You will almost certainly be asked to incorporate a walk in shower into a bathroom design soon, if you haven’t already. While stopping short of being a full wet room, a walk in shower requires the same thought and planning as the shower element of a wet room. Conventional tile and tray shower cubicles are quite simple by comparison. A walk-in shower does require a far greater level of technical design and planning.
Things To Consider When Designing A Walk-in Shower
By a walk-in shower, we mean no door. Water still needs to be restricted to within the showering area, otherwise the bathroom becomes a very wet area. There are just a few principles to be borne in mind:
- Thorough and robust waterproofing
- Correct floor slopes
- Solid foundations
- High volume drainage
- Water spray radius
- Screen the shower from bathroom area
- Secondary drainage (barrier) option
Waterproofing And Subfloor
These are two important fundamentals, which both are out of sight in the finished product. They are also the two aspects that cause most post-installation problems, almost always because of botched workmanship and/or an inexperienced installation crew or enthusiastic DIY.
Designing a walk-in shower for a new build is usually an easier task than retrofitting one into an existing bathroom. With a new build, you know exactly what material will be used in the floor and its style. Drain positioning and floor slopes can be predetermined to make the best of out the space available. This cannot be said for an older building with existing walls and subfloors. It is essential to survey the site/bathroom in an existing build and to draw up a very accurate picture of the essential elements before attempting to design the new walk-in shower.
Floor Gradient And Drains
The floor slope should be a minimum of between 1.5 and 2 degrees. This ensures the water will run to the drain efficiently and not cause water pooling. This gradient is also less enough to avoid the user feeling like they are standing on an uneven/sloped floor. One option that helps to ensure success is to install a pre-made floor kit that incorporates the correct gradient.
There are many options for the type and style of drain, with linear drains proving extremely popular because they are not very visible and out the way of the user. That adds to the aesthetic pleasure and aids the designer to deliver the desired look. Secondary drainage has recently begun to prove very popular too. This can act as a safeguard in case the primary drainage backs up, or can create a barrier across the threshold of the shower area or even of the bathroom itself to prevent any water from escaping. It can also be used mid-floor to speed drainage in general.
Walk-in showers and wet rooms are both becoming increasingly popular. They add a discernible extra element of pleasure to the bathing experience that people are actively seeking out.
Architects and designers are invited to familiarise themselves with the range of kits, components and services available from Wet Room Materials. Successful and trouble free installation requires professional skills and experience. Engaging us to perform the installation guarantees that your client will be delighted with the end result.
Download our free eBook The Architects Wet Room Design Guide for a useful insight into the principles and constraints of successful design.