Frameless glass walk-in shower
This frameless glass walk-in shower by MOMA Design enhances the modern aesthetics of the bathroom.

Sustainable Walk-in Showers Add Elegance, Accessibility

According to a survey by the American Institute of Architects, homeowners are ditching that tired old bathtub in favor of a modern, walk-in shower.

The American Institute of Architects’ annual Home Design Trends Survey focused on kitchens and bathrooms. The survey asks more than 500 residential architecture firms to identify emerging trends in the housing market. More than 60% of respondents reported that bathrooms designed with showers rather than bathtubs were increasing in popularity.

Architects said modern, upscale showers were in demand by homeowners, especially in the master bath. Hand-held sprayers and rain heads, as well as built-in niches and benches, add luxury and versatility to the shower.

The trend can be attributed in part to a growing demand for accessibility as more and more homeowners are opting to “age in place” and need their home to adjust to their changing needs. While bathtubs have traditionally boosted a home’s resale value, a recent survey on Houzz showed that homeowners 65 and older preferred showers because of they are easier to get in and out of. Door-less and zero-threshold showers are elegant, as well as practical for handicapped or aging family members.

The Houzz survey found that frameless glass is one of the most popular choices for shower enclosures—some 79% of respondents preferred an all-glass enclosure. Frameless glass keeps sightlines open, enhancing the clean, modern aesthetics of the room.

Sustainability features are also trending in bathroom design as homeowners seek to add more value to their homes. Demand for low-flow showerheads, water-saving toilets, and LED lighting, which offers a full spectrum of light that makes the room feel at once more relaxing and invigorating, has increased since last year.