Imagine lathering up in an open space that has the feel and look of a luxury spa. Instead of a raised threshold, the shower entry is flush with the floor, creating a seamless entry that pleases the eye. Even more importantly, it's convenient for everyone in your house, kids to grandparents, and for people with mobility challenges as well. Have we whetted your appetite? Read on to find out why barrier-free, or curbless, showers are a bathroom trend with staying power.
When the floor flows seamlessly from wall to wall, your bathroom will look like it magically grew some serious square footage. That’s good news for small spaces: The minimum size guidelines issued by the Americans with Disabilities Act are a modest 36" x 36".
If a room has fewer surface joints and seams, there are fewer places where yucky stuff like soap scum and mildew can nestle. Even if you install a glass partition in your shower, that means a more streamlined cleaning routine. And less housework means more time for indulgent bathroom rituals. Oatmeal-avocado face mask, anyone?
The workhorse of a barrier-free shower is the drain, which ensures that water doesn’t run all over the room. To allow for proper drainage, the floor is pitched toward the drain. Shower-head position is important, too.
Curbless showers are a classic example of Universal Design, which promotes products that are as accessible for as many people as possible, regardless of age, size or physical ability. With no tub or threshold to climb over, a barrier-free shower is a game-changer for anyone with achy joints—or who uses a wheelchair.
Don’t think that unless your decor is modern, this type of shower won’t suit your bathroom. There are shapes, sizes and colors in the barrier-free category that blend with a variety of styles: traditional, modern or somewhere in between.