Walk in showers – no doors!
Walk in showers in accessible bathrooms have become very popular over recent years for a couple of reasons. They can often make bathrooms appear larger, cleaner, and minimalistic and look modern and trendy as opposed to the clinical outdated appearance of some shower trays and enclosures of the past. The second reason is quite simple, walk-in showers offer a safer all round showering experience, especially coupled together with other products such as shower seats and grab rails.
However, not everyone understands or likes the concept of a showering area without a door. Some older generational people struggle with the idea that there is no door in the shower area, with a thought process that the water will splash out or flood the bathroom as there is nothing to keep the water within the shower area. Also, some people just don’t feel comfortable about having a shower without a door which is more of a personal thing. Accessible Bathroom Consultants have been involved in designing and specifying many hundreds of walk-in showers over the years and without doubt, if installed correctly and used appropriately, water will not gush out, flood the bathroom floor or flood into the hallway as perceived by some.
A true walk-in shower is assembled without a door, has a tray which has a anti – slip base, is low level, so easy to step into (normally between 25mm and 40mm) and has a gradient which allows the water to flow out towards the waste. Besides offering a more modern and trendier look, there are numerous functional benefits especially in an accessible bathroom setting.
- Accessibility: low level and easy access including wider opening into the shower area and with no additional door threshold to step over as found with framed enclosures.
- Modern Designs: with a variety of shower units, glass panels and low-level trays, there are numerous design options to make an accessible bathroom look up to date and stylish.
- Beneficial Additions: such as flipper panels, non-slip shower bases, shower seats, rails etc. will all enhance safety and functionality without compromising looks.
- Low Maintenance & Easier Install: compared to full shower enclosures with sliding doors or hinged inward / outward opening doors, there is very little that can go wrong with a glass panel, therefore easier to maintain and easier to install.
All walk-in shower trays must work in conjunction with the panels that they are being fitted with, creating a proper shower area, for example, it’s not advisable having a large tray and a small panel (and visa versa). There is a wide variety of tray sizes, step heights, base finishes and even colour finishes to help make the bathroom design look good and create a modern, open look and feel without compromising its main function of safe showering in an accessible bathroom which is easy accessibility.
Fundamentally a walk-in shower must be right for the person using it, and there are some considerations such as bathroom configuration, a person’s mobility, budgets etc. to take into account, but very often as I have seen over the years, walk-in showers often fit into the footprint of an existing bath, which can be a big advantage. With many choices in the marketplace, in my opinion, walk in showers should be a least a minimum of 1200mm in length and at least 700mm wide with a 1000mm full height glass panel, this will not only look good but will be easy to access and along with the built-in gradient within the tray and the shower unit position correctly, water will stay within the shower area and a safe showering experience can be had.
Factors to consider:
Where possible, make the shower area as large as possible.
Make the shower tray as low level as possible
Allow for an anti-slip base on shower tray
Position the shower unit is the right place
Accessories such as seats, rails, caddy’s etc can be added at any stage after installation
Accessible Bathroom Consultants are a local company from Prestwich and can help and assist with a range of services including planning, designing, specifying, and sourcing products for all types of walk-in shower rooms.