There are numerous advantages for showers with low curbs. It provides a secure entry point, assists in visually expanding the space, and prevents water from draining away. A low-curb design is typically much more accessible to build than a curbless design. Five designers explain how they tackled this well-known bathroom design.
Homeowners’ request. “This bathroom is on the basement level of a new-construction home and belongs to the clients’ teenage son,” said Designer Jana Valdez, whose clients came across her through Houzz. “His parents requested a modern masculine design that could later be used as a guest bath once he goes away to college.”
Low-curb details. “The clients hired us to design the bathroom after the foundation was already poured for their new home,” Valdez states. “The floor was not originally sloped to allow for a curbless shower until the foundation was laid and the low curb instead of an uninvolved shower was more affordable at the time in the design. Many people aren’t aware that when building a new home with a concrete foundation the choice to install the curbless shower must be taken prior to foundation being laid.”
Other unique features. “Patterned shower floor tile with geometric design (Nolita matt porcelain tile ) 24-by-24 inches ), from Tile Bar ) provides a personality and contemporary feel to the space,” Valdez says. “The tile design is placed against a basic white subway tile to provide contrast. A frameless sliding glass door with black matte metal hardware provides the best final element.”
The custom-designed vanity is painted with Onyx By Benjamin Moore. Wood-look tile flooring hides a radiant heating system.
Designer tip. “We tiled the whole wall next to the vanity to give a more cohesive look and to visually expand the size of the shower,” Valdez states.
Paint for ceilings and walls: Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore Trim paint: Sherwin Williams, Snowbound countertops: London Grey, Caesarstone
Homeowners’ request. “This was the main-floor bathroom in this home so that guests would frequent it,” says designer Angela Neyman, whose clients used Houzz idea books to share inspiration ideas. “A teenager also utilized it the following years before leaving for university. With this to consider, the room needed to be well-organized as well as be practical and simple to maintain, and not forgetting to be visually appealing and enjoyable with guests.”
Low-curb details. “Wanting to downplay the break in the floor, the curb was wrapped in a coordinating tile to match the shower side walls and shower floor,” Neyman adds. “This allowed the curb to blend into the shower flooring, allowing your eye to continue to the feature tile on the back wall.”
The back wall measures 5-by-5-inch ceramic tile zellige style with a shiny aqua appearance.
Other unique features. Floor tile with patterns of white and gray in a matte finish. Shaker-style alder cabinet with granite-look quartz countertop.
Designer tip. “Easy to maintain was a primary goal, so sticking with man-made products is a great way to achieve this,” Neyman explains.
“Uh-oh” moment. “Getting the correct layout and variation for the shower feature wall was a challenge to ensure it didn’t end up splotchy or too dark in some areas and too light in others,” Neyman notes. “To ensure that the customer was satisfied with the mix we conducted an initial dry lay on the floor prior installation. After some tweaks and tweaks, we were able to get the mix just right, and the customer was satisfied with the final result.”
The shower accent tile is Tencer Mestizaje Zelfigele tile for the wall, in Aqua. 5 x five inches Tierra Sol Lighting: Casoria single sconce in antique brass 14 inches and Visual Comfort Paint intense white (walls) as well as the Distant Gray (ceiling as well as the trim), Benjamin Moore.
Homeowners’ request. “The entire layout of the room was reconfigured to include a two-sink vanity, separate washroom area, and a wet room,” designer Betty Balian says. “The garden window was also added to allow natural light and a touch of nature.”
Low-curb details. “I used a graphic tile pattern to run the course of the floor and curb to make the transition, dimension and perspective of the space more interesting,” Balian adds. “The benefit of the shower with a low curb is that it allows the water to stay in the wet-room. While a shower without curbs is appealing in regard to seamless transitions but it’s also possible to let water leak out the door of the shower, particularly in the event of drainage issues.”
Other unique features. Natural oak vanity with marble counter. Shower wall tiles are made of ceramic. Palm wallpaper (Palm Leaves in gold and charcoal, Cole & Son). “The color palette of this space is black, white, and yellow,” Balian declares. “It provides a sense of fun and whimsy while transported to a natural paradise. The colors are used in plumbing fixtures, including sinks, washrooms, and cabinets. The lighting fixtures add an organic geometric glow that complements the room. The wallpaper combines the whole thing with its natural-inspired color scheme and organic design.”
Designer tip. “When working with a smaller bathroom, a great way to maximize function and space is to incorporate the tub into the shower area,” Balian states. “I also like to use darker colors in smaller spaces, as they tend to recede in the space, making it feel and look larger.”
Homeowner’s request. “Create a timeless oasis with maximum storage capabilities and a makeup counter, as the client is a TV reporter and spends a lot of time in her bathroom getting ready” to appear on air. Designer Kylie K. Bass says.
Low-curb details. The Arabescato Corchia marble border is a perfect border for the shower’s low curb and is an ideal match for the countertop for the vanity. “A low curb allows for a bath mat to comfortably remain in front of the shower as opposed to a curbless design, where it’s easier for water to get onto the bathroom floor,” Bass states. “And we wanted to fully outline and accent the shower by using the Arabescato Corchia slab as the trim.”