Nowadays, the bathroom is more than just a purely functional space; it’s a sanctuary where you can unwind, rejuvenate, and start or end your day. As the centre of relaxation and personal care in your home, it’s essential to design this space to reflect comfort as well as your unique style. One of the most popular trends in bathroom design that boasts both convenience and luxury is the walk-in shower.
Walk-in showers have become a preferred choice for modern homeowners seeking to revamp their bathrooms. Offering convenience, accessibility, and a generous sprinkle of elegance, these showers are versatile and adaptable to various design preferences and spatial constraints. Whether you’re envisioning a sleek and minimalist shower space or a lavish spa-like oasis, a walk-in shower can be designed to suit your personal requirements.
What are walk-in showers?
We know, this is a bit of an obvious question to answer but before we dive into the nitty gritty of walk-in showers, let’s take a moment to define exactly what they are! Whilst there are an array of designs, walk-in showers are characterised by their barrier-free design, providing easy access without the need for a step or curb to enter the shower area.
What’s the difference between a walk-in shower and a wet room?
There doesn’t seem to be a single, clear definition for a walk-in shower and a wet room, and so we all have a different idea of what each one is. As a simple guide, a wet room is an open-plan tiled room without screens that separate shower from the rest of the room – think of it as a bit like a walk-in bathroom. The floor will be sloped towards a drain set into the floor.
A walk-in shower can simply mean a stand-alone shower, which you can enter without stepping over a bath. You’d generally have tiled floor or large shower tray, and a glass panel that contains the water to one area of the room.
In reality, at Alan Heath and Sons we can design your bathroom to be any combination of the two. If you prefer a fully tiled, sloping floor, but with a glass panel to reduce the splashing across the room, that’s not a problem.
What are the pros of a walk-in shower?
So, now we’ve established what walk-in showers are, let’s take a look at why they’ve become such a popular choice.
Accessibility and safety
Walk-in showers, by their very nature, eliminate barriers, making them an excellent choice for individuals with mobility issues or those looking to future-proof their homes for aging in place.
Safety features: Consider installing grab bars or handrails within the shower area to provide additional support and stability, further enhancing safety.
Easy access: The absence of a step or curb makes entering and exiting the shower effortless, reducing the risk of slips and falls.
Walk-in showers are often thought of as being exclusively for larger bathrooms, however they are a fantastic solution for optimising limited space too!
Open and airy feel: Without a confined space or enclosed walls, a walk-in shower can make the entire bathroom appear more spacious and open.
Adaptable to small spaces: Even in smaller bathrooms, a walk-in shower’s flexible design allows for the efficient use of available square footage.
The versatility of walk-in showers and wet rooms offers a wide array of design possibilities, allowing you to personalise your bathroom according to your preferences:
Material choices: From tiles and glass to stone or acrylic, the selection of materials for walls, floors, and fixtures allows for a myriad of design options, ranging from sleek and modern to rustic or luxurious.
Creative elements: Incorporate unique tile patterns, mosaic designs, or accent features to add character and personality to your shower space.
Customisable fixtures: Choose from a variety of showerheads, taps, and hardware finishes to complement your overall bathroom aesthetic.
Apart from their aesthetic and functional benefits, walk-in showers also simplify the cleaning and upkeep process; and let’s face it, we’d all rather spend more time enjoying our bathroom than cleaning it!
Fewer seams and grout lines: Compared to traditional enclosed showers, walk-in showers often have fewer nooks and crannies, reducing the areas where grime and mould can accumulate.
Accessible cleaning: The absence of doors or curtains makes it easier to access all parts of the shower, simplifying the cleaning process.
Waterproofing and sealants: Professional installation ensures proper waterproofing, preventing water damage and prolonging the lifespan of your bathroom. However, make sure you talk to your installer about different materials as some are easier to maintain than others. For example, if you opt for a stone floor, it can be porous and therefore will require regular sealing to keep it in tip-top condition. If this doesn’t sound like something you fancy doing, tiles might be the better choice for you.
Transforming your bathroom with a walk-in shower
So, you’ve got your heart set on a walk-in shower, but how do you go about bringing this dream design to life?
Planning and design
Assess your bathroom layout and available space to determine the best location for the walk-in shower, you can even consider incorporating built-in benches or niches for added functionality and storage.
We’d really recommend reaching out to professionals like us. Undertaking this renovation is quite a bit job and walk-in showers in particular have the potential to go very wrong and cause a lot of problems if not done correctly.
Plus, when you work with us, we can even show you CAD designs of what your bathroom will look like, helping you to pick the design you like best and feel confident when going ahead with your bathroom renovation project! We’ll also be able to help you make sure you have the right pipes in place and offer recommendations you might not even have thought of!
Next up, you need to decide what materials you’d like to use. Again, professionals can guide you here as it’s important to choose durable and water-resistant materials for walls, floors, and fixtures to ensure they last.
Lighting and ventilation
Don’t overlook lighting and ventilation! Creative lighting can really highlight the shower area and create a stunning ambiance, whilst correct ventilation will help to prevent moisture build-up and ensure you maintain a fresh environment.
As with design, we’d also recommend you talk to professionals for installation to ensure a seamless and watertight finish. Whilst it is possible to fit a shower yourself, a lot can go wrong, so give yourself peace of mind and leave it to the experts.
Ready to get a walk-in shower installed? Contact us today, our friendly and experienced team would love to help you create the bathroom you’ve been dreaming about!