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What Are The Best Shower Solutions For Small Bathrooms?
Bathrooms are often small spaces, which can make them a challenge to fit in all the features that you need. However, with some careful planning, there’s often no need to make any compromises in either the style or function of the bathroom. One of the features you will probably want to include is a shower. Here’s a look at the best options.
One solution is to install a small bath with a shower fixture over it. This is a very common combination that solves the problem of whether to have a shower or a bath in a small room. It may be a good idea for those with small children, who can easily be placed in the tub. L shaped shower baths, with plenty of space for a shower, are a popular choice.
However, they can be awkward to access for those with mobility issues and older people, who find it difficult to step in and out of the tub. Many people like to future-proof their homes, to give them the best chance of living independently as they age, and for this reason they opt for a shower cubicle.
Baths, especially the freestanding types, can look very inviting and attractive, but the reality is they take a lot of hot water to fill. This is not ideal for either the planet or your energy bills. Many people find nowadays that they simply don’t have time very often for a luxurious soak in the tub, and they are opting to install a convenient shower instead.
Shower enclosures also have the advantage of taking up less room than a bathtub, making them ideal for a smaller room. They are available in a range of styles, several of which are perfect for a small bathroom.
Corner shower enclosures
A corner enclosure made from toughened glass will fit neatly into the corner of the room, to make maximum use of space. The tall clear glass panels will allow light to flow easily through them, giving the illusion of greater space in the room, rather than shutting it off. You can have the glass fitted to meet the exact size and shape of your room.
Quadrant shower enclosures
These sleek designs curve elegantly across a corner, and instantly transform a small bathroom into a stylish and contemporary space. They are available in smaller 700 x 700mm dimensions, making them ideal for an en-suite or loft conversion where space is at a premium.
For those with a little more room, a frameless quadrant enclosure in 800 x 800mm may be the perfect choice. If there is more room, created by removing a bathtub for example, then an offset enclosure is another great option. This allows for a more generous showering space, while still fitting neatly into a corner.
Walk-in showers and wet rooms
If you are designing your bathroom with accessibility in mind, then a walk-in shower or wet room is a good solution. A walk-in shower typically has a flat or curved screen made from toughened safety glass, and a shallow tray for easy step-in access.
For those that require wheelchair access to the bathroom, a fully-converted wet room is a practical and stylish solution, that works with most size of bathroom. They do take more time and effort to install than a shower cubicle, because the whole room needs to be adjusted to make the walls and floor fully sealed and drainable.
However, for those with the time and budget, the investment will pay off in the future, either by adding value to your property when you sell it, or by allowing you and your loved ones to remain more independent in older age.
It is a good opportunity to install underfloor heating in a small bathroom too, and dispense with the need for bulky radiators. Underfloor heating is generally more energy efficient, and keeps the space warmer for longer; ideal for damp humid rooms.
If you are doing the work yourself, bear in mind that the floor of the wet room needs to be slightly sloping towards a drainage point, which of course should be fitted to a waste pipe. If the waste pipe needs moving, it’s best to employ the services of a qualified plumber.
Although some wet rooms are designed as entirely open spaces, many also have one or two glass screens installed to prevent the other bathroom fittings from getting soaked every time the shower is used. The screens should be made from safety glass which won’t shatter on impact. They can be held in place with a deep u channel for glass.