When the time comes to install a new shower in your bathroom, you will be struck by how many options you have. There's the classic one-piece shower enclosure, framed-in showers, and then an increasingly popular choice: curbless showers. Made so that the opening is flush with the floor, curbless showers offer a lot of advantages for homeowners, but there are a few minor downsides to consider, too.
Advantages of Curbless Showers
Curbless showers, also known as barrier-free showers, are very accessible for anyone who has a disability. Your grandma can easily enter the shower in her wheelchair or with a walker, and anyone who has trouble lifting their legs can walk right in comfortably. You may not have trouble getting in or out of a curbed shower right now, but if you plan on aging in your current home, you may want to have a curbless shower installed now to keep your bathroom accessible as you age and become less mobile.
This type of shower is also easier to clean. You don't have to get into that awkward, reach-around position like you do when cleaning the inside wall of an enclosed shower or tub. You can clean the shower from outside with a mop or other handheld tool if you don't want to get on your knees.
The other advantage of a curbless shower is its appearance; it delivers a very cohesive, minimal look that aligns with many of today's style preferences. You can choose whatever type of tile you like and coordinate it with the rest of your bathroom -- something that's not so easy with a one-piece, tub/shower combination.
Disadvantages of Curbless Showers
Although curbless showers offer a lot of advantages, they do tend to cost more than other types of showers. Your contractor will need to do a lot of work to ensure the floor is angled properly towards the drain so that water does not accumulate on the floor. If the drain becomes blocked, you can end up with a lot of water on the bathroom floor, which can cause damage and is hard to clean up.
You must also be very careful when choosing a shower curtain for the shower, otherwise you may end up with water coming out of the shower. Shower head selection is also very important -- you need one that angles downward.
Reach out to a bathroom contractor in your area to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of curbless showers.