Wet room ideas – create a stylish sanctuary by fitting a walk-in shower

Installing a wet room will give a truly grown-up, spa-like showering experience to your bathroom.

Stealing a little bit of extra space can transform your bathroom with luxury proportions. Wet rooms are becoming increasingly desirable, and they’re a great way to add value to your home. Create the look with our best wet room ideas.

See our decorating section for more inspiration

How to create a wet room

Wet room ideas

Image credit: Paul Massey

Are wet rooms a good ideas?

There are so many advantage to having a wet room. The average-sized bathroom can be turned into a more impressive shower room simply by removing the bath and freeing up the space needed for a walk-in shower. Estate agents are quick to point out that a family home without a bath will be less saleable but there are creative options you can explore. For instance, if you have a large master bedroom, consider installing a freestanding, statement tub here for a dash of hotel chic. These wet room ideas should help you decide if a wet room is right for you.

What is the most common mistake made?

Over-ambition is an issue. Clients often bring along a photograph of a freestanding bath in a French chateau, and want that in their Chelsea terrace but there will never be room. Large showers are similar, requiring powerful pumps and huge water tanks. We advise to choose one or two special but appropriate items and keep the rest simple.

How does plumbing limit positioning?

Basins, baths and showers only have to take away water but, if placed four metres from an outside wall, the drainage will have to slope gently downwards for quite a long way, avoiding joists, which may not be running in a helpful direction. The sooner an architect or plumber raises a few floorboards, the sooner you’ll know your options.

What about changing the architecture itself – moving a window for example?

It depends on each property, but moving windows is generally less costly and far easier than people imagine and can really free up the layout. You only generally need planning permission if your property is in a
conservation area or a listed building.

Wet rooms

Image credit: Mark Bolton

Do internal renovations require planning permission?

Quite possibly if the property is listed, but it varies from council to council. Contacting your local Planning Department at the start of your project to establish what might, in principle, be permitted and what would never get off the ground.

What kind of costs are involved in a wet room?

It is never cheap to re-do a bathroom. In a family bathroom with two basins, a WC, a bath and a shower, quality items will easily add up to £5,000. Installation adds a further £3,000 or so and, with cabinets and storage, good quality mirrors, tiles and lighting, it generally adds up to between £10,000 and £15,000.

Do I need a special extractor fan in my wet room?

The build-up of moisture and condensation is greater in a wet room than in a traditional bathroom. Fans operated by light switches alone often aren’t effective enough. A good fan needs to be wired into the room (still coming on with the light switch) but with a separate cut-off switch, which is outside the room. Humidity-tracking extractor fans are best for wet rooms as they work continuously and incrementally with automatic
extraction for however much steam is in the room.

See more bathroom ideas: Small bathroom ideas – stylish solutions for tiny spaces

1. SEAL IT TIGHT

In order to create a true wet room, a watertight environment must be created by tanking both the floor and walls of the room to thoroughly protect it from leaks. First a watertight membrane is laid, then the room will need to be tiled throughout with a gentle gradient in the main a shower area so the water flows away easily into the waste.

Wet room ideas

Image credit: Mark Bolton

2. LIGHT IT UP

Add glossy finishes and sleek chrome fittings and use matching tiles or composite panels on both floors and walls to accentuate the sense of space. Create areas of colour and even patterns using mosaics or tiles in a variety of formats to give definition to your shower space, or mix shapes, sizes and shades for a unique look.

Wet room ideas

Image credit: Jonathan Gooch

3. FAKE IT

If you are not able to create a true wet room, the latest ultra-low profile shower trays are a clever alternative. A frameless shower enclosure will give any bathroom a modern, seamless feel and create a contained area for showering without the need for a separate cubicle. Paired with a low-profile shower tray these frameless, clear glass panels help to make even the smallest of spaces feel less claustrophobic and therefore a more calming showering experience.

Wet room ideas

Image credit: Darren Chung

4. THE RIGHT TILE

The options of tiles are endless and it’s a great place to really show off your personality but the one thing to remember when it comes to floor tiles for a wet room is to go for a design with a raised matt finish, for an anti-slip surface. Smaller tiles like mosaics are a great choice as they’re easy to lay in a slope towards the drainage hole. Alternatively, a mix of metro and patterned tiles create a cool and contemporary appearance.

Wet room ideas

Image credit: Artisan of Devizes

5. FLOOR FACTOR

Most flooring types can accommodate the pipes needed for drainage in a wet room – even concrete, but in some instances the flooring will need to be taken up before tiling takes place to ensure the drainage pipes can be positioned to have the necessary slope for the water to drain away.

wet rooms

Image credit: Jonathan Gooch

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