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March 2018
Dear <<First Name>>,

One of the most relaxing places where homeowners like to spend time rejuvenating their minds and bodies is their bathroom. A rain shower or a soaking tub can take a load off. The spa-like atmosphere created for a bathroom can have a restful effect. Keep reading to find out what are the latest design trends for gorgeous bathrooms in 2018.

David H. Adams, President
Design Builders and Remodeling, Inc. • 203.431.9104

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"Every building is a prototype—no two are alike."

—Helmut Jahn

4 Design Ideas for Walk-in Showers Without Doors

More homeowners are asking us about “walk-in showers without doors” when they consider remodeling a bathroom. Doorless walk-in showers were featured in several of the new homes showcased in this year’s “Parade of Homes” and the trend is growing.

A doorless shower has many advantages. First and foremost, it is easy to maintain and wipe down.

Second, you may have more options for the design and layout of your bathroom since there is no door with a “swing” or frame to factor into the configuration.

Another key advantage is accessibility and safety. Many walk-in showers without doors have a low- or zero-threshold that helps reduce the risk of falls and tripping when entering or exiting the shower.

Here are four design ideas for walk-in showers without doors that illustrate some popular and unique options:


1. Glass Surrounds

Shower enclosures help retain water but they can also make a design statement in the room. Glass shower surrounds are popular among homeowners for many reasons including ease of maintenance and the visual impact they can make in a small area by creating an illusion of space.

There are a number of style options for the tempered safety glass that is used for showers including clear, frosted, textured and embossed glass.

This walk-in shower without a door has a glass surround with a kneewall. The window is diamond cut glass set on a smooth plane within the shower so that water will not accumulate on the framing. A custom Onyx shower base with a low threshold and Onyx shower wall panels with a stone tile gloss finish (Slate Stone 12-by-12 inch tile design in “Spanish Moss”) were used for the shower. The shower includes a wall niche, a shower seat, a wall-mounted rainfall showerhead, a handheld showerhead and a sealed can light in the ceiling.

2. Creative Custom Tile

Since most walk-in showers are custom designs, many homeowners choose tile for the surround, base and entry. Tile is also a good option for a shower bench and for the ceiling.

When selecting wall tile for a bathroom, consider who will use the bathroom and how they will use the space.

There are many tile patterns, materials, shapes, sizes and an endless array of colors that you can use to customize your shower.

Left: The custom tile base for this walk-in shower was designed to be integrated with a shower seat. Note the length and height of the threshold. Water and sprays can be contained but a curtain was added for privacy. Universal Design features include grab bars, lever-handle faucets, a large seating area and a hand-held showerhead with a faucet that can be controlled while seated.

Right: This doorless walk-in shower has a glass block window that brings natural light into the space. The shower wall tile is “Roman Travertine Classico” Mosaic Glazed Porcelain tile. A brick pattern was used with 12-by-12 inch tile on the lower walls and 6-by-6 inch tile on the upper walls. The art glass mosaic accent tile used on the shower walls is "Gendai Mila" from Best Tile.


3. A Custom Fit for Small Spaces

Walk-in showers without doors can be installed in small spaces and corners in a bathroom. The most important element is the shower base and in small spaces a custom base most likely will be required.

Custom tile bases are designed to conform to the space where the shower is located.

Custom manufactured shower bases are cast to order. They are commonly constructed with a solid surface material such as Onyx. Templates are made before the base is cast to assure a perfect fit.

Left: This doorless shower in a master bathroom is equipped with Universal Design features including a handheld showerhead, lowered controls, grab bars, a slip-resist tile base, a recessed interior light and a shower bench.

Right: A custom Onyx shower base with a low threshold was selected for this walk-in shower that was built into a corner. A custom-fitted shower seat, also from Onyx, and grab bars were installed for comfort and safety. The custom tile surround has few grout lines and is easy to clean.

4. Glass Block Walls

Privacy and water retention are important considerations when designing a shower for a bathroom.

Glass block walls can be used to create a privacy screen and contain water from the shower sprays. They also add architectural interest and help to illuminate the shower.

In this award winning master bathroom, a curved glass block wall separates the doorless walk-in shower from the rest of the bathroom. The wall is a dramatic architectural feature that is a focal point in the room.

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Emerging Trends for the Bathroom

In the National Kitchen and Bath (NKBA) 2018 Design Trends Study, the main design choices predicted for bathrooms this year are rather similar to those listed in 2017. It is quite obvious that designers and homeowners continue to love this clean, spa-like look.

The forecasted styles for bathrooms is predominantly transitional and contemporary, depending on homeowner preference. White and gray are the fashionable color schemes for both styles. Either built-in or furniture-like cabinets are selected for the bathroom, while under-mount sinks are the preferred sink installation. Quartz is the favorite countertop surface, and porcelain tile is the top choice for floors. Polished chrome and brushed nickel are the most popular faucet finishes. Freestanding soaking tubs and curbless showers continue to be a big hit.

An interesting sideline to the NKBA study was included this year, based on the professional opinions of Elle H-Millard, CKD, NKBA’s resident designer. She feels that kitchen and bath trends are evolving as imagination and technology are sparking fresh design ideas. Her list of emerging trends that are already catching hold includes:

  • Large scale natural stone cut and book-matched to create art with natural elements.
  • Textured wall tile acting as a focal point of the room.
  • Smart toilets — digital controls for smart toilets.
  • Creating a personal sauna-like experience with steam showers.
  • Barn doors galore, in every style.
  • Connectivity and wellness in the bath.
  • Live-edge slab countertops and edge-lit acrylic countertops.
  • Large-scale wallpaper.
All of these emerging trends above were highly evident at the Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS) in January—in the show homes that were open for tour, as well as on the show floor.

In addition to these trends, it was exciting to see a creative gold and black color scheme popping up in bathroom displays everywhere. Both finishes were found on freestanding tubs to shower doors; faucets to cabinet hardware, window frames to light fixtures. A gold and black scheme is versatile and goes with virtually everything. It feels comfortable in a transitional as well as a contemporary bathroom, and it definitely creates a unique mood—bolder and more dramatic. This exquisite arrangement embraces warmth, strength, luxury, and glamour. Darker finishes have not yet become the topmost popular trend, but as homeowners begin taking inspiration from stylish boutique hotels, these colors will definitely be on the move up. Very likely we will be seeing more of them in 2018.



904 Ethan Allen Highway
Ridgefield, CT 06877

tel: 203.431.9104
fax: 203.431.5798

Design Builders & Remodeling, Inc. |
203.431.9104 | 904 Ethan Allen Highway | Ridgefield, CT 06877

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