A curbless shower is a type of shower design that has no barriers, curbs, or thresholds, creating a seamless and open-concept shower space. Unlike traditional showers, these do not have doors or shower curtains, allowing for a continuous flow between the shower and the rest of the bathroom. This design choice enhances accessibility and creates a visually cohesive and spacious bathroom environment.
Curbless showers are increasingly popular. Even in small bathrooms, they create an illusion of increased space and add a touch of luxury. Their design is also versatile, allowing homeowners to incorporate various add-ons, enhancing the shower experience to resemble a spa-like retreat.
Benefits of Curbless Showers
The curbless shower design offers many aesthetic and functional benefits to their homeowners.
1. Accessibility and Safety
Since there are no curbs or steps, curbless showers have total accessibility. This design is ideal for people with mobility impairments and for senior-friendly bathrooms.
2. Aesthetic Appeal
Curbless showers are known for their spa-like aesthetic that adds a touch of luxury to any bathroom. With their glass partitions and elegant materials such as tile, marble, and fiberglass, these showers create a visually stunning and spacious atmosphere.
3. Space Efficiency
By eliminating the step or curb between the shower area and the rest of the bathroom, curbless showers create a seamless and uninterrupted visual flow. This uninterrupted floor space creates an illusion of a more spacious bathroom, especially in smaller or compact bathrooms where every inch counts.
4. Easy to Clean
Their simple layout gives curbless showers few places for grime and mildew to accumulate. Besides, their usual materials, ceramic tiles and marble, can naturally resist bacteria and mold. And since it’s an open, easy-to-access shower, it’s easy to clean without too many maneuvers.
Downsides of Curbless Showers
Although curbless showers can give your bathroom a lovely aesthetic and much more accessibility than standard showers, they may not be for everyone.
1. No Privacy
An all-open concept shower doesn’t offer any protection or privacy. Although homeowners can get frosted partitioners, using them can disrupt the bathroom look. And eliminates the whole purpose of a doorless shower design.
2. Wet Floors
With curbless showers without doors, it’s easier to splash and spill water throughout the bathroom. However, when it’s properly designed and installed, this situation can be avoided.
3. Colder Baths
Curbless showers are more enclosed than standard ones. This allows more heat to escape and causes the person to feel colder. If your house is in a cold climate location, curbless showers can give you a more-than-usual cold bath.
Design Ideas for Curbless Showers
There are plenty of styles to match your curbless shower with the aesthetics of your house.
Modern Curbless Shower Designs
You can get a modern look with a curbless shower with light-colored tiles and try patterns like herringbone. To get some contrast, you can choose a different style of tiles for the shower floor or add black fixtures.
Curbless Showers with Benches
Shower benches are usually constructed in the same waterproof and durable shower materials to blend with their overall aesthetics. A bench in a curbless shower has benefits like improved accessibility for individuals with mobility challenges or those who may require a place to sit while showering.
Small Bathroom Curbless Shower Ideas
One of the curbless showers’ best traits is their adaptability to fit almost anywhere. In a small bathroom, they can fit in just a corner. To save space, you can opt for built-in bathroom wall shelves or nests to fit all your toiletries without losing shower space.
Cost of Installing a Curbless Shower
The average cost of installing a curbless shower is between $3,121 and $10,168, with a national average of $6,641. The overall cost will depend on the project’s scope: bathroom size, materials, shower or tub removal, plumbing work and any add-ons the homeowner chooses.
The materials commonly used for curbless showers are tile and marble:
- Tile: $2 – $17 per square foot
- Marble: $40 – $65 per square foot
Bathroom hardware has a cost that ranges between $50 and $1,000, including installation. Faucets and showerhead prices will vary depending on the material and finish.
Apart from the materials, installing a curbless shower costs around $400 to $1,000. A big part of the labor cost goes for redesigning the floor to make it drain properly.
The overall cost will depend on how much work the space needs. If there’s a shower removal, you can expect to pay between $50 and $250, and even more if there’s a tub removal. Also, any new plumbing or pipes relocating can increase the cost.
Although additional features can mean an extra cost in the budget, they allow you to customize and enjoy your shower experience.
- Heated floors: Professionally installed radiant floor heating costs $6 to $16 per square foot. Remember, this has extra costs, such as removing the existing foundations and new flooring material.
- Benches: Installing a custom, built-in shower bench ranges from $300 to $800. The final cost will depend on size and materials.
- Smart showerhead: A smart showerhead can cost around $200 to $800, depending on its features. Smart showerheads offer various settings and controls for water flow, pressure and temperature.
Common Myths About Curbless Showers
Myths can make homeowners second guess their decision to get a curbless shower based on misconceptions.
Myth: Curbless Showers Have Drainage Issues
Reality: Wrong installation of a curbless shower can lead to improper damage. However, it is a solvable issue. Proper installation of high-quality drains and design of the shower space can ensure adequate drainage.
Myth: Curbless Showers have Limited Design Options
Reality: Open-concept showers offer a wide range of design possibilities. They can be customized to suit various aesthetics and styles. Numerous materials, finishes, and configurations are available to create a visually appealing and personalized shower space. Some interesting features for curbless showers are niche shelves and integrated lighting.
Myth: Curbless showers have a complex installation
Reality: Curbless showers may require additional considerations during installation, like removing the old shower or tub and any necessary plumbing jobs. However, proper planning by experienced professionals ensures a smooth and efficient installation.
Curbless showers have gained popularity not only for their accessibility benefits but also for their modern design appeal. They offer a practical and stylish option for those seeking a barrier-free bathroom bathing experience.