Walk-in shower bases
For most of us, a bathroom is nothing more than a dull, unvarnished utility which seems to hold no considerable meaning to our lives. However, this particular area is where our day begins and ends, setting the tone for the rest of our home. Considering that the average person spends about 1.5 years of his or her lifetime in the bathroom, you’d think this part of the house would get the attention it rightfully deserves. While some people take it to a whole new level in terms of interior décor, turning their restrooms into personal sanctuaries, others are merely concerned with keeping them clean and unblemished.
If you’re interested in revamping your lavatory, you should be mindful of an indispensable feature that is often overlooked – your shower. Safety and accessibility are a must, but most people are also looking for something luxurious, or at the very least, polished. Fortunately, it’s possible to bring these two quirks together if you choose to purchase a walk-in shower, which ensures easy access, as well as an elegant look. One of the most fundamental elements that will impact the quality and overall design of your bathroom is the base or pan that you select. So let’s take a look at the best walk-in shower bases that will make for a fresh and memorable showering experience.
5. Slip-resistant walk-in shower bases
Whether you are looking to redecorate or upgrade your current appliances, safety comes first. This is why you should always purchase a non-slip or waterproof surface for your base. This will prevent the water from reaching the subfloors and floors below and prove to be a reliable method of avoiding dangerous and potentially life-threating accidents from occurring. In this case, choosing pre-manufactured bases like cultured marble, expanded polystyrene or solid surface might prove to be more efficient, as these are waterproof by default. This feature can be implemented in bases made at the project site as well (extruded polystyrene and mud set), as long as it is discussed beforehand with the constructor. Most companies provide slip-resistant products as a general rule or can manufacture them on demand. The Barrier Free Living walk-in shower bases are a great option, as they are constructed as safeguards, eliminating the danger of stepping into a bath tub. They offer a self-sufficient and convenient alternative to conventional bath tubs by providing safe access for the elderly. Moreover, they can be used by people with certain physical impairments, eliminating the risk and hassle involved with high threshold products. There are several Barrier Free Living shower pans with 1” threshold and center drain to choose from. With textured non-slip floor and a leak-proof caulk free snap joint assembly, these models guarantee comfort and durability, as well as optional accessories, such as glide bars, T water stoppers, curtains and shower valves.
4. Low-threshold walk-in shower bases
While a shower threshold can certainly be advantageous, by functioning as a dam for the water, it can also turn into a tripping hazard for many users. When planning your project, you should avoid standard full-height thresholds, which is approximately 4 inches, and opt for lowered thresholds, which range from 1 ¼ inches to 2 ½ inches (in accordance with the size of the shower). In order to allow for water drainage, the base is generally sloped ¼ inch per foot of the area toward the duct hole. There are also zero threshold entries, which are most commonly used with walk-in showers without doors. However, this might be slightly inconvenient for some people, as it is required to find floor surfaces which are adequate for drainage and reach out to your contractor ahead of time. There are several options involving ramped thresholds for people who use a wheelchair. These types of entries can be incorporated with existing shower bases or be isolated, removable pieces if used with a base that has a lowered threshold. The Onyx product line offers a distinct collection of low or zero threshold walk-in shower bases, as well as the possibility to choose between a matte and gloss finish.
3. Custom walk-in shower bases
Whether you are interested in luxurious gel coat finish, integrated tile flange for easy installation or a simple center drain configuration, the best decision you can make when it comes to your walk-in shower base is to have it customized, instead of buying a standard version of your product. Your appliance should have a watertight seal and a reliable slope, as well as a duct hole that should be matched to the existing duct or framing. Standard bases usually come with an offset or a center drain hole. While this might be more cost-efficient, it will undoubtedly lead to a long and troublesome installation. This would not be the case when using a custom base, which allows for the adjustment of the drain location for the existing framing, drain line and shower shape. Moreover, custom bases are built-in-place or cast to order and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from mud set with waterproof membranes to neo-angle base pans for corner showers. DreamLine offers cUPC certified products with low profile design to ensure a polished look. Their modern walk-in shower bases may be used in a custom shower project or in conjunction with the DreamLine shower doors for a complete installation, as part of their tub-to-shower replacement project.
2. Ceramic tile walk-in shower bases
When it comes to the material of your shower flooring, there are several factors to consider – from the frequency with which the shower is used to the overall décor of your bathroom and how the new base will integrate with the existing design. Despite lacking in both longevity and comfort, one of the most common materials used for walk-in shower bases is fiberglass. Although low in cost, this type of material will slowly wear and tear over time, requiring constant maintenance and incessant replacements in the long run. A much better alternative is ceramic tile. This is a smart, economical choice that offers safety, comfort and durability, as well as a creative outlet for those concerned more with the aesthetic of their lavatories. Ceramic tile comes in various patterns and colors, allowing for your inner artist to come to life and devise the high-quality design you’ve always envisioned for your restroom.
1. Stone or cultured marble walk-in shower bases
If you’re willing to place money aside and focus your attention on durability, extra comfort and a fresh, luxurious look, then you should definitely consider marble as your basic material. Another excellent choice is resin stone, made from a mixture of crushed stone and glue, gel-coated for a clear-cut, smooth appearance. As opposed to acrylic sheets, which have a short lifespan as they are easily scratched and prone to leaking, cultured marble is durable and requires little to no maintenance. Tile Redi brand products focus on both function and design and provide marble or stone pre-pitched shower pans with integrated curbs or entrance. Another great company is Americh, one of the leading manufacturers of bath tubs and shower bases, supplying double threshold, neo-angle, end drain, as well as barrier free products. Royal Stone provides some of the strongest, most durable walk-in shower bases, made from vitreous china or a stone-like, non-porous composite.