Your bathroom is for self-care; let it be an oasis — a place to take care of your body and mind alike. If you’re considering a bathroom remodel, here are five strategic reasons why going curbless will give you a more efficient and beautiful bathroom.
1. Accessibility for All
Stepping over the edge of your bathtub or shower basin may not cause you to think twice. However, others may not be able to perform this routine move. A curbless shower eliminates the physical barrier (hence curb-less) that is present in traditional showers and bathtubs.
Whether it’s the cost of housing, an issue of care for younger or older generations, or a cultural/family preference, multiple generations are living under the same roof. A curbless shower allows anyone who may have trouble with balance or coordination to feel confident entering the shower. Those using a wheelchair or other mobility aids do not have a threshold to step over and may find a curbless shower easier to enter so that they can bathe more independently.
The Disability Act of 2005 defines universal design (UD) as an environment that can be accessed, understood, and used to the greatest extent possible by any person of any age, size, or ability. Even if your household doesn’t currently include anyone who has accessibility issues, you might consider the resale value of a bathroom remodeled with UD in mind. Remodeling magazine suggests UD updates, which include:
- Widen doorways.
- Install electrical switches and outlets at sitting level.
- Reinforce bathroom walls to support grab bars, towel hooks, and seats.
- Replace your traditional tub/shower with a ceramic tile walk-in shower flush with the ceramic tile bathroom floor (curbless), which has fixtures enabling height adjustment and handheld use.
- Replace the toilet with a comfort height fixture and elongated bowl.
- Incorporate a bathroom vanity that has room underneath for wheelchair approach, easy-grasp handles, and an adjustable mirror.
- Use a faucet with lever handles.
2. Wide Open Spaces
Small bathrooms can seem claustrophobic, especially if a bathtub is taking up half the floorspace. Including a curbless shower in your bathroom remodel can give the impression of a much larger and less cluttered space because unnecessary walls and angles are eliminated. Streamlined spaces also have positive psychological benefits that can reduce anxiety and help transform our bathroom into a peaceful oasis.
Psychology Today reports that clutter and unneeded stimuli make it more difficult to relax physically and mentally. A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Texas, Austin indicated that respondents desired the bathroom to be a space of rejuvenation and relaxation. Studies have also shown that architecture has an impact on our mood and being in an open environment helps us feel more positive and comfortable than being in a cramped space.
Your ceramic tile shower floor surface can be the same as the rest of the bathroom floor, providing a visual design continuity throughout the bathroom, making the room seem larger.
Even the smallest bathrooms can benefit from a curbless shower. In a wet room or wet bath, the sink, toilet, and sometimes a tub share one space. Without walls separating fixtures, more space is accommodating for flexible use.
3. Ease of Cleaning
Mold and mildew grow in high-humidity areas and may cause headaches, allergic reactions and other health issues. Mold and bacteria need an organic substance to serve as “food” in order to grow. Ceramic tile is an inorganic material and is naturally resistant to mold and bacteria. However, soap scum and other organic substances can build up on shower surfaces and act as food for mold and bacteria to grow in the moisture-rich environment of a shower. To keep moisture at bay, use a vent or open a window when showering and clean the shower regularly. Often, water alone is enough to clean ceramic tile, but when you need something more, use a neutral cleaner that’s formulated for grout and tile.
Having fewer corners than a traditional shower, a curbless shower is easier to clean and has a less cluttered, more organized appeal.
4. No More Shower Curtain
The design of a curbless shower includes waterproofing an area larger than the shower pan, so there is no need for a shower curtain or even a door. Some people opt to install a glass partition, but it’s not functionally necessary.
Shower curtain liners collect soap scum that bacteria, mildew, and mold need to grow and require frequent washing to keep clean. Shower doors, made of glass, can become cloudy with mineral and soap deposits, and also require extra cleaning to keep clean.
Removing the need for a shower curtain and door eliminates the extra cleaning that’s necessary. The bathroom will feel larger without these vertical dividers and more light can fill the space.
5. Your Style on Display
Contemporary minimalist characteristics inspired curbless shower design, but curbless layouts are certainly not limited to modern looks. With a wide variety of textures, colors, and shapes, ceramic tile in your curbless shower can put your individual style on display, no matter the inspiration.
You could have a modern shower with clean lines and a muted palette, or a vintage washroom with classic hexagon mosaic tiles. Be bold and drench your shower in regal gold, or surround yourself with natural beauty. Without the visual barriers of walls and shower curtains, you can show off all the beautiful details of ceramic tile.
The Curbless Advantage
The bathroom is one of two rooms that give you the best return on investment when it comes time to sell your home.
Including a curbless shower in your bathroom remodel creates an accessible and restorative space to meet your family’s needs as they change over time. And, the healthy, low-maintenance of ceramic tile gives you back time with your family once spent on extra cleaning time. Add to these advantages the long-lasting durability and beautiful style of incorporating a curbless shower and your bathroom truly becomes an oasis for your body and mind.