Pros and Cons of Curbless Showers

October 15, 2020

When thinking about the bathrooms in your custom home, there are a lot of options to consider. A curbless shower is a functional option that can make your bathroom design stand out. Here’s what you need to know as well as some pros and cons of curbless showers to help you decide if this bathroom feature is right for you:

What is a Curbless Shower?

A curbless shower, or “zero-entry” shower, has no shower pan. There is no elevated curb, lip, or step that separates the shower entrance from the floor. Often, these showers have no door, but a shower curtain can be used to create some privacy.

Because the floor flows uninterrupted into the shower, a curbless shower is easily accessible. It’s an integral element of universal design because it can accommodate all people regardless of their age, ability, or mobility.

4 Pros of Curbless Showers

Curbless showers are one of the hot home design trends and can be a great addition to your bathroom design. Here are a few pros of curbless showers:

1. Curbless Showers Are Accessible

One of the biggest benefits of curbless showers is that they are universally accessible and can be key features of aging-in-place home design. By eliminating the curb, there is no need to step up or down. You remove the tripping hazard and also allow for people who use mobility aids or wheelchairs to easily access the shower. Because of this, curbless showers are also a great choice for age-in-place bathroom design.

Considering the type of shower/bath in each bathroom is just one of the questions to ask when planning bathrooms in your custom home. Having an idea of who will need to access the bathroom now and in the future can help you determine if a curbless shower is the right choice for your home.

2. They Are Easy to Clean

Traditional shower pans create more corners, alcoves, and difficult areas to clean. Because a curbless shower removes this extra element, the shower enclosure is more open. Plus, there usually is no shower door or obstruction to the shower entrance.

Not only does this allow your shower to dry better and prevent buildup, but it also makes it easier to clean. This can help cut down on how much time you spend keeping the bathroom clean and also make it easier when you are deep cleaning your bathroom.

3. Curbless Showers Showcase Your Bathroom Design

There are a ton of options available when it comes to customizing your shower. Decorative wall panels, custom tile designs, intricate stonework, and more are often hidden with traditional walk-in showers, even those with clear glass walls or doors.

With a curbless shower, your shower is a highly functional element in your bathroom that also helps to showcase interesting design elements. There are no barriers to cut off the view of your shower. So, it can become a focal point for your bathroom design and help enhance the aesthetic.

4. They Maximize Space

Large showers are great if you have the space for them. One of the great benefits of curbless showers is they can be put in small spaces. You want to make sure you have enough space to stand and move comfortably.

But, you don’t have to sacrifice a lot of square footage to include a curbless shower in your bathroom design. This is useful for someone who wants the efficiency of a shower and the luxury of a free-standing soaking tub along with some other bathroom extras.

3 Cons of Curbless Showers

As with anything, there are both benefits and drawbacks to curbless showers. Here are a few cons of curbless showers:

1. Curbless Showers Usually Don’t Provide Privacy

Because curbless showers are usually open and don’t have doors, they don’t provide much privacy. Depending on the person, this open concept shower can be a benefit or it can be a drawback. Although these showers are generally open, you can create some privacy by hanging a curtain.

You can also include a door for some privacy. Another option is to position the entrance to the shower away from the door or common areas of the bathroom so the walls of it provide some privacy. You could also consider building in a half-wall. In this case, the entry to the shower can remain curbless and the half-wall can provide some privacy. There are also several half-wall shower design ideas to help you get the look and function you want. 

2. They Don’t Tend to Hold Heat

Since these showers do not tend to have doors, heat will escape. This can make it feel colder, especially if the rest of the bathroom is chilly. Heated floors are one of the ways to make a cold bathroom warmer and they can be the perfect addition to a curbless shower.

3. Water Can Escape Curbless Showers

There is no curb to keep water in or a door to keep it from splashing out with a curbless shower. As such, water can escape if a drain becomes clogged, if the design isn’t quite right, or if you’re using the wrong products.

Partnering with an experienced custom home builder can help make sure your curbless shower is designed and built correctly. They can also help you choose showerheads and other fixtures that work well with curbless shower designs and help keep water where it belongs.

Weighing these pros and cons of curbless showers can help you determine whether you want one in your custom home. The shower is just one aspect of the bathroom and the bathroom is just one room in your custom home. Handling all the details alone can be overwhelming.

Instead of trying to do it all alone, partner with a custom home builder who can walk you through the options, keep the process stress-free, and make sure you end up with the home of your dreams. If you’re ready to bring your dream home to life, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!