Curbless Showers Require More Labor and Money

Laura Hennigan
Written by Laura Hennigan
Updated September 30, 2021
Stone and glass curbless luxury shower
Martin Barraud/OJO Images via Getty Images

Curbless showers are an investment, but also allow for an accessible, open-concept bathroom redesign

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If you’ve ever visited a spa or stayed at a high-end hotel, you may have experienced the luxury of a curbless shower. This type of shower runs level with the floor, with no barriers to step over, giving the space an open feel and making it accessible to everyone.

If you are planning a partial or full bathroom remodel, it may be worth considering the idea of adding a curbless shower. While there are many advantages to installing one, there are a few downsides as well.

Benefits of Curbless Showers

Accessibility

The number one benefit to curbless showers is that anyone can access it easily. Whether a small child, an elderly adult, or an individual who utilizes a wheelchair, the barrier-free design is functional for everyone. They are a popular option for homeowners who are seeking to design spaces that will be functional for years to come. 

Easy Cleaning

There are few household tasks less enjoyable than leaning over a bathtub to scrub off grime. Curbless showers are typically made from ceramic tile, which naturally resists bacteria and mildew. And because there is no barrier to maneuver around, cleaning the shower can be done more quickly and easily. 

Design Flexibility

Glass and tile walk-in shower with bench
Irina88w/iStock via Getty Images

Because curbless showers don’t have the footprint of an attached bathtub, they can be installed in nearly any space. From a large wall unit to a small corner spot, these showers allow for more bathroom design flexibility than traditional units. You can also add spa-like features such as heated floors or benches.

Ditch the Doors and Curtains

Curbless showers are open-concept, and don’t need to be enclosed with a shower curtain or door. Part of their appeal is the ability to showcase the beautiful tile patterns you have carefully selected. And since they don’t have any visual barriers, bathrooms with curbless showers will often feel larger.

Drawbacks to Curbless Showers

Water Everywhere

The open-concept design does have drawbacks, particularly if you have a little one who loves to splash. The curved center area directs water towards the drain, keeping most of it in, but the lack of an elevated curb takes some adjustment. 

Price Considerations

A traditional, curbed walk-in shower costs about $2,500 to $5,000. Installing a curbless shower will add on another $500 to $700 or more, depending on the tile choices, shower size, and any additional shower waterproofing that is needed.

Zero Privacy

If you value the respite of a quiet shower alone, the openness of a curbless shower may not be ideal. Some homeowners opt to add on a partial glass block wall or a decorative screen to create some privacy in the space.

Chilly Mornings

While having no curbs, curtains, or doors adds to the open-concept feel, it also lets all the warm air out of the shower. If you live in a cooler climate, or prefer to stay toasty warm while washing your hair, a curbless shower may give you a cold wake-up.

Is a Curbless Shower Right for You?

If you are hoping for a bathroom redesign that offers the perfect combination of visually stunning and highly accessible, a curbless shower might be an ideal solution. 

Because a curbless shower that is installed incorrectly can lead to a host of problems, you will need to review your options with a licensed contractor in your area. It’s essential to have an experienced professional completing the work, in order to avoid issues with drainage and poor sloping.

Ultimately, you will need to weigh the pros and cons, and consider what long-term functionality your home will need, before deciding to install a curbless shower.

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