In: Construction in Avon, Ohio

Safety issues, convenience are top concerns

Walk-in showers, also called curbless or zero-threshold showers, are rapidly growing in popularity as the population grows older and experiences mobility issues. Since there is no threshold to walk over, entering the shower is safer than with conventional showers, be it by walking or wheelchair. There is no need to lift the legs over the curb, possibly creating instability and balance issues, which could result in a fall.

Walk-in showers in the aging-in-place home in Bay Village and in other Greater Cleveland suburbs provide a sense of luxury and a modern style to the bathroom and make it a sensible choice for older adults and those with mobility problems.

Some walk-in showers feature a central floor drain that keeps the style simple.

Besides safety issues, walk-in showers add convenience of easy entry mentioned above and those without doors make maintenance and cleaning much easier. Since you don’t have to allow for space a door would need in the process of opening and closing, you have more freedom to design cabinet space, storage space and a larger vanity than a standard size.

One of the most frequent questions is, “How does the water drain?” Since there is no threshold to prevent the water from running all over the bathroom floor, one of two methods is used.

The first is a trough drain. This is located where the threshold normally would be and allows the water to drain through a screen design along the full length of the trough. This maintains the smooth and classy look of the walk-in shower and keeps the water from spilling out.

The second design is for a traditional drain in the center of the shower floor. The surfaces must include a minimal slope toward the middle of the floor where the drain is positioned. You may decide to opt for a center drain if you want to avoid the break in the tile design a trough drain imposes. That way, the tile design continues throughout the shower floor into the bathroom, and gives the impression of a larger space.

A walk-in shower can be configured to complement the design of your bathroom.

The size of a walk-in shower can vary, but it’s a good idea to follow Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommendations to accommodate a person who has mobility issues. These guidelines call for a minimum size of 36-by-36 inches for a walk-in shower, which has a bench on one wall for sitting.

If the shower is to allow for a roll-in shower chair, the ADA recommends a minimum size of 30-by-60 inches to provide for easy access and exit.

Another ADA recommendation is a hand-held shower head with 60-inch hose. This shower head can be used in both fixed or hand-held positions. Shower controls must require less than 5 lbs. of pressure with no grasping. The control should be no higher than 48 inches off the floor.

Grab bars should be mounted horizontally in the shower, between 33 and 36 inches from the floor. If there is no seat in the shower, grab bars should be located on three walls. Floor tile should be slip-resistant, with a coefficient of friction of at least 0.6 on a scale of 0 to 1.

For shower lighting, ceiling-mounted or recessed lighting often works well. Energy-efficient and long-lasting LED lighting is popular, as are halogen lights housed in “wet-location approved trim.”

A trough, or trench, drain makes for a clean design.

As with any remodeling project, the cost of a zero-threshold shower cost has a range, and the price depends on options and what needs to be done. In some cases, a slab foundation may be needed for a zero-threshold pan, which is designed for slope, drain, and water-proofing. It’s durable and is designed to provide quality tile installation. Expect to spend between $6,000 and $14,000 to install a zero-threshold shower, according to HomeAdvisor, a website offers information on remodeling projects.

A number of options are available for walk-in showers in the aging-in-place home in Bay Village, starting with prefabricated models and continuing to custom-designed projects. The professionals at Sciarappa Construction will help you from the planning stages through to completion. You can start by calling (440) 930-2882 or by emailing us at Located at 32961 Oak Pkwy., Avon Lake, OH 44012, we have more than 40 years of combined experience in remodeling homes within the Bay Village, Avon, Avon Lake, and Greater Cleveland, Ohio areas. We are a family-owned and operated full-service construction company.

Sciarappa Construction offers services including new home construction, subdivision, development, apartment, and existing home rehab, plus general contracting and construction management.