This renovation by MAC Renovation created a beautiful, modern and functional walk-in shower from the outdated tub-shower combo.

This renovation by MAC Renovation created a beautiful, modern and functional walk-in shower from the outdated tub-shower combo.

This walk-in solution makes your bathroom both beautiful and functional!

Why a walk-in shower makes sense today, and tomorrow

Do you recall the last time you used your bathtub? If it was a years-ago bath time for the kids or, more often than not, never, it might be time to consider a walk-in shower.

Rest assured, you’re not alone.

“In a bathroom renovation, I would say that most of the time we’re taking out the old tub, especially if the home has two bathrooms,” Azucena Saavedra, an Interior Designer with MAC Renovations.

What’s the appeal? Showers let us get on with our day quicker and simply reflect the way we live today. Unless we have space to also add a soaker tub, a walk-in shower makes better use of the bathroom space.

And for those looking for ways to age in place, a walk-in shower is an ideal feature, removing the impediment of a tub side to step over.

So what do you need to consider?

Like any renovation, your budget and overall plans will dictate your options for a walk-in shower.

A whole-bath renovation might flow marble or tile from the bathroom floor right through the base of the shower, for example. This can be a sleek, zero-threshold option that also allows for easy access for a wheelchair or mobility aid, Saavedra notes.

In-floor heating also recommended – not only is it cosy on the toes, it also helps dry the shower faster, and less mildew means easier cleaning!

Where cost-savings are needed, an acrylic shower pan with lip can be a more affordable choice. The walls can also be acrylic, or you can combine the acrylic pan with wall tiles that complement the overall bathroom decor.

Subway-style tile remains a popular option for those working with a smaller budget, but if limiting the amount of grout to clean is high on your list, larger-format tiles commonly include the 12 x 24-inch and 18 x 32-inch styles. Consider an accent detail along the wall, or even in wall niches.

Additional choices include cultured marble and a composite material for the shower pan, and a Utile surround – it replicates the look of tile, but with simulated grout, for easier cleaning. It can offer marginal cost savings to tile, but walls must be perfectly plumb, Saavedra notes.

Time to accessorize

If you choose tile for your surround, you can also accessorize with useful options like wall niches for soap and shampoo, or, where recessed niches aren’t possible, tile, glass or metal shelves.

Saavedra also recommends a shower bench, especially with the added space that comes from replacing a tub/shower combination.

Dual shower heads are another popular option, incorporating both a fixed head and a handheld – not only good for showering or washing the dog, they also make cleaning the shower a breeze!

While frameless shower doors offer a contemporary look – and let you enjoy that beautiful tile work – look for complementary hardware that echoes the rest of your bathroom fixtures, Saavedra suggests, noting that even sliders today come with minimal trim.

Finally, even if your renovation is for ease and appearance, rather than accessibility, it’s a good idea to build in the ability to add grab bars. It’s easy to do now, and can make a big difference later on.

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