Over the past 10 years, one of the most popular bathroom remodelling trends is the walk-in shower, which has become an iconic feature of modern bathrooms. Throughout the UK, showering is generally favoured over taking a bath, being quicker and more accessible. Not to be confused with an open-plan wet room, a walk-in shower comes with advantages and disadvantages. Here we explore both.
Advantages of a walk-in shower
Most adults want to stay in their own homes as they get older. Yet as we age, a majority of falls happen in the bathroom. Updating your bathroom for accessibility is a smart move both for yourself and the future resale value of your home. The zero-threshold aspect of walk-in showers makes washing accessible for everyone, without having to worry about doors and split levels. Even for young adults and non-disabled people, a walk-in shower provides a convenient solution for active lifestyles.
Easier to clean
With a walk-in shower, there are fewer nooks and crannies to clean compared to a traditional shower. Being mostly glass – or in some cases no glass at all – there are fewer places for dirt and grime to accumulate. Generally speaking, a walk-in shower is much easier to maintain than a regular setup, which means no more mouldy shower curtains! A quick wipe down and you’re good to go.
Walk-in showers are very well suited to the minimal aesthetic of modern bathrooms, giving the space a feeling of premium luxury. There are few elements that detract from the decor; it is a virtually transparent feature, emphasising the sense of space and minimising clutter. Walk-in showers blend in with the rest of the bathroom, creating a cohesive and harmonious space that makes the most of natural light.
Less prone to breakages
Walk-in showers form one seamless design and have zero moving parts, which means there’s a lower risk of breakages and costly repairs.
Disadvantages of a walk-in shower
Takes up space
Walk-in showers generally need a little more space compared to a traditional shower, and in a very small bathroom, there’s likely to be some splashing – even with perfect drainage. A doorless shower needs that extra bit of elbow room to make sure water stays where it’s supposed to be. However, you don’t need an enormous bathroom to accommodate a walk-in shower; they work well in moderately sized bathrooms too. And what’s more, they are a great way to make the space you have feel bigger.
With a doorless shower, personal privacy can be somewhat restricted, depending on your living situation. If you’re thinking of getting a walk-in shower, be aware that you won’t be able to close the door behind you!
Can be chilly
A shower with a doorless entrance runs a higher risk of greeting you with a draught of cold air as soon as you turn off the hot water. It depends on your ventilation situation. Consider a partition wall or glass barrier to block unwanted airstreams, and if keeping the bathroom warm and toasty is important to you, you may want to opt for underfloor heating as well.
Potential slip hazard
With an open shower, water can gather on the floor, which could make slippages more likely as you get out of the shower. However, with proper drainage, this shouldn’t cause too much of a problem. There are various ways to mitigate slippery water spills, such as choosing a showerhead that jets straight down or using slip-resistant flooring.
Walk-in showers tend to be a little more expensive than traditional showers, thanks to their specialised drainage systems and the cost of high-quality glass. But it’s not always the case, particularly if the design doesn’t include glass at all. Ultimately it comes down to the scope of the work and the amount of specialist labour required.
Overall, a walk-in shower is a great choice for new installations or if you’re looking for a modern, minimalist upgrade, offering the ideal middle ground between a wet room and a traditional shower. If you’re thinking of upgrading to a premium-quality walk-in shower, get in touch for a consultation today.