How to integrate a walk in shower to you update your bathroom
1st March 2017
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
Without careful planning, bathroom décor can often feel old fashioned and dated within a few years as tastes and fashions change. People put off updating their bathroom due to the inconvenience and expense, however if your bathroom is in need, there are some things to consider before you begin.
While you may be looking at colour schemes and tile patterns, you should really be keeping in mind accessibility. Many things become a struggle as we get older and getting in and out of a slippery bath can be dangerous. Considering a walk-in shower instead can save space and give your bathroom not only more accessibility, but a chic and more hygienic alternative. With less nooks and crannies, walk-in showers are easier to clean and less likely to grow unsightly mould, making both bathing and cleaning stress free.
A Glass enclosed shower
Glass-enclosed showers are versatile in any bathroom, so if you are low on light or space, these may be the ultimate solution. If you intend to use it in conjunction with a wheelchair, make sure you have only a very slight sill, or invest in a shower that is flush to the floor. These adaptable units can be placed anywhere to make use of space and can be conventional cuboids or something more irregular depending on your needs. Ensure a textured floor at the entrance to avoid any slips.
A glass-fronted shower
Making use of three walls, these showers are much more restricted in position but are also incredible space savers. By maintaining the same tiles on the wall and floor, you incorporate the shower more fully into the room and make it appear larger. You can always add tiled ledges to place toiletries on and avoid unnecessary bending, or if they are larger, they can be an ideal place to rest. By integrating a slightly rougher surface into the floor of your glass-fronted shower, you alleviate the need for non-slip mats and can keep the clean lines. If you fully investigate your shower head options, you can also find some that have multiple heads at lower levels allowing a much more thorough bathing experience.
Also known as open showers, these are not enclosed by any walls or glass. While this allows complete freedom and very few draw backs, it needs careful planning in the initial stages. Finding or creating an area with three walls (perhaps by adding a third wall that is half the height for light reasons) often poses the biggest obstacle. Once your location is found, adding drains, side jets, additional ledges and many other accessories allows you to fully customise your open shower to suit your current or future needs. While this shower is full of opportunities, it somewhat lacks in privacy, so make sure you have a lock on your door if you are in the habit of having guests.
Other things to consider
It is often the things we forget at the planning stage that are set to irritate and lessen the joy experienced in any renovation. So instead, consider the details and plan thoroughly to avoid the frustration of longer building work.
Gone are the days of limited choice in shower heads – today they seem to come in every shape and size as well as with a host of different accessories. While some (as pictured) are rain heads, designed to give an immersive experience, thoroughly drenching the bather, others are more keyed in to an eco-friendly aspect, reducing the water used. Smaller hand-held shower heads are wonderful as a secondary head, able to access hard to reach places, and can have different settings for pressure and spray.
The shower heads also come in a variety of aesthetics, allowing you to incorporate your shower head into your overall design. If you are aiming for a minimalistic design then smooth lines and innovative shapes may be perfect. Consider cylindrical secondary shower heads and thin and squared ceiling mounts for the primary. If you want to keep an element of the classical design within your bathroom, either choose new shapes in traditional metals such as brass, or the ageless shapes in innovative new materials and colours.
Natural light is important to avoid claustrophobic and gloomy rooms during the daytime, however considering artificial lighting is just as vital. Many walk-in showers have at least two opaque walls, which, depending on placement, can obscure the central light of the room. If your walk in shower is too dark or shadowy, you are at an increased risk of slips and falls and it is therefore important to consider how best to light your new bathroom.
LEDs are popular in many walk-in showers and allow an incredible flexibility with placements while being both safe and efficient. They can also be contained inside the unit itself, maximising light and reducing any risk of falls. Low voltage halogen lights offer a more diffused ambience, creating a softer atmosphere that may be in line with a more classical design. If recessed lighting does not appeal, a well-placed mirror can reflect light in hard to reach nooks, and may be an alternative solution.