curbless shower

Holmes Group handout: Adding a curbless shower can help maximize space in a bathroom and increase accessibility

Mike Holmes from Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV, has published a column in several newspapers outlining his thoughts about how to complete a successful bathroom renovation.

His biggest don’t: “… before you start such a big job, don’t make the mistake that too many homeowners make – hiring the first contractor who walks into their house.”

His do’s:

  1. Get the right permits. “If you are changing or modifying any electrical in your bathroom you will need an electrical permit, which is usually provided by an electrical contractor,”he writes. “Even changing a light switch requires an electrical permit. If you move plumbing you will need a plumbing permit. And you will need a demolition permit to gut it. Building permits can include all necessary permits, including demolition, electrical, HVAC and plumbing permits.”
  2. Make it worth the investment. “Now is the time to look at the bathroom and decide if you can make it bigger. Can you go into a bedroom? Do you want to pull out a closet? This is the time to make changes, because once the bathroom is done and it’s still the same size, you might ask yourself if it was worth the investment. Personally, I like to make a bigger bathroom.”
  3. Use the right products. “Everything must be mould resistant because a bathroom is the No. 1 spot in the house that has moisture,” he writes. “And a high-quality uncoupling and waterproof system below your tiles is also an absolute must if you want your renovation to last.”
  4. Make it work for you. “Choose fixtures and design elements that will help make your life easier. For example, I like multi choices when it comes to the shower. I want a shower head and I want a shower wand – to help rinse off the soap  . . . . If you can put a bench in the shower it can be really nice.”
  5. Future-proof your bathroom. “Besides adding a bench in your shower, there are other things that you can do that will help make your bathroom more accessible – and your life easier – as we get older and “age in place. You can add a curbless shower with a line drain. This can help maximize space and increase accessibility, but not at the cost of style. You can also invest in touchless faucets; heated flooring exactly where you need it, so you’re not wasting energy; and strategic LED lighting to increase safety and energy efficiency. Energy efficiency becomes more important as we move into our retirement years and live on tighter budgets.”