Content provided by Jeffery M. Wolf General Contractor
A curbless shower can add elegance to a well-designed bathroom. In addition to a modern clean appearance, curbless showers provide easy access, reduce trip hazards and can help to make a shower more accessible and better suited to aging in place than a curbed shower. They are a recommended part of Universal Design and Aging in Place guidelines.
The drain in a curbless shower is typically lower than the floor level so the floor slopes slightly to the drain. This may take some planning in a remodel but is easy to design in new construction. When properly installed, modern waterproofing systems make it easy to create a curbless design and can eliminate problem areas that occur in waterproofing over a curb. Curbless systems take some understanding, so your contractor, plumber and tile subcontractor should study them before starting an installation. We are currently using products by Schluter, but there are other systems available.
In areas where the floor system is not suitable for a recessed drain, a curbless design can be achieved with a slight ramp up to the shower door and back down to the drain level. There are prefabricated shower bases and components that have the ramps built in.
Tile design choices are expanded by drain options that include linear drains in addition to traditional round drains. A linear drain is straight and runs the width or length of a shower. This means tile can have a single slope to one wall or a low slope to the center as compared to a floor that slopes from all sides to a round drain. In addition to providing style options, linear drains can also provide more stable shower floor geometry for wheelchair access.
In short, a curbless design can provide architectural style, ease of access and ease of cleaning. If these things are important to you, it might be worthwhile to learn more about the systems.
For more information about Jeffery M. Wolf General Contractor and curbless showers, visit their website or call 727.895.4858.