Shower base design has evolved dramatically in recent years. Also referred to as a shower pan or shower tray, the purpose of the base is to act as a barrier between the shower and the rest of the bathroom floor. Once strictly utilitarian, shower bases have changed along with the rest of bathroom design. From various functional developments to aesthetic changes, here are some ways they have been modernized.
Design and material — The evolution of shower bases includes the various materials from which they are constructed. Acrylic and fiberglass are some of the least expensive options. Easy to install, they remain popular in traditional home settings. But as modern bathroom design increasingly focuses on delivering a luxurious, spa-like experience, tile or stone shower bases have grown popular. Tiling the shower base offers a seamless appearance with the rest of the bathroom — a desirable feature in today’s baths.
Tub-to-shower conversions — Perhaps the most notable way shower bases have changed can be chalked up to the declining popularity of the traditional shower-tub combo. Realtors once warned homeowners that they could lose property value without at least one bathtub in the home, but today space-saving, free-standing showers are dominating the market. An increasing number of people are converting their bathtubs to enclosed showers, although many still desire a tub in the home for its added comfort and leisure.
Water-proofed bases — Waterproof shower base pans (also known as membranes) were traditionally rubber or copper liners used to protect the sub-floor from extensive saturation. Previously, tile and grout were assumed to be waterproof by design, but it turns out this this type of construction does indeed require a waterproofing membrane. Types of waterproofing today include sheet membranes, liquid membranes and foam shower base. Ugly houses
Curb-less shower bases— Ditching the curbs around showers has become a trend for several reasons. It began in European countries where much smaller bathrooms meant shower base curbs were generally considered a tripping hazard. Curb-less showers have since been adopted as a sleek design element in North American bathrooms. They’ve also inspired the addition of linear drains to shower pan design, which offers the benefit of easy cleaning.
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When it comes to bathroom design, keeping up with the times is becoming increasingly important for purposes such as property value and ease of living. Replacing a shower or tub with a more contemporary design is an essential part of a bathroom remodel.