From the Experts

Five Ways to Add a Great Shower Space

Five ways to add a great shower space
One of the challenges of many homes is not a lack of bathrooms, but bathrooms that function well for your needs.

Would a ground-floor powder room work better for you if it also had a shower? Would the space used by your claw-foot tub be better used for a shower? Is your bathroom “real estate” serving your needs? Safe and comfortable bathing is key to living independently at home.

Here are five ways to add a great shower space to your home from universal design expert, Mike Foti, president of Innovate Building Solutions and a certified aging in place specialist. His company provides specialized products for people in the remodeling industry and for DIY homeowners. We’ve asked him to talk about cost-effective conversions and where they work best.

Here’s what Foti said:

1. Create a Wet Room

Popular in Europe and Asia (where square footage is at a premium), a wet room can work well for adding a shower to small spaces, such as a half bath. In a wet room instead of having an enclosed showering space the entire bathroom acts as an enclosure. In addition a wet room is at “one level” vs. having a showering space with a built up curb that someone needs to step over.


  • A fully accessible shower can be created in very small bathroom spaces (even bathrooms smaller than 5′ x 7′).
  • Provides a stylish European type design.
  • Offers more showering space.
  • Can create a roll-in shower in a small bathroom.
  • Easier to clean up the bathroom.

Design considerations

  • A substantial portion of the walls and the entire floor will need to be tiled with the appropriate wall backer boards behind the tile (we recommend extruded polystyrene wall backer). Other wall systems like solid surface, stone, marble or PVC backed composites also can be used.
  • The entire bathroom floor and a portion of the walls must be waterproofed.
  • It will be best to use bathroom furniture and toilets that are wall mounted and can withstand water.

To simplify installation, Innovate Building Solutions, offers two wet room installation kits.  For more information see Wet Room.

2, 3, 4, and 5: Replace a Tub with a Shower

In the video below Foti shares four innovative solutions for replacing a tub with a shower:

  • Glass reinforced plastic shower base offers a level walk-in design (example pictured above)
  • Glass blocks provide privacy and doorless entry
  • Shower shield with pivot door provides tub plus shower benefits
  • Curved door expands space without changing the footprint

More Information

For product information, visit Innovate Building Solutions or call: 1-877-668-5888.

For more about safe bathing see:


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