5 July 2019
When it comes to understanding your options for disabled showers you typically have two choices:
1. A Wet Room
2. A Walk-In Shower
Both disabled shower solutions have many advantages. However, and depending on your bathing problem, there are a small handful of disadvantages and your final choice should be dependent on which shower is most suited to help you bathe safely and independently.
If you’re seriously struggling with mobility or have a disability you’ll no doubt be contemplating how you can make your bathing experience safer, more independent and in turn more dignified.
The first thing to consider is the benefits of removing a bath and replacing this with a shower solution. You could choose between a wet room or a walk-in shower.
This is often the first conundrum as much confusion can occur when understanding what features and benefits each solution offers. Also, it’s worth considering which best suit as a solution to your bathing problem.
The remainder of this article aims to iron out the main differences. As a result, we’ll leave you with a clear understanding of which option, a wet room or a walk-in shower, will work best for you.
Wet rooms for disabled users are purposefully designed to meet the individual user’s wants and needs. As the name would suggest, a wet room is when the entire room becomes your shower area. This, in turn, maximises your use of space.
The size, shape and layout of a disabled wet room can be customised to suit the individual needs of the user and their carer if required. This makes wet rooms the only solution that can be totally bespoke and completely unique.
To find out more about wet rooms and the various ideas and options available read our inclusive article.
This is perfect for those wanting to introduce one as a solution to their bathing problem or disability.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘doorless shower’, a wet rooms main disadvantage is the potential of water escaping out of the shower area. This is also the case for other items in the room, i.e. WC and basin, getting wet.
However, it’s possible to further control the amount of escaping water through the installation of a shower curtain for example. In addition, a slightly sloped floor encourages water to run towards the drain.
The truth, however, is that no matter the precautions, a wet room shower is designed to be all-inclusive. Also, it’s likely that other areas of the room will get wet as a result of the vicinity of the ‘splash zone’.
As mentioned, there are measures that can be taken to limit the doorless shower splash zone area. Moreover, the distance the water will travel is dependent on shower patters and the shape and size of the user.
Typically speaking, it is anticipated that water can bounce and travel up to approximately one metre (100cm) if given free rein. This is frequently covered within the design stage.
A walk-in shower does exactly as the name would suggest. It’s a level access solution that does not require you to step up and over any threshold in order to enter the designated wet area. This is comprised of a slip-resistant tray that has been sunk into the floor.
When it comes to disabled walk-in showers you’ll discover a range of options including:
All of which cater for walk-in, wheel-in or Zimmer-in entry and are often concealed behind full height or half height doors and a shower screen.
If you’re looking for more information on the various options regarding walk-in showers for disabled users, we’ve enclosed everything you need to know within our comprehensive article.
The main walk-in shower disadvantage is the limitations this solution offers in terms of tray size.
Although there is a wide range of sizes available they are only manufactured to cover specific footprints. As a result, this could offer some workable disadvantages to the user.
For example, a larger person, or a person in a wheelchair, would typically require a larger shower area in order to improve their showering experience. However if the room is only of small stature there will be limitations in the design with regards to what tray size will fit, which is where a wet room with its custom design elements can come into its own.
If you’re wanting to explore your options for walk-in showers with regards to available tray sizes read our helpful article on walk-in shower dimensions.
To summarise your options for disabled showers are typically narrowed to either a wet room or a walk-in shower. With many benefits to both.
We hope this article has helped shed some light on the fundamental principles of each solution and has helped to explain why one may be more suited to helping solve your bathing problem than the other.
If you’re still struggling however, and as part of our full design and installation service, we offer a free home survey, consultation and quote service whereby a specialist designer will be more than happy to help and advice on the most suitable solution available to you.*