Choosing Between a Curbed or Curbless Shower

There are a lot of considerations that go into renovating a bathroom such as what improvements you want to make to the form and function of your space. One of the many decisions along those lines is choosing between a curbed or a curbless shower.

Below we explore the pros and cons of both to help you understand which works best for your bathroom.

The Curbed Shower

A curbed shower is a shower design featuring a raised barrier around the shower area to prevent water from flowing onto the bathroom floor. They are most commonly made from tile or stone. This raised edge, between one to four inches high, creates a boundary between the shower and the rest of the bathroom.

The Pros

Water Containment

Curbed showers are effective at keeping water confined within the shower space, reducing the risk of water spillage, thanks to the physical barrier that the curb creates.

Design Versatility

Curbed showers offer design versatility with a wide range of options to choose from. This means you can control shape, size, and material used to creatively match your overall aesthetic. 

Shower curbs can be made from a full quartz slab — no grout, no interruptions. The result is a sleek, continuous surface that exudes modernity and requires less maintenance.

Familiarity and Comfort

Shower curbs are traditionally about 4 inches high. However, today’s curbs can be streamlined, often measuring just an inch to an inch and a half high, making it far less of an obstacle than before. 


Curbs can be a more budget-friendly choice, as they are generally less expensive to build. Quartz slabs that seamlessly colour-match create a sleek and cohesive look. A curb respects your budget without compromising style. Curbs also allow for flexible flooring choices for the rest of the bathroom.

The Cons

Accessibility Challenges

While the curb can be lowered to about an inch, it still presents a barrier for some, especially those with mobility challenges. Stepping over a curb for entry and exit, even if minimal, can be a safety concern, and any changes in elevation can be tough. 

Design Limitations

For a lot of people, a curb has a more traditional look that won’t fit with their modern aesthetic. Due to it inherently being a border in your bathroom, it may not work well for an open design.

Cleaning Struggles

Curbs create additional corners and edges, making cleaning more challenging. When coupled with consistent moisture, you could see an increased risk of mould growth. 

The Curbless Shower

Curbless showers are a more modern bathroom design option characterized by the absence of a raised barrier, offering a smooth transition from bathroom floor to shower. This seamless design can make for a space with enhanced accessibility. 

The Pros

Visual Appeal 

The curbless shower creates a continuous floor surface. This gives your bathroom a feeling of openness and evokes a spa-like atmosphere, giving you your own personal retreat every day


Curbless showers enable easy entry and exit by removing the barrier to step over. This makes them a great, practical option for individuals with mobility challenges, including those using wheelchairs or walkers.

Easy Maintenance

Without a curb, cleaning your shower is as simple as cleaning the rest of your bathroom floor.

Versatile Design Options

Curbless showers offer greater flexibility, allowing for more customization options like glass enclosures, benches, and decorative tiles.

The Cons

Keeping Water Where it Should Be

Curbless showers need bathroom floors with delicately precise sloping for proper drainage. If not done correctly, water can pool beyond the shower area. Additionally, if the drainage system is not properly maintained, water may collect in areas outside of where it’s meant to be. Both scenarios could lead to potential water damage in the bathroom or other areas of the home. They can also increase the danger of slip and fall events or encourage mould and mildew growth.

Higher Costs

Curbless showers usually require the shower space to be cut down or modified into the floor joists, leading to additional expenses for labor and framing reinforcement. However, not every home can accommodate this structural alteration, as it depends on the unique characteristics of its construction.

Flooring Options

Opting for a curbless shower may limit flooring choices for the entire bathroom, as the design typically requires consistent flooring material throughout.

The Choice is Yours – But We Can Help! Choosing between a curbed or a curbless shower is different for everyone, balancing visual aspirations with practical considerations. Consider your lifestyle, preferences, and the unique aspects of your home. 

Reach out to our experienced team members for advice on turning your bathroom dreams into reality. 

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