Building a Nonenclosed Shower

Find out how to build a nonenclosed shower in your bathroom.


Your home improvement questions, answered by professionals from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), an association of remodeling professionals committed to providing consumers with high standards of quality, honesty, integrity, and responsibility.

Question:

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What is the best way to build a nonenclosed shower? Our master bathroom is made up of two small connected rooms. We need to make it wheelchair-accessible. I have rheumatoid arthritis and am likely to need it in the future, so we want to plan for that now. We are going to take a wall out to make one room, approximately 8x9 feet. Can we put in a shower without enclosing it, and how do we keep the water from getting everything else wet?

Answer:

The short answer is, yes, you can make a shower without enclosing it. I do, however, recommend enclosing it on three sides, with the showerhead pointing toward one wall. There are shower curbs that can sit flush to the floor, which allows wheelchairs to easily pass over them. These curbs will contain the water so that you won't have to make the entire bathroom floor a waterproof shower pan. To make the shower and bathroom wheelchair-accessible, you should work with a designer or architect who is familiar with aging-in-place design. There are many things to consider and it is best to work with a professional when laying this out.

Answered by: Blair Edmiston, Certified Remodeler, National Association of the Remodeling Industry

About Blair

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Blair Edmiston lives in Portland, Oregon, where he has the coast and the mountains just an hour's drive away. He enjoys working on historical homes that have charm and character. When he remodels a vintage home, his goals are to retain its character while also bringing it to the standards of this era. This means making the home perform better with less energy usage and using more sustainable materials that have less upstream pollution and don't off-gas in the home. Adding on to a home with historical charm and character can certainly be a challenge, but with careful and thoughtful design it can be done and can actually make an historical home look even better and more of its period. When he¿s not remodeling, he enjoys hiking the many miles of trails around Portland, listening to music, and traveling. A lot of his best work comes from getting himself outside and finding inspiration in all the beauty that's out there.

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