Ah! A luxurious, invigorating shower, the feeling of warm, soothing water coursing over your tired, aching joints – at the mere turn of a knob – how marvelous!
Most of us take this luxury for granted and have a hard time imagining how the common 16 inch bathtub wall or the 4 inch wall of a standard shower stall might one day pose an insurmountable barrier to accessing the pleasure-providing shower head inside. According to a study performed by the University of Michigan, the reality is that an alarming one third of us will have difficulty getting into or out of a bathtub or shower by the age of 60, and this number continues to steadily grow after the age of 60.
The odds are that it is not unlikely that in the later years it will become more difficult for you to get into your conventional bathtub or shower stall – and with no help from another person, you may very well find yourself relegated to sponge baths at the bathroom sink. Or worse, needing to ask someone for assistance every time you want to bathe, which can result in a substantial burden on your family and friends, or a substantial strain on your wallet and your privacy if you must resort to hiring an outside caregiver to help. Luckily there’s a better alternative: Install a curbless shower.
Curbless showers are by far the most future-proof option to best ensure you’ll always enjoy a lifetime full of warm, relaxing, soothing showers. As the term implies, “curbless” showers are truly void of any curb or threshold – not even a 2-inch or 1-inch threshold for that matter; thereby, completely eliminating the need to perform any sort of risky stepping or tricky maneuvering in order to enter and exit.
Ah. But how do you keep your bathroom dry when using a curbless shower? The answer is to slightly slope the floor towards the drain. Then add a collapsible shower dam (a small rubber piece placed at the edge of the shower) combined with a weighted shower curtain, or alternatively install a shower door that meets the floor. Do not let a contractor talk you into adding a few inch threshold as a solution to help contain the water! A threshold that’s as little as one to two inches can make it significantly more difficult to enter and exit independently when using a walker, and can make it impossible to enter independently when using a wheelchair or a rolling shower chair.
A curbless shower works for everyone! For someone who is young and healthy, this type of shower can be used in the same way as if it were a standard shower stall. A person using a walker can easily walk into a curbless shower. A person using a wheelchair, can roll right in and out without needing assistance from anyone else. And a person who needs assistance from a family member can easily be assisted in and out on a rolling shower chair.
With a curbless shower inside your home, you maximize your chances of enjoying the soothing benefits of a hot shower until age 100..and beyond!
Curbless showers can come in two forms, which include: prefabricated shower stalls and custom built shower stalls. To learn more about what to consider if you are having a custom-built curbless shower installed and/or how to choose a prefabricated curbless shower, visit the following guides:
- Curbless Shower: 8 Ways to Contain the Water Inside
- Invest In Your Independence!
- Buying A Walk-In Bathtub – Your Biggest Mistake?
- Getting In & Out of the Bathtub: Benches, Lifts, and Transfer Chairs