How To Future Proof Your Bathroom

Level access shower tray in walk through shower area

When it comes to planning for retirement, replacing a bath with a shower might not be top of your list of priorities. But “future-proofing” has become a major new trend among those who care about planning for the very long term.

Our accessible bathrooms service offers peace of mind for homeowners and their families as they approach old age. We’ve seen a steady growth in requests for wetrooms and walk-in showers, with many customers keen to design their bathrooms for the changing demands of later life.

Bath out shower in bathroom project

Our recent Bath Out, Shower In project in Copthorne, West Sussex. The low profile shower tray is ideal for bathroom future proofing

There are two basic ways to make your bathroom more accessible: Use a low profile shower tray, or install a proper wetroom floor system. Both options do away with a bath tub, because no one with mobility issues wants to hurdle a bath panel every day. Whichever option you choose will depend on your budget and how much time and work you can tolerate for the installation.

Low Profile Shower Tray

Installing a shower tray is the cheaper and less invasive approach. It will likely be a cleaner project with less disturbance in the home as there’s no need to “tank” the floor, or indeed touch anything in the outer part of the room. Our popular Bath Out, Shower In service offers a quick and unfussy turnaround, with Fiora shower trays offering a simple yet luxurious base for accessible showering. As for the shower area, we have a vast range of complimentary or contrasting wall tiles or wall paneling boards by Multipanel and Mermaid.

Easy access walk through shower area

Our latest shower room design, above, features an accessible walk through shower area with an extra flat Fiora shower tray and 10mm thin glass panel by theshowerlab™. It’s perfect for homeowners with limited mobility who don’t want any obstacles or trip hazards around the bathroom. Water from the overhead rain shower is collected by a slightly sloping tray into the polished stainless steel grating. If you want a made to measure shower area like this one, simply get in touch with our team.

Wetroom Floor System

A wetroom is a great option for people with larger budgets looking for a open feel that unifies the whole space. You’ll probably need to re-tile the whole room, however. This is because wetroom floors require “tanking” – a leak proof sealing solution whereby the floor is made completely watertight.  Impey are the UK’s leading wetroom specialists, and over the years we have installed dozens of their Aqua-Dec floors. The video above shows how it’s done.

Wetroom installation project in loft

These before and after shots of a recent wetroom installation in Sussex show how tanking requires a full overhaul

This extension project required the builders to create stud walling, as shown by the wooden frame. Our installers then tanked the entire floor, adding “butterfly wing” cut tiles around the shower area to let the water drain efficiently. There’s a lovely contrast between the smoky grey 33x33cm floor tiles and the tactile feature wall tiling. We also got creative with the stud walling, adding a built-in pigeon hole next to the Hansgrohe Raindance slide rail shower.

Full Disability Wetrooms

Disability bathroom overhead 3D design

We designed this full disability wetroom for an elderly customer who was concerned about her safety while showering. Our first recommendation was “safety flooring” in the shape of Polyflor anti-slip vinyl flooring, boasting a high quality slip resistant surface. For the customer’s comfort we installed a Devi underfloor heating mat, great for the winter months when wetroom floors get especially cold. There’s plenty of grab rails for extra balance, as well as a comfortable fold-up shower seat.

This month we’ve teamed up with Aqualisa to offer a free walk in shower area to someone in the Horsham area. You can nominate a person who you think is need of an accessible shower, provided they fit the mentioned criteria. Click the link above to enter!