Due to their ease of access, walk-in showers are a great tool to help those with mobility issues safely bathe themselves. They are also popular amongst families with children, pets, and those who prefer them for aesthetic reasons.
Other benefits of walk-in showers include ease of cleaning and the potential to open up your bathroom space. Let’s take a closer look at walk-in showers––what styles they come in, what installation looks like, and what prices you can expect.
Who Needs a Walk-In Shower with a Seat?
Walk-in showers have universal appeal. You may find them in high-end resorts as well as senior living communities and single-family homes. Older adults, in particular, should consider installing a walk-in shower with a seat, especially if they are remodeling or looking into a new home.
Not only do walk-in showers create a sense of luxury in the master bathroom, but they also safeguard seniors against slip-and-fall injuries, which can cause critical injuries. According to the CDC, about 235,000 injuries happen in the bathroom each year. In addition to preventing slip-and-fall accidents, including a seat or bench in your walk-in shower adds an extra level of comfort and convenience.
Pro Tip: Investing in a walk-in shower is also an investment in your overall home value. In general, a home with a walk-in shower will sell at a higher price than one without––especially in communities with higher senior populations.
Types of Walk-In Showers
Walk-in showers can take on many shapes and styles. Here are some key styles to look out for.
- Open walk-in: A typical style for walk-ins, an open shower has no door and is spacious with a low threshold.
- Corner walk-in: If you have limited space for your walk-in, a corner walk-in can provide comfort within your size constraint.
- Shower room: For a more spa-like setup, a shower room is a great option. By creating or utilizing an existing enclosing wall, you can opt for a sauna feel with a doorless shower room.
- Curved enclosure: If you’d like to add some luxury, you can opt for a half-moon style enclosure for your walk-in shower by utilizing a curved glass enclosure.
Features of a Walk-In Shower
Here are some important features to consider if you’re thinking of adding a walk-in shower.
The shower base is arguably the most important feature of a walk-in. This foundational piece can be prefabricated or custom-made. Typical shower bases are made of materials such as acrylic, fiberglass, or tile. High-end shower bases can make use of solid materials such as marble. You should prioritize slip-resistance and low threshold when selecting a shower base, but there is no need to sacrifice style!
While many walk-in showers are doorless for the sake of easy access, you can still choose to install a door if you want more privacy. You’ll find most manufacturers offer glass door options, some with towel bar attachments.
Grab bars are essential for your walk-in shower. Installed onto your shower walls vertically, horizontally, or on an angle, grab bars ensure weight support and stability.
As you can imagine, there are hundreds if not thousands of showerheads out there to choose from. However, I personally recommend people select a handheld showerhead or one with a handheld attachment. This will come in handy, especially when you’re using your shower seat or are washing hard-to-reach areas.
A shower seat or bench is a walk-in shower essential for seniors. This feature can be either attached to the shower wall or can be purchased separately as a stand-alone piece. There are benefits to both options: a stand-alone piece is a more economic option, while an attached seat will eliminate potential trips or bumps.
Pro Tip: Though lighting may not immediately come to mind when you think of your new shower, a well-lit shower area can help prevent missteps while also improving the general atmosphere. Additionally, you may want to go for a light/exhaust fan hybrid to remove excess moisture from your bathroom