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Walk in showers

As modern bathroom designs become increasingly more elaborate, one simple style feature that refuses to go away is the walk in shower. As well as being practical and easy to install, it's also the ideal way to add a touch of style to your dream home.

The advantages

The advantages of a walk in shower should be readily apparent to anyone who has had to deal with the stress and hassle associated with bathroom installation.

• First, it's a great way to make your bathroom feel bigger. By removing the bulky foundation unit associated with a traditioanl shower, you free up more space on the floor.

• They are also easier to fit. Provided you alreadyh have a suitable floor in place, installing a walk in shower is a relatively straight-forward task - with minimal modifications required to the rest of the room.

• Importantly, walk in showers also provide step free access - which is a god-send to elderly homeowners or those with serious mobility issues.

The essentials

The two big design decisions you will need to make relate to the panel, or door, that shields the shower area from the rest of the room, and the drainage system for removing waste water.

When it comes to your panel, most buyers tend to favour a slim and light frame which is easy to install and slide back and forth. Keep in mind, however, that glass without a protective coating is easily susceptible to scratches and water damage, which can seriously compromise the aesthetic of your bathroom.

Remember that the big upshot of a walk in shower is that you have more space to move around while you are washing. Provided your frame is retractable when not in use, you shouldn't be afraid to go big and bold.

The underfoot drainage system is where things get complicated. In general, there are two options here: you can either go for a tray which sits above floor level, or an underfloor tray below the floor.

While many look-conscious buyers favour a tray that sits below the floor, they are naturally much more difficult to clean, as clogging can become an issue. As such, as recommend opting for an above the floor tray as a priority, especially if you can find one that matches the colour scheme of your bathroom.

Additional features

In general, we recommend a less is more approach when it comes to your walk in shower. This is because cleaning such a large area - particularly if we're talking about a communal room which is persistently used - is often a hassle, and by giving yourself curved edges and fancy shelve units, you're only making the task even greater.

That said, there are a few different features you may wish to consider, the first of these being handrails or other mechanisms aimed at making the space safer for elderly and disabled people to enjoy its use. For products like these, we recommend going to specialist bespoke manufacturers - as they will prioritise practicality above all else.

You may also want to look into getting an underfloor heating system installed. This is one feature that will actually assist your cleaning routine, as it will help to quickly clear any excess water on the surface, together with your shower tray draining system.

Things to consider

Before converting all your baths into walk in showers keep in mind that the price of you house may drop. A house without a tub in the bathroom is considered as a house with 3/4 bathroom.

If you have young kids - it's much easier to bathe them in the bath rather than under the shower.

The lack of privacy is another thing to consider - if you want to feel secure and keep your privates private - go for a bath.

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