If you’re thinking of trading your bathtub for a shower, you’re not alone. According to the American Institute of Architects, tub-free bathrooms are increasingly becoming more popular for a variety of reasons.
By 2040, an estimated 80 million seniors will make up 21% of the population; and many existing homes simply aren’t prepared for to safely accommodate elderly people – there’s too many tight, unfriendly spaces, as well as slippery step-in showers and bathtubs.
Curbless showers bridge the divide between the shower and the rest of the bathroom, making it completely wheelchair and walker accessible, with the added bonus of having a sleek and simplified modern look.
While aesthetics are certainly a top priority when it comes to home renovations, of equal - if not greater - importance are function and capability for the bathroom to meet a family’s needs as they move through the stages of life in the home.
The curbless shower style was conceived over 50 years ago for people with physical limitations and has become a preferred style choice due to its spa-like charm. Some curbless showers with linear drains are long and wide enough for a wheelchair to make a complete 360° turn. This feature is also visually pleasing due to the absence of a door, and use of invisible linear drains which make the rest of the bathroom flush and continuous right into the shower.
According to some contractors in the home construction industry, the lowest price to install a curbless walk-in is $10,000; but don’t let this scare you away. Every shower and bathroom is different and certainly customizable to a range of budgets. The cost mainly depends on installation and plumbing requirements, along with the age of the plumbing. A curbless walk-in shower doesn’t have to cost any more than a conventional shower stall.
The smallest curbless walk-in showers are about 5 feet by 2 feet and the price depends on several factors. It is safe to assume an existing standard bathtub could be replaced with a curbless walk-in without needing to enlarge the bathroom.
According to the trade industry, a bathroom’s average life is 2o years, while the industry standard warranty for linear drain products is 10 years. Vapor-shield products have a 44-year proven track record and also come with a lifetime warranty, so you get the most value for your project, no matter the size.
The best part about curbless walk-in showers with linear drains is they make homes more attractive to all kinds of buyers for a number of reasons - seniors and people with physical limitations, or those who simply enjoy clean lines and designs. For this reason, bathroom industry experts have predicted most homes will have curbless walk-in showers in the future.
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