advantages of the zero threshold, curb-less shower tile installation is the functionality. You might think – how hard is it to step up and over a 4 inch shower threshold? That curb can seem like a mountain to an older person who needs to get a wheel chair into the shower or that has any kind of mobility issues.
Aesthetically a barrier free shower is beautiful. Gone are the days of your typical ADA shower scene. A curb-less shower can be both functional and stylish. I have had customers that are simply blown away by how spacious their bathroom showers after moving to a curb-less design. Just take a look at a few pictures on Pinterest and you’ll see what I mean.
- It’s beautiful, sleek, and can make a small bathroom feel large and open.
- Functionality – everyone in that family can use it. Can be wheelchair accessible.
- Easy to clean. A daily shower cleaning spray and a squeegee is really all you need.
- Best use of space. Every square inch is utilized well.
- No door. Glass shower doors are expensive and one more thing to clean. Consider doing without one.
- Added cost due to changes in slope of the floor.
- Easier to get it wrong. We see a lot of leaky, curb-less showers, so know that your tile contractor is certified to do this type of shower.
- No door. Some people feel cold in a shower without a door.
- No privacy.
Shower Measurements are Key When Installing a Curb-less Shower
Keep this in mind – since the floor at the entrance of the shower has to be even with the room floor, the larger the shower, the easier it is to slope the floor to the drain and not have any water issues. Also, larger shower floors also make it easier for a person in a wheel chair to move around inside the shower. That doesn’t mean a small bathroom can’t have a curb-less shower. But it does mean your tile setter will probably have to change the slope of all or most of the bathroom floor to make it work in a small space. This then means the bathroom becomes more of a wet room – the entire bathroom essentially being a big shower.
The standard measurement to look for is 30 inches deep and 60 inches long but 36 inches should really be considered the minimum depth for any curb-less shower – unless you go with the wet room idea. If you’re installing an ADA shower in a business then that’s a different ball game. ADA compliance codes are strict and vary from place to place. I have become familiar with ADA compliance codes here in Salem, Oregon but will check out the codes for your area. If you’re considering remodeling your bathroom for wheelchair accessibility then here is a diagram that may be helpful.
Don’t Forget These Important Details
Shower head type and also the location of the shower head are important as well.
One of the biggest reasons a curbless shower is not a do-it-yourself job is that the floor must be reengineered and dropped. Additional framing must be added to account for the depth of the new shower. For a concrete slab, the concrete would need to be removed.
If you have any other questions about curbless, zero threshold, or ADA showers please feel free to call me now (503)851-8489 or send me a message with the form below.
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