At one time, updating a bathroom shower might have meant installing a new shower door. Now, some homeowners who remodel their small bathroom are doing away with shower doors (and even walls) altogether, creating open, airy spaces.
Open concept bathroom showers are gaining popularity with homeowners who want to maximize their bathroom’s perceptual space and minimize the presence of walls, doors, and curtains. So whether you’re one of these homeowners who's got big ideas for a small bathroom or a trade professional helping clients realize their creative vision, use these design tips to open up that space.
The Benefits Of Opening Up
Shower doors for small bathrooms aren’t a necessity. In fact, an open concept shower design can certainly be aesthetically pleasing. Fewer walls and doors can give any bathroom a more expansive, serene, contemporary feel — like having a luxury spa at home.
Fewer shower walls and doors also means less surface area to keep clean — an added bonus for bathroom showers that are used often.
Open showers offer greater accessibility. Because they are often “curbless,” meaning that they have no curb around the shower floor area, they enable more independent use by people who use a wheelchair, walker, or cane.
Finally, open showers are more convenient to use. No need to open a door or pull a curtain. Simply walk in, turn on the water, and shower.
Before You Forgo Walls, However, Think About Privacy
Less enclosure around a shower also means less privacy. For this reason, showering in an open area might feel uncomfortable for some homeowners. If the bathroom is shared by multiple family members, especially simultaneously, a shower enclosure for a small bathroom may be more practical.
A Few Other Requirements For Open Shower Success
If you’ve decided on an open concept shower, there are a few other things you need to consider, starting with the space. Depending on where you plan to place the shower and how open the design will be, you may need to dedicate an area of at least 6.5 feet in both directions.
If your open shower design is also curbless, you need to have adequate drainage. The floors should be slanted to facilitate this. Depending on the size of the shower, you might also consider installing an extra drain or a long trench drain to help keep water from sitting on the bathroom floor.
Remember that an open shower can expose the rest of the bathroom to more moisture in the form of steam and splashed water. Keep this in mind when choosing bathroom materials such as cabinets and flooring. The ability to withstand wetness is a must.
Homeowners can review inspiration and the online catalog of flooring and bath products. Find the look you like, create a project, add those images to it in your myProSource dashboard, and share them with your friends and your trade professional. And if you’re a trade professional, these images can give you an idea of what design will help your clients use their shower to their advantage.
The specialized requirements of an open shower concept and the impact it can have on your entire bathroom design are just two reasons to seek the expertise of a qualified designer in your planning process.
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