Is a Wet Room a Good Alternative to a Bath?

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Wet rooms are one of the big bathroom trends at the moment. We all love the idea of having a completely waterproof room with a huge shower, and not having to install a shower tray or baths in the corner. Wet rooms may be trendy and convenient, but is it worth ripping out bathroom suites to replace them with a wet room?

Resale?

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This public shower room is basically a giant wet room.

If you are planning on living with your wet room for decades to come, then considering how easy it would be to sell your house on becomes far less of an issue. However, if you have one eye on the future and are thinking of moving on in a few years, consider your target market when it comes to sales. If you are thinking of changing the only bathroom in a family home to a wet room without a bath, this could put off a huge number of families with young children who prefer to give their babies a bath rather than a shower. Young professionals, on the other hand, may find an up to the minute wet room far more appealing than the traditional bathroom, and elderly people with mobility issues often prefer a shower to a bath too.

A beautiful wet room could add thousands to the price if you are pitching a city centre flat to the young professional, but take thousands off the price if you are trying to sell a 3-bed semi in suburbia. The cost of installing your wet room should also be weighed up against how much value it would add – if any.

Expense and Disruption

Wet rooms are more complicated and expensive to install than a normal bathroom as the whole room has to be completely sealed and water tight. The typical cost of installing a wet room at home is anything between £5,000 and £10,000, compared with a new bathroom suite costing around £1,000. Installing the waterproof tanking on all of the walls and laying a wet room deck and waterproof membrane on floors is also more time consuming than just fitting a new bathroom suite, and if you only have one bathroom in the house then it might be impractical. Wet rooms are growing in popularity so there are many people who are qualified to fit them, but they are still not as commonplace as standard bathrooms and finding a recommended plumber or builder could still be a challenge.

Size

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If you have a tiny bathroom, then the obvious answer seems to be to convert it into a wet room. However, wet rooms often work best in larger spaces. If you are having a shower in a very small wet room, the lack of shower cubicle or curtain means the toilet, sink, towels and everything else in the room gets drenched every morning. There are ways around this such as using a special screen to contain the water, but this detracts from the open wet room look which so many people want. Consider both the size and the shape of your bathroom before deciding one way or the other.

To make the most of your small bathroom, you can try these tips.

Flooring

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Not many of us still have carpet in the bathroom, but there are many other flooring types which are not appropriate for using in a wet room. Tiles are really the only option for a wet room floor, but if you keep a standard bathroom design with a shower cabinet, bath, and standard fittings, you have the flexibility to use materials like cork tiles, laminate or even put a rug down to keep your toes warm.

Property Style

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Lots of us like period houses with original features, and it can look rather odd to go into a Victorian house to find it stripped of its ceiling roses and iron fireplaces and find that the owner has installed a cutting edge kitchen or wet room. Victorian bathrooms with high ceilings may not lend themselves well to the look of a wet room, which is often more appropriate in a modern or new build property. Also, ripping out original features in a bathroom to install a wet room may result in lower offers if you decide to sell in the future.