Barrier-free showers, open concept bathrooms.

With the advent of linear drains, open concept bathrooms have become a hot trend on the market. Large scale tiles can be carried through from the bathroom right into the shower allowing for a single slope to the drain. Barrier free showers are not only beautiful, they also provide freedom for people with limited mobility or homeowners who want to stay in their homes as they age.

Construction considerations when planning a Barrier-free Walk in Shower.

Over wood sub-floors a curb-less shower is constructed by lowering the sub-floor by up to 2″ to make room for the mortar bed  that forms the shower floor. Placing a Schluter Linear Drain at the back (or the entrance see picture below) of the shower the floor simply begins sloping toward the drain.

Finally, the entire bathroom floor can be converted to shower floor. Everything is removed from the room and either eliminated or later reinstalled on top of the new floor. Typically you’ll end up with a wall mounted sink, a wall mounted toilet and the shower itself. The walls of the bathroom are covered with tile at least halfway up in the areas outside the shower. The shower can be used with or without a curtain, since prior to tile installation the whole room is waterproofed with Schluter Kerdi cloth and everything in the room will be impervious to water.

In concrete slab construction this will entail raising the new floor as much as two inches above the finished  floor of the house, and this means that some sort of ramp will have to be constructed outside the bathroom. Wood subfloors can usually be lowered enough as to not require the ramp.

In this shower the floor is sloping from the back wall to the tile-able Schluter Linear Drain at the shower entrance.