Curbless Showers: From Universal Design to Universally Popular

Curbless (also known as zero-threshold) showers were once primarily a solution for homeowners with accessibility issues. Today, curbless showers are one of the leading bathroom design trends. Recently, the majority of bathroom renovations that we have completed have featured a curbless shower.

As its name suggests, a curbless shower has no threshold to step over. The bathroom flooring simply extends right into the shower. The elimination of a separate shower enclosure creates a seamless, contemporary look that makes even small bathrooms look and feel larger.

Most clients considering a curbless shower ask the two questions below. We hope our responses help you evaluate whether a curbless shower might work for your home renovation.

Q: How does water stay in a curbless shower?

A: Most curbless showers incorporate a trench drain, which is a long narrow trench that runs the length or width of the shower. The trench feeds into the main drain and is covered with a grate that is flush with the shower and the room floor. The floor is pitched on both sides of the drain to funnel water into the trench.

Q: Can I put a curbless shower in an existing home?

A: In most cases, the answer is “yes”. Since the floor needs to have a slight pitch, it is important to plan for the shower in the framing stages of a bathroom renovation. To achieve the necessary pitch, existing floor joists may need to be cut. Occasionally the location of floor joists will make it difficult to install a curbless shower in an existing space, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

The beauty of curbless showers shows that elements designed for accessibility do not need to look institutional. As more and more younger homeowners install curbless showers, they are discovering that they now have bathrooms that all generations of family members may safely use and enjoy – while enhancing the aesthetics of the room. We are delighted to see curbless showers listed on many lists of hot bathroom remodeling trends.

For more information, contact us.