One of the biggest areas of growth in the showering market is the trend towards ‘Walk-in’ showers. The term is used quite loosely among customers and industry professionals alike.
We take it to mean a showering area that is not fully enclosed so you do not need to open a door or curtain to get into the showering area. This is not to be confused with a fully ‘wet room’ like those seen on the continent where there is no barrier to the shower water and there tends to be a floor drain for the whole room not just the showering area.
A Walk-in shower can have a tray or a tiled area underneath it to allow the water to run towards the drain position inside the shower. It usually also has a piece of glass or two positioned to prevent the bulk of the splashes from getting on the main floor area.
There are many different types of walk-in showers and it is lovely to be able to get in and out of these without having to open and close any doors. Then there is the ease of cleaning! However there are a few issues to be aware of when selecting your walk-in shower.
Firstly there is the matter of space – specifically how much of it is available? Walk-in showers require more space than shower enclosures in general to be effective. You need the showering area to be set back or shielded from the opening otherwise the splashing outside the shower area becomes too great.
Secondly, there is the issue of warmth. An open showering area allows more of the steam to escape than an enclosure does. So to be effective in the UK in winter it is important to have enough heat in the room to maintain a comfortable room temperature so as not to get too cold when showering.
Then there is the question of what type of base or floor to use. There are many trays that can be used effectively and of course there is the tiled floor option also. Many of the ‘under tile’ bases are made so well that they can be used even on first floor bathrooms however the quality of the fitter is most important in these cases – try to choose an installer that is very experienced with tiled tray installations and check their references!
Finally think about the type of screen you wish to use. Does it have an anti-scale coating? Is the glass at least 8mm thick? Are there enough channels and bracing bars to prevent movement damage or injury? Do you need a moving panel at the end of the main screen to allow for greater splash protection? These are all good questions to ask your local bathroom company or installer and there are several more. If you need any help from the experts please give us a call!