Most Americans shower every day. Add it up, and that's a lot of time spent in an enclosed space – so you might as well get comfortable. Unfortunately, home shower stalls are often three by five feet or even smaller – barely large enough for adults to spread out their arms. A bigger shower would allow more space to move around, store bathing products and feel at home. However, most people don't want to break the bank on a complicated plumbing rehab, either. Fortunately, if you are lucky in your current bathroom configuration, there may be a way to expand the space in your shower without spending a fortune or rearranging your water pipes.
Limited Space, Limited Options
Your options for expanding your shower depend largely on the layout of your bathroom. If you're on a budget, you certainly don't want to knock out or move any of the walls in your home. You'll also make your life a lot easier if you avoid having to move your supply lines or get into other messy plumbing repairs. That limits your options to just two directions for expansion – away from the showerhead, and away from the side wall.
Fortunately, if you have space in the room to spare, it's not too daunting of a project to move the shower walls or door by a foot or more, which can make a huge difference in your bathing experience. If you feel inspired, you can also upgrade the space with features like a bench, or smart bathing technology. A larger shower area can also make your bathroom more accessible to those with limited mobility or disabilities.
Putting the Pan in Place
The most critical aspect of enlarging your shower is replacing the shower pan, or the raised floor that collects all the water and ensures that it flows down into the drain. If you are an expert home project DIYer, you can build your own custom shower pan using concrete and a special membrane. Most people will have a much easier time purchasing a pre-existing shower pan, although that does limit your options as to the size and dimensions of the shower, and may require you to move the floor drain to line up with the hole in the pan.
It is absolutely crucial that you install the pan correctly, otherwise water can leak around it into the floor, promoting mold and mildew growth and slowly undermining your infrastructure. Once the pan is in place, reinstalling larger shower walls and a door is a less complicated affair. Again, just make sure all the seals around the door are tight so water can't leak onto the floor.
True Comfort in Your Bathroom
Expanding your shower can be a tricky, time-consuming process, but the rewards are self-evident when you enjoy all that extra space while you bathe. If you need help remodeling your bathroom, or with any other plumbing repairs, get in touch with an expert plumber today.