Wet rooms are often found in chic hotels and modern new builds but more and more of us are planning to incorporate them into our own homes, whether that’s an extra bathroom or an en suite. They fit into the smallest spaces, look great and are really convenient, and best of all, planning a wet room doesn’t have to be a headache.
There’s lots of decisions to make from what kind of tiles you need, which shower head to opt for, should you go for underfloor heating or a radiator and the all-important how do I keep it water tight? We’ve got all the answers…
WET ROOM IDEAS
Rebecca Milnes, designer at C.P. Hart, shares her tips to plan the perfect space.
1. GET IN THE ZONE WITH THE RIGHT LAYOUT
In a wet room, the shower area is flush with the floor level and the drain is fitted into the fully tiled floor. Originally wet rooms were completely open without any glass partition, however, a simple fixed glass panel creating a walk-in shower area is a much more practical choice and has become the most popular trend.
Wet room systems are not limited to incremental sizing, like shower trays often are, so they are a great solution for awkward or tight spaces. In small rooms it is possible to turn the whole area into a walk-in shower, however, it is best to be mindful of the items in the bathroom that need to be kept dry, such as towels and toilet rolls.
One of the first things to consider when planning a wet room is where to position the drain. Ideally the drain should be as far away from the bathroom door as possible, to minimise any risk of water escaping the room. If you have a wooden sub-floor, the way your joists run is crucial to where your drain can be positioned. You’ll also need to think about which way the gradient fall towards the waste will run, to avoid any tricky wedging effects.
Want more wet room ideas? SeeWet room ideas – create a stylish sanctuary by fitting a walk-in shower
2. STRIKE A BALANCE WITH A STYLISH SURFACE
When deciding which wet room system to go for, think about what your sub-floor is made of. There are systems for both solid and wooden floors. If you have a concrete floor, it can be quite invasive to channel in a waste and create the gradient fall required for drainage.
Forgoing a shower tray in favour of a wet room allows the floor tiles to run through to the shower area, which adds visual space to a room. However, not all surfaces are safe to use in a wet room setting and it is crucial to know what the slip rating of the material is. I’d recommend using a material with a structured, textured finish to give extra grip in wet areas. Mosaics are also a great choice for wet areas, as the grout lines between the tiles give appropriate grip.
In cases where a step-up to the wet-area is needed, the step should be at-least 10cm high as anything lower can be easily overlooked by those not familiar with the room and can become a trip hazard. Adding under-plinth lighting can highlight the step and add ambiance to the room.
3. SEAL IT UP
Tanking is essential in a wet room . This is a multi-step process which entails several layers of waterproofing to ensure an excellent seal – much like a swimming pool. The two main approaches for tanking a wet room are using a self-adhesive bitumen-based waterproof membrane or applying a paint-on liquid wall membrane. It is always best to speak to your supplier about the best system for your project.
4. MAKE A STATEMENT WITH SANITARYWARE
If you are embracing the full wet room look and omitting any sort of enclosure or screen, it is fundamental to think about your choice of sanitaryware, as it is likely that it will get wet from the spray of the shower or the condensation in the room. Opt for ceramics that are flush to the wall and are ideally wall-mounted. A wall-hung toilet is a brilliant choice in a wet room, as there are no areas for water to pool and makes cleaning easier.
C.P. Hart, cphart.co.uk