Guide to Level Access Showers in 2023
If you’re making some changes to your bathroom or thinking of creating an easy-access shower space, you may be wondering if the installation of a level-access shower is the right choice for you.
These days, many bathrooms just do not offer the accessibility features required to help with mobility needs. As a wheelchair or mobility scooter user, you may be struggling to gain access to your current shower and wondering what options are available to you to help make the experience much easier. If you require the user of a carer, you may find that there are current features in your bathroom that hinder the experience.
Or maybe you’ve started to notice more assistance is required when stepping in and out of your shower enclosure, and trips and falls are becoming a real concern. If any of these sound familiar, it could be time to upgrade to a level access shower.
Read on to find out if this is the right choice for you.
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- What are Level Access Showers?
- How is it Different from a Walk-in Shower?
- How is it different from a Wet Room?
- What are the advantages of level access showers?
What are Level Access Showers?
To work out whether a level access shower is the right decision for you, it’s important to understand exactly what this type of shower entails and how it can best suit your own showering needs or the needs of your household.
The main and most important feature of level access showers is that they do not have steps that require the user to step over to gain access. This makes it easier for both elderly users and those with mobility issues, particularly wheelchair users, to go about daily showering.
How is it Different from a Walk-in Shower?
Walk-in showers are great options for both elderly users and those with mobility issues. However, there are notable differences between the two.
For example, a standard walk-in shower offers low-level access to make showering both easier and safer. This not only minimises the risks of slips, trips and falls but can come with many additions for a bespoke finish. You can choose to install anti-slip shower trays, grab bars and a whole host of other safety features to offer an assisted experience.
Level access showers differ in one particular area, that being the design. Level access showers are very similar to wet rooms but the shower floor is not levelled to the bathroom floor but is only slightly above to ensure that the access point is low access.
The main similarity a level access shower will have to a walk-in shower is the actual functionality in terms of how the shower works and having the same ergonomics when it comes to the shower head and hose.
How is it different from a Wet Room?
Wet rooms are essentially the same thing. Both are designed for easy access when showering and are designed with accessibility in mind.
In the same way that level access showers are installed in such a way as to convert the entire bathroom floor into a flat and even surface overall, both offer a great solution for easy access showering. Both options are also a good solution for wheelchair and mobility scooter users.
However, when it comes to wet rooms, there are possibilities for the installation of a level access shower tray which can be installed under the flooring. This will depend on your space, style and individual bathing needs.
What are the advantages of level access showers?
There are various advantages associated with easy access showers. To help you understand them better and to work out whether an easy-access shower is the right choice for you, we have highlighted the main ones below:
1. Personal style and aesthetic
As a discreet option for showering, these showers are every inch a stylish option. In the same way for walk-in showers, there are options for level access showers when it comes to design.
From a decorative angle, you can choose the type of flooring you wish to suit your own style and bathroom needs. From porcelain and natural stone to mosaic tiles, the most popular option is a tiled floor finish. Alongside looking fresh, modern and offering a hard-wearing finish, this type of flooring also means a greater choice of level access shower trays.
You can also opt for a vinyl floor, as this tends to be more cost-effective. This type of flooring is also available in a wide range of colours and styles, so you can match it to the rest of your space.
2. Perfect for small bathrooms
You might be wondering if level-access showers are good for smaller bathrooms. And the answer, quite simply, is yes. They can make for an excellent choice if your bathing area is of minimal size.
The reason for this? An easy-access shower opens up the entire space. By utilising a moveable shower pane, you can create extra space wherever you need to in your bathroom.
Easy-access showers are also easier to install in small bathrooms. If you're hoping to make changes to your space and convert a small downstairs room into a shower room with both easy access and one that’s safe to utilise, level access could be just the option for you.
3. Easy to maintain
A crucial feature for any bathroom user is ideally one that involves minimal cleaning. In this case, look at adapting your space and installing this type of shower. As there are no shower screens, and the level access shower trays are set flush against the floor, the cleaning takes much less work.
And even though floor tiles are a popular choice for easy-access shower users, you can choose to install panels instead of tiles. No mould makes for a much easier to maintain shower space.
4. Safe to access
As mentioned above, level access showers are an ideal choice for wheelchair and mobility scooter users. The fact that they are designed without a step or lip means there are no issues with access and no need for a ramp to shower. You can wheel straight on in and avoid further obstacles that could potentially cause injury.
They also make an excellent choice for those who require the use of a carer. As the panels are manoeuvrable, you can design them in the way you require and choose the amount of space and access that is needed.
And the risk of flooding is minimal, as the water automatically runs down towards the drain so it can leave the shower area. This further reduces the risk of slips, trips, and falls.
5. Easy to install
A key benefit when it comes to this choice is the time it takes to install your chosen design.
Of course, this varies on the user's needs and requirements, as well as your own personal style and space, and any adaptations you may need.
For example, are level access shower trays something you wish to consider? Do you wish to install grab bars and additional support features, such as foldable shower seats? Will you be adapting/upgrading a pre-existing bathroom or looking to transform an old space and therefore install this type of shower right from the beginning?
Depending on what is required, the length of time will vary, but modern level access showers don’t take a long time to install. You may be surprised to learn that these can be fitted within days as opposed to weeks.