Everything You Need To Know About Wet Rooms
What is a wet room?
Wet rooms have become increasingly popular over the last few years as a great alternative to a standard bathroom. Wet rooms can be perfect choices for those with mobility issues and in some cases allow people to create somewhere to shower even when the space is too small for a standard shower enclosure or bath.
If you think about your current bathroom or shower room, you’ll notice that there are zones in the room which are waterproof, and others which are not. We usually have tiled areas around the bath or the shower to keep the water out of the walls, but flooring and other areas of the room are not waterproof.
In a wet room, the entire room is like a sealed, waterproof box. All walls will be specially treated and tiled – as will the floor – this will stop any leaks or dampness from getting into other parts of the house. As wet rooms are fully waterproof, there is often no need for a separate shower tray, as the water just drains into a drain in the floor.
Benefits of having a wet room
There are a number of fantastic benefits to having a wet room. Firstly, a well-designed wet room could add value to your property as having a wet room as a second bathroom is a feature which buyers are increasingly looking for. A small bathroom is ideal for a wet room as it creates more space and is easier to install and maintain. Wet rooms are also more practical for elderly people or those with disabilities as they are all on one level.
Building a wet room from scratch in your house allows you to go right back to the basics and design your space from scratch, giving you choice over everything from the layout to the tile finish. If you have a very cramped bathroom, taking the bath out completely and turning it into a wet room with just a shower can make the room feel a lot bigger too.
Disadvantages of a wet room
As mentioned above wet rooms are ideal for those with mobility issues however, on the flip side a family with young children may be put off your house if the only bathroom available is a wet room.
If installing a wet room in your home is at the compromise of a standard bathroom, then it might be good to investigate whether this is likely to have an effect if you want to sell your house in the future.
If the only space in your home to wash is a wet room this might impact the variety of people interested in purchasing your home. For example, families with young children are likely to want a home with at least 1 bath.
If you’re installing a wet room in a small bathroom, then you’ll need to consider the impact that spray from the shower will have on bath towels and toilet rolls in the room. Nobody likes a soggy roll, so you may need to consider installing a shower screen.
How much does it cost to fit a wet room?
The cost of fitting a wet room can vary massively between projects. Essentially the cost will come down to the size of the room and the quality of the materials and product you choose to fit. On average a wet room can cost anything between £3000 - £12000 with labour costs on top.
However, we do advise doing your research and looking for a properly qualified plumber or wet room installer as fitting a wet room is much more challenging than fitting a standard bathroom. Therefore, you might find labour costs for fitting a wet room are more than that for fitting a bathroom.
Tiles and heating
However, tiles are a different matter and when you are shopping for floor and wall tiles, you need to choose a material which is non-porous. Slate or marble tiles can be used, but you have to seal them every few months to stop them becoming damaged. You’ll have to consider if that look is worth the effort of having to constantly re-seal them. Finally, only use floor tiles that specifically designed for use with bathrooms as they’re non-slip.
Most wet rooms are also built with underfloor heating, and this is a great option as it does away with the need for a bulky, unattractive radiator hanging on the wall and helps dry up any water that might accumulate on the floor.
Wet room inspiration
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your new wet room or you don’t know where to start with your project then one of the best things to consider may be the walls and floors. As these are likely to get very wet you need to make sure they are full waterproof.
Perhaps one of the best waterproof wall solutions, bathroom wall panels are ideal for wet rooms. Fitted as large individual sheets, bathroom wall panels provide less opportunity for water to seep in behind and potentially damage your walls, unlike some tiles.
Now, if you want to make a statement then the walls and floor are a great place to do this either with vibrant patterned wall panels, stylish marble effect tiles or even tiles or wall panels in one dramatic colour.
You’ll also need to consider your storage solutions. If you need somewhere to store your bathroom essentials then we advise positioning this as far away from the shower area as possible, to prevent any water damage.
If you have the space, then a stylish wood effect storage cabinet or vanity unit would create the perfect stand-out feature for your wet room. However, if you don’t have tonnes of space to spare then a glamorous mirror cabinet positioned above your sink could be your ideal wet room storage solution.
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