Zero Threshold Showers – Pros, Cons, Costs, and Some Varieties

You probably heard about the trending zero threshold showers, and you’ve asked yourself, ‘why would anybody want to build a shower with absolutely no threshold?’ Well, for one, who wouldn’t love to slide right into their shower with no obstructions whatsoever? You won’t even have to lift your leg at any time over any kind of curb. These kinds of showers are especially suited for senior citizens or people who are confined to a wheelchair.

But this is not all there is to zero threshold showers. These showers are loved by just more than senior citizens and wheelchair users. They are also preferred by stylish people who just want to add some elegance to their bathrooms. Zero threshold showers are also ideal for everyday people who just want to overcome some of the challenges of a typical bathroom.

You may not think bathroom thresholds are a big deal until you come home late and hammered on a Friday night and have to climb into a 20″ high tub. Let’s just say some have found themselves just passed out beside the tub the next morning. And even if there is no chance of you ever having a wild weekend night out, think that there would always come a time when your legs won’t work like they used to before, and climbing over even a 6″ threshold can then become a real chore.

Other names for this kind of shower include curb-less shower, wet-room, one-level shower, or barrier-free shower.

Pros of Having a Zero Threshold Shower

Some of the benefits of having zero threshold showers include:

They’re safe and accessible

Zero threshold showers are safer for everyone because they eliminate the need to climb into any kind of curb. This means that if you’re living with a senior citizen, you may not need to follow them into the bathroom every morning or hold your breath whenever they go in there unaccompanied.

With zero threshold showers, they can go right into the shower with their wheelchair or walker and take care of their basic hygiene without help. These showers are also more accessible to kids as the kids won’t be needing you to lift them over any kind of thresholds.

They are easy to clean

Remember how you need to gently clean all the corners and joints of the curb in a traditional bathroom? Well, you won’t have to do that in a curb-less shower because the total absence of a threshold means there’s nowhere for dirt to accumulate.

Maximizes space

Zero threshold showers often look bigger than they are because there are no curbs, tubs, or basins taking up all the space. So people choose this option when they need their bathrooms to have a significantly larger appearance. If you have a small bathroom, you may want to try using zero threshold showers to make it bigger.

Better visual appeal

Zero threshold showers add visual appeal and maximize space. Eliminating the entire shower barricades lets your bathroom floor flow from one wall to the other, creating a flawless look.

Zero threshold showers are loved by everyone, young and old, not just because they’re more safe and comfortable but because they look more sleek, cool, and luxurious. It is a quick way to add luxury to an otherwise basic bathroom. Removing all curbs instantly gives your bathroom a deluxe look.

Perfect contemporary fit for minimalists

If you’re tired of overpriced tubs and elaborate tile designs, you can opt for the contemporary, sanitary, and minimalist look of zero threshold showers. These showers are often designed with large format tiles on the floor and walls, giving them an open and airy feel. This is the ideal contemporary design for minimalists.

They keep your bathroom dry

It might not seem like it, but zero threshold showers are designed to keep your bathroom dry. This also reduces the chances of slips and falls. These showers are sloped downward towards the drain. The showerhead is also strategically positioned to ensure all water immediately flows downward at all times, keeping water out of the bathroom.

Cons of Having Zero Threshold Showers

Zero threshold showers come with a few drawbacks; they include:

They offer very little privacy

You know how someone can quickly hop into the bathroom to use the sink while you’re in the shower with the curtains drawn. Well, this option isn’t always available with zero threshold showers as anyone entering into the bathroom while you are in it would have to be staring right at you, and this could be uncomfortable. However, some people have tried to go around this problem by installing curtains or glass to cover the shower area, but this would also mean having to finally put some kind of obstruction around the shower area, which defeats the entire purpose of having a zero threshold shower.  A better option would be to put a lock in your bathroom door and always remember to use it.

They are colder than traditional showers

There is no enclosed space to contain the heat coming out of the shower, so zero threshold showers are often colder than traditional showers. The excess space around the shower allows the heat to escape soon after it’s emitted. A solution to this is to have heated flooring installed in your bedroom.

Water leakage

Sometimes when not perfectly installed, zero threshold showers have a lot of water splashing out of the splash zone. Because the area isn’t built to be sloppy and naturally pull water towards the drain, water outside of the splash zone just sits on the floor. Having water always sit on the floor of your bathroom is not only unsafe but also makes the space a lot less neat and aesthetically pleasing than it should be.

What Is the Cost Range for Zero Threshold Showers?

What Is the Cost Range for Zero Threshold Showers?

Installing a zero threshold shower would cost anywhere between $12,000 and $20 000. The exact cost would depend on what exactly you need for your bathroom and how much of the project you are willing to DIY. For instance, are you demolishing your original foundation? You will have to remove your old shower floor or bathtub. You will also have to take off most or all of the wall tiles. You can do some parts of this job yourself to save some money on the project.

There are parts of the project that cannot be done using DIY. Unless you are a professional plumber, you will have to pay a pro to put in your shower valves and install the drain. Then you’ll have to waterproof the floor before installing the shower tiles. This part is also best left to the pros.

Your contractor would then install a shower pan and drain. Next, the tiling begins. Tiles for zero threshold showers are usually longer and heavier and might be more expensive to install.

Next, you’ll have to install fixtures and a shower panel. Then if you think you’ll be needed a glass panel or door, you’ll also have to install this. You can skip this step to save $1500-$3000 on your budget. Just installing a lock on the door would do the same job and cost a lot less. If you choose to have glass doors installed, it would be better to leave it to the pros as glass is a little bit tricky to handle.

Bathroom renovations are usually very expensive, but you would find them to be cost-effective in the long run.

Different Types of Zero Threshold Showers

When you run a basic internet search for pictures of zero threshold showers, you’ll quickly find that not all zero threshold showers are true without barriers. Some come with very interesting variations, like glass doors and shower curtains. The final look of your zero threshold showers would depend on your budget, personal taste.

There is a wide variety of options available for zero-threshold showers ranging from simple and functional to sophisticated and luxurious. Some have doors to minimize splashing and to keep the bathroom warm; others prefer to have doorless bathrooms to make the room look bigger, neater, and more seamless.

Zero Threshold Shower Myths

There are lots of myths going around about zero threshold showers, and some of them include:

You can only have one showerhead: It’s easy to see how someone might think you can’t have more than one water source in a zero threshold shower; after all, most people aim to minimize splash in the kind of bathrooms. However, with the right kind of waterproofing and if the shower heads are installed correctly, it is possible to have as many shower heads as you like.  It is worth mentioning that having several showerheads in one bathroom could lead to a lot of water wastage, so one shower head on the wall and maybe an additional handheld shower should be enough.

There are not a lot of people who know how to install zero threshold showers:  These kinds of showers have been available for several years now, and there are professional contractors around you who would be able to pull off the job confidently. You, on the other hand, might not be able to install a zero threshold shower from start to finish unless you’re a professional in the field.

You can’t add a door to a zero threshold shower: A lot of people do not like to add doors to these kinds of showers because it takes away from the luxurious look. But you can most definitely add a door if you want one. To retain that seamless look, go for a frameless glass attachment or a shower shield. Doors give you some privacy and keep in warm while in the shower.