Why Full Shower Slabs and Invisible Drains are Buzzwords of 2019 Shower Designs
Showers are the most defining trait of the modern bathroom. Sure, there are the beautifully-designed bathtubs, but they existed even in the medieval period in some form or the other and almost exclusively in palatial homes. The modern-day shower however is a feature that is present in all bathrooms, from the most functional to the most elaborate. That said, there is no dearth of new ideas and designs when it comes to how a modern shower looks, feels and functions, so let us get straight to what factors to consider when building a new shower and what are the latest trends that one should be aware of.
What’s in a drain?
Shower-drains that are located at the other end of the bathroom and make a small rumble as the water drains long after you have finished? No more. Various designers are now presenting shower-drains that are integrated into the shower floor itself, offering a design that is both easier to clean and much more appealing to look at. This accompanied by bigger slabs in the shower and fewer grout lines represent some of the most striking changes in shower designs in the past decade. But why? Read on.
Even now, most designers opt for the time-tested technique of installing small tiles with heavy grout floors to ensure that the floor is not slippery. However, the new idea of designing harks back to keeping it simple to make it more striking. For example, you might have seen slabs of natural stones used in the wall part of the showers. The same concept is now being implemented on the shower floor too. And this is where the ‘invisible’ drains come into factor. Thanks to them, they give the shower a clean, an almost seamless look which earlier could have been possible only with glass shower panels. Apart from ‘invisible’ drains, now there are also companies that offer adjustment systems for a level and flush installation. This can be adapted to natural stone that you have picked for the floor, without any visible drains/gates/outlets.
There are quite a few advantages of picking a natural stone for shower walls and floors. They give an extremely sleek and minimalist look to the shower, compared to an almost noisy look given by colourful tiles. There is an understated look about natural stone, yet it can scream a look that is ‘expensive’, ‘classic’ and ‘focussed’ at the same time. There is, after all, a reason why all top hotels and other establishments never use tiles in their bathrooms!
Then, there is the fact that natural stones come in various patterns, finishes and colors. And not to mention, various finishes: you can choose glossy or matte finish as per your taste. And of course, the look itself. Clean? Done. Veined? Done. Slightly veined? Done. Chequered? Done. And with natural stone floors, you will never have to worry about leakages or even replacing them for the next few decades. The fact that they are slightly more expensive than tiles and heavier than them too are minor disadvantages offset by the durability and the ease of maintenance offered by natural stones.
If you want the strength of natural stone yet something which is different from the usual marble, granite and quartz, you can consider the sintered compact surface. It is a man-made substance but all its ingredients are natural. It has mostly been used until now in building countertops mostly and for good reason. They were scratch, stain- and fire-resistant and can handle a lot of traffic, making it ideal for showers.
When it comes to picking the finishing for the drains, a sensible choice would match it with the rest of the hardware in the bathroom. For example, if the rest of the hardware is chrome or brass, opt for the same finish for your shower drain too.
If you opt for natural stone, remember that it can get slippery and that is never ideal. The best thing would be to borrow from older designs and add small grooves in the slab. If the shower area is quite big, it would not be a bad idea to consider adding another drainage option to the shower.
Whatever the finish, remember to make your final choice beforehand as the plumbing will depend on your choices. For example, the kind of drain you want, its location and the number of drains you want. Once the plumbing is completed, it will be extremely costly and time-consuming to change the system.
I have written the article focusing on what u asked, but m a little unsure if this is exactly what was wanted. Please let me know as it was a slightly confusing topic for me