Perhaps the most underrated, or mostly overlooked, aspect in any form of dwelling or a residential project has been the bathing unit. For a layperson, it is easily an oft-ignored part of the details that go into a construction of the house. However, over the last many decades — thanks to the Italian craftsmanship that has revolutionized the way people inhabit spaces — bathrooms have become the most significant part of living.
Building a shower pan is not just about the art of placing the right fixtures in the right place. There’s a whole lot of science that goes with style. Let’s look at the various ways you can build a shower pan.
Good Design Comes with Logical Construction
A bathroom can be a perfect confluence of different elements. When the layout is planned, make sure that the shower pan is placed at a juncture that is conducive to the mobility, footprint and stability that comes with the human sense of balance. A lot of accidents take place under shower pans. Hence, it is essential to create a sense of harmony among all elements.
Go for Curbless Showers
Because of the logistical nightmares it can cause, curbs are often hindrances in movements, rather than space dividers. Wet surfaces, additionally, pose further dangers in this area. Curbless showers are not only friendly for those with a disability or aging members of the society, but also for regular usage. Additionally, curbless showers throw in a dash of versatility into the design of the space, especially when added with a bar handle or built-in seats for extra support.
Go Classic with Marble
Marble, one can say, is the new black. So versatile is this material that any form of space, when richly endowed with marble, becomes a sight of opulence. Take New Yorker designer Scott Snyder’s design in Chester, for instance. He transported the users at Glenmare Mansion — a 1911 villa which was converted into a contemporary hotel — into a spectacle of richness with the use of the exquisite Carrara marble, which covered everything from the walls to the flooring to the shower pan.
You can also add a dollop of adventure with the multi-textured and colorful cotto tiles on the floor combined with Carrara bathing alcove. The idea is that no amount of mix and match will ever dilute the purity of the substance. The material also lends an element of spaciousness into the bathroom. If you accessorize it with garden stools or rugs, the aesthetics of your shower pan will come out even more.
Add the Drama of Glass in Your Shower Pans
We take the arresting example of designer Alexander Gorlin and his residential project in Nova Scotia. For the house so steeped in history, the designer visualized a space that represents purity. Apart from the house, Gorlin focussed his energies on creating a space that uses glass as its basic material, interspersed with steel and reinforced concrete. The combination brings forth a cinematic beauty of both rawness and classicism.
Take Your Shower Pans Outdoors
It’s never too bold to experiment with your private spaces. Which is why when German studio Tarantik and Egger decided to indulge in a shower for a private residential project, they went all out with ideas — literally. For their own version of minimalistic shower pans, they employed the use of pines that come together through one common source.
This simple design is a lesson in architectural methodology, in the sense that not only does it add some drama to your shower space, but it also minimizes wastage of space that is usually taken up by partition walls and other elements. This pared-down approach to showers is an ode to the organic flow of water, one that is not hindered by superfluous elements.
Add Some View to Your Shower Pan
It was none other than Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect and designer, who brought into spaces the need for nature to flow in. And so, when architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski, from Colorado, had to come up with a design for a residential project, they instantly looked towards the master crafter and his timeless philosophy in architecture and design. They fused the shower plan within a glass cube, which immediately looked out to the surroundings.
Sculpt Your Way into the Shower
In an incredible lesson in how to use materials to experiment with traditional spaces, designer Isabel Lopez-Quesada used the material of tadelakt in order to sculpt out a coiling, labyrinthine passage to the shower pan in a private home in Greece. This lends an intriguing sense of privacy in this highly customized space. Not only does it breaks boundaries in terms of traditional outlook of a house, but also gives contemporary designers and architects a glimpse of what innovation in materiality looks like, even in the most unusual spaces.
Find Inspiration in Concrete
We are firm believers in the fact that concrete never goes out of style. Which is why we advocate the use of concrete textures on the wall, flooring, all the way up to the ceiling. Not only does it denote that classicism that comes with this material, but it also brings with it the economization of cost, labor and maintenance.
Add Some Skylight to Your Shower Pan
What else spells romance than the idea of a skylight? It illuminates the space even in the darkest moments. Which is why we advocate, perhaps, a dual-head shower right below the skylight, which will add a sense of tranquility to your bathing rituals.
Innovation in Shower Pans Are on the Rise
Italians, as mentioned before, are always on top of the list when it comes to coming up with the latest innovations for the most mundane of spaces. And why should bathrooms be left behind? In what is called Pianolegno, the shower pans are adorned by wooden floorings in the shape of grids made up of teak wood. This is paired with stainless steel shower pan. This combination spells chic and sophistication in the same breath.
Another innovation includes the combination includes ceramic weaves on the pan, which is further countersunk into the ground. The look is not only super contemporary, but also brings with it the appeal of a fuss-free space.
Pay Heed to Waterproofing
No shower pan is complete without the requirements of waterproofing in the bathroom. A common way to fix this situation is to embed the shower pan with a mortar surface, which is usually required for the entire shower area too. Additionally, the flooring must be sloped towards the drainage area so that the water disappears quickly.
This is even more crucial when you go for off-beat materials such as wood, ceramic or concrete in your shower pans. This sort of construction specifically requires a waterproof construction, situated right at the bottom of the pan and extending up to the walls.
Get Rid of the Doors
Bathroom designs have transformed the way we use spaces. Which leads us to the next suggestion: get rid of the doors! Why let partition hinder the seamless flow of the interiors when one common unit will serve the purpose anyway? This can be helpful especially if you are going for a curbless walk-in unit.
Add Water Retention Elements in Your Shower Pans
An architect or the engineer must keep in mind the many ways to avoid direct splashing of water, or the water running over the shower pan area. It is for this reason that water-retention surfaces are used as a reliable way to manage the depth of water. This also means that you can experiment with the different sizes of the shower. No matter how big you want to go, the water-retention surfaces will ensure that your bath time is enjoyable and fuss-free.
Elevate Your Shower pans
A uniquely Italian innovation, an elevated shower flooring adds a level of depth to your shower area. Not only are you free from shower curbs, but you are also provided with a kind of invisible boundary around your shower area. It is visually very appealing. However, it also brings with it a lot of logical solutions. One of them is that you can install an elevated shower pan even in the smallest of spaces, without jamming up the entire space.
It leads to a clutter-free aesthetic, while also bringing to the space the technological advantage of allowing linearity in the drainage system and a leak-proof strategy.
Play with the Height of Your Shower
As a leading bathroom accessory brand Hansgrohe has shown us, showers need not be placed overhead the pan. They can, in fact, be placed even on the ground level. In one of their most experimental line of bathroom fittings, Hansgrohe has brought to us the opportunity to play around with the shower pans, by allowing the jets to be placed anywhere near the floor level. This not only aims at bringing in a sense of spaciousness, but also the kind of mobility that has lacked with the traditional overhead shower.
And this, perhaps, is the best indicator of most bathroom innovations: that no unusual space should be left without a thought.