Want a wet
room, but not sure whether it will work in your home? Read on for the
advantages and disadvantages of wet rooms, along with some expert design tips
Wet rooms are
becoming more and more desirable, and they’re a great way to add value to your
home. But how exactly do you go about designing a wet room? We’ve put together
a handy guide with everything you need to know, from what tiles to choose to
specialist wet room companies you can contact about installation.
have a wet room?
In theory, yes.
Wet rooms are basically shower rooms that do away with the shower screen and
tray, and have an open, fully tiled shower area. If your bathroom is on the
small side you probably will need to include a shower screen to prevent
everything getting sprayed.
wet room is a job for the professionals, as a gradient needs to
be created along the floor to channel the shower water into a drain
and then the entire room needs to be tanked (waterproofed).
The most common
method for creating a gradient is to install a sub-floor made from WBP Ply
(a type of plywood), which is then tiled over.
is to install a ready-made sloping shower former (a bit like a giant
shower tray), which is also then tiled over.
method is to use a giant preformed tray (sometimes known as a Hi-Macs
system) that slopes towards a drain, and can be fitted across the entire
floor without the need for tiling over.
wet rooms involves priming the floor, the lower section of the walls and
the whole of the wall area around the shower and then covering with
a syrupy membrane. Once it’s set, the room is then tiled.
It’s also worth
raising the bathroom door threshold by about 5mm from the floor in case the
room fills with water (if someone covers the shower drain with a towel,
for example). This will keep the water contained.
Advantages of wet rooms
- Wet rooms are super-stylish and perfect for
creating a contemporary look.
- As a second bathroom, a wet room can easily
increase the value of your home.
- Great for small bathrooms – removing the bath
creates loads more space.
- Wet rooms are, in general, easier to clean.
There’s no shower screen or tray to worry about and if you go for a
wall-hung sink and toilet, it’s easier still.
- If it’s done properly, your floor (the bit under
the tiles) is better protected than it would be in a standard
Disadvantages of wet rooms
small bathrooms, watch out for wet towels and loo roll caused by spray from the
need a professional fitter to waterproof the room – if it’s not done properly,
leaking water can cause damage.
rooms should be tiled from floor to ceiling – and that’s expensive. And if you
go for porous stone tiles, they may need to be resealed every few months, which
is hard work.
a main bathroom for a wet room could make your home less saleable – buyers want
at least one bath.
will a wet room cost?
The cost of
installing a wet room is usually between £5,000 and £10,000. If you are
paying a company to tank and install a wet room, including floor-to-ceiling
tiles, suite and shower, expect to pay more. Retailers such as Victoria Plum and Wickes may offer you some ideas or can sell you those little
extras you need to complete your wet room.
of surface materials should I use in a wet room?
the most popular wall and floor covering, but you can opt for sheet vinyl
for the floor, or even Corian, which is a seamless, non-porous material
that is low-maintenance. Concrete and tadelakt (a waterproof plaster from
Morocco) will lend your wet room a rough luxe look.
If you are going
to use tiles, choose non-porous bathroom tiles like ceramic or porcelain.
Porous tiles, such as slate, marble and limestone need sealing every few
months to prevent water damage. Only use floor tiles specifically for
bathrooms on the floor so they aren’t slippery.
Final del formulario
Try Topps Tiles for a good selection for your wet room.
install underfloor heating?
recommend installing underfloor heating as it keeps the tiles warm underfoot
and helps to dry out the water on the floor.
Wet room decorating ideas to consider before you start
Before you even
think about getting the builders in, make sure you have thought through every
element of your wet room scheme. From shelving to shower fittings, take your
time in the planning stage to ensure that everything will be just as you want
or not you want shower valves to be exposed or concealed. Exposed shower valves
work well in a modern country scheme and are also easier to install. But if you
want a super-sleek look, a fixed rainwater shower head with concealed pipework
can’t be beaten. If you only install a fixed shower head, it can be hard to
avoid getting your hair wet – annoying if you don’t shampoo every time, and
they’re not terribly useful for cleaning the shower. The best solution is to
include a handheld shower as well.
are perfect for bathrooms designed for sharing,’ says Jonathan Carter at
Victoria & Albert Baths. ‘It’s often a style you’ll find in luxury hotels
and allows plenty of personal space while making a bold statement. Try pairing
with a freestanding tub to enjoy the best of both worlds.’ In this en suite
designed by American agency Acre Creative, the floor has been raised and
tanked, essentially creating a giant shower tray.
sleek modern drainage
Longing for an
invigorating power shower? Then you’ll need to install a drain that can handle
high water volumes efficiently. A flush-fitting, channel-style drain collects
water across its full width, effectively preventing floods. Look for a drain
with an easy access dirt trap to help keep the water running freely.
natural partition without glass
Many wet rooms have a
glass panel for containing splashes, but that’s not the only way to section off
the shower part of your wet room. A tiled partition wall is also a great way to
stop water from flowing all over the room, while providing the easy walk-in
access that makes wet rooms so popular.
dedicated space for storing shampoo and soap inside your shower area is
essential. One of the smartest solutions is niche shelving, which can be built
into a stud wall at construction stage. Unlike chrome racks and rails, niche
storage doesn’t encroach on your showering space. It’s important to tile the
actual shelf on a slight gradient to prevent water from pooling at the back.
Add discreet waterproof lighting to softly illuminate.
It’s best to
employ a specialist company rather than a separate builder, plumber and
tiler. The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association (kbsa.org.uk) and the Federation of Master Builders (fmb.org.uk) both have online databases of specialists in
your area. Before choosing a company, ask to see examples of their work.
Bathstore – design and installation of wet rooms
Homebase – supplies wet room panels and kits
Solidity – offers an alternative to tanking using preformed trays known as
Wetrooms UK – provides a tanking service with a 10-year
Wetrooms Online – wet room products and installation guides
Have you been
converted, or will you be sticking with a more traditional bathroom for now?