What precisely is a wet room, and how does it distinguish itself from ordinary bathrooms?
In this blog post, we'll delve into the core characteristics of a wet room, elucidate on the construction process, and give you a sense of their likely costs.
You might have heard the term 'wet room' or even utilised one, but what differentiates it from a standard shower room or bathroom?
Wet rooms have been a popular fixture in homes across continental Europe for years, often becoming a holiday highlight for many due to their practical design and artful execution. However, in the UK, wet rooms have faced some criticism, largely due to subpar planning and installation. When executed properly, these spaces offer numerous benefits, making them an optimal choice for those working with limited space or wanting to inject a dose of luxury into an en suite.
Here, we demystify what wet rooms are and how to ensure their success.
What is a wet room?
A wet room goes beyond a walk-in shower or a regular shower room; it eliminates the need for shower screens or enclosures, as the room itself becomes the shower enclosure.
A wet room is essentially a waterproofed or tanked bathroom where the shower area is at the same level as the rest of the floor, the floor in a wet room is generally sloped towards a drain for water to flow away.
In practical terms, not every wet room is entirely tanked up the walls; instead, only the 'wet zone' of the room is completely waterproofed. The shower is typically open (without a screen), but some may prefer including some form of screening to shield the rest of the bathroom from water.
How do you build a wet room?
The keys to a successful wet room lie in appropriate waterproofing and efficient drainage.
While wet room kits — complete with tray former, waste, drainage grate, tanking membrane, fixing tape, adhesive, and wood floor primer — are available, most experts recommend professional installation due to the disastrous and costly consequences of any errors in drainage or waterproofing.
The entire room needs to be waterproofed. Despite there being more water in some areas than others, there isn't a clear delineation of wet and dry areas like in a typical bathroom.
The whole wet room must be tanked properly, as this is one of the most crucial aspects to get right, Leaks can be costly and labour-intensive to fix.
Subsequently, the floor must be built on a gradient to ensure the water flows towards the drain. Walls and floors are typically finished with tiles, but it's worthwhile to consider the pros and cons of shower panels vs tiles. Waterproof polished plaster such as Tadelakt or microcement could be an alternative.
Do you need a big bathroom for a wet room?
Contrary to popular belief, wet rooms can be an excellent solution for those looking for small bathroom ideas. They eliminate screens and enclosures that occupy space and necessitate room to open out.
That said, some wet room designs are more effective in small spaces than others. Including a shower screen in your bathroom design can be useful in preventing spray from soaking other areas in the room.
How much do wet rooms cost? The cost of a wet room can vary significantly depending on the fittings you select, the size of the space, and who carries out the installation.
To purchase everything necessary to construct a wet room, including tiles, the bathroom suite, and all fittings and fixtures, you should be prepared for large costs for materials and professional installation.
Regardless of the final cost, the result will be a chic and modern wet room that not only adds a touch of luxury to your home but also increases its value. With the right planning, expert advice, and careful selection of materials, your wet room project will be a success, delivering a beautiful and functional space that you'll enjoy for many years to come.
Wet rooms are a testament to the merging of design and functionality, proving that you don't need to sacrifice style for practicality. They represent a significant shift in modern bathroom design, offering a sophisticated and streamlined look that traditional bathrooms often can't compete with.
Bear in mind, though, that while the project may seem straightforward, it's often more complex than it first appears. Therefore, unless you're a skilled DIY enthusiast, it might be worth considering professional installation to ensure your wet room is correctly waterproofed and drained.
As you embark on your wet room journey, remember to take the time to explore different design ideas, consider your space and budget, and choose the right fixtures, fittings, and finishings. After all, creating your dream wet room should be an exciting adventure, not a chore. Happy planning!
Why not get in touch with our sister company Premiere Klasse for design ideas from their Bathroom designers in Basingstoke and Ascot