Japanese Wet Room Design: Everything You Need to know

Japanese Wet Room Design

Need design inspiration to make a wet room design?

Here, Japanese wet room design is a modern reimagining of traditional Japanese bathing practices, designed to create an immersive spa experience.

It combines the luxury of a spa with the privacy and comfort of your own home. Wet rooms provide hydrotherapy treatments that relax and rejuvenate both body and mind. The simplicity of design allows for natural materials, minimalism, and a focus on the therapeutic properties of water.

But first, Let’s clarify what is Japanese wet room design. and How to customize it with the best ideas.

What is a Japanese Wet Room?

A Japanese wet room, also known as an ofuro, is a type of bathroom that originated in Japan. In this type of bathroom, the entire space is waterproofed and is typically tiled to allow water to drain away easily. There is no separate shower stall or bathtub, but rather a single integrated space for washing, showering, and bathing. In a Japanese wet room, the shower space is often raised above the rest of the bathroom floor and there is often a bench or stool for sitting while washing or grooming. Wet rooms are becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world for their sleek and modern design and their efficient use of space.

Top 18 Japanese Wet Room Design Ideas

Zen-Inspired Design Ideas

Zen-inspired Japanese wet room designs can create a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. Some popular design ideas include:

1. Incorporating traditional Japanese elements: Shoji screens, which are sliding doors or room dividers made of wooden frames and translucent paper, can create a sense of privacy while allowing natural light to filter through. Tatami mats, which are made of woven rush grass, can add a touch of nature and provide a comfortable surface to stand on.

Incorporating traditional Japanese elements

2. Using neutral colors: A simple color palette of white, beige, or light gray can help create a sense of calmness and serenity. These colors also work well with natural materials such as wood or stone.

Using neutral colors

3. Integrating indoor plants: Bringing nature into the wet room can enhance relaxation and add a sense of freshness. Plants such as bamboo or bonsai trees are popular choices for their simplicity and beauty. However, it’s important to choose plants that can thrive in a humid environment.

Incorporating traditional Japanese elements

Traditional Japanese Design Ideas

Traditional Japanese design ideas for wet rooms incorporate natural materials to create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere. Some popular design elements include:

4. Using wooden elements: Wood is a key element in Japanese design, and using it in a wet room can create a warm and welcoming environment. Wooden walls, floors, and accents can add a natural texture and warmth to the space.

Using wooden elements

5. Incorporating a deep soaking tub (ofuro): Ofuro tubs are deep and small, designed for a full-body soak. They’re typically made of wood, and the hot water is usually heated by a separate system. Ofuro tubs are designed for relaxation and often used as a way to unwind after a long day.

Incorporating a deep soaking tub

6. Using natural stone: Natural stone, such as granite or marble, can add a luxurious feel to a traditional Japanese wet room. Stone can be used on the walls, floors, or even as a basin for the ofuro tub. It adds a sense of earthiness and can be paired with wooden accents for a harmonious design.

Using natural stone

Modern Japanese Design Ideas

Modern Japanese design ideas for wet rooms incorporate sleek and minimalist fixtures, as well as advanced technology. Some popular design elements include:

7. Using sleek and minimalist fixtures: Wall-mounted toilets and sinks are popular in modern Japanese design. They create a clean and streamlined look, while also saving space. These fixtures are often paired with simple and understated accessories.

sleek and minimalist fixtures

8. Integrating smart technology: Smart technology is becoming increasingly popular in modern Japanese wet rooms. A digital control panel for the shower can allow for precise temperature and pressure control, as well as customizable settings. Advanced features such as water-saving modes or aromatherapy can also be incorporated.

Integrating smart technology

9. Using contrasting materials: Contrasting materials, such as metal and wood, can create a contemporary and stylish look in a wet room. Sleek metal fixtures can be paired with warm wooden accents for a harmonious design. Glass walls or doors can also be used to create a sense of openness and transparency.

Using contrasting materials

Open-Concept Design Ideas

Open-concept design ideas for Japanese wet rooms aim to create a more spacious and interconnected area. Some popular design elements include:

10. Removing walls and partitions: Removing walls and partitions can open up the wet room and create a more spacious environment. This design approach can provide a sense of continuity between the wet room and the rest of the bathroom, creating a cohesive and unified space.

Removing walls and partitions

11. Using a glass divider or curtain: A glass divider or curtain can be used to separate the wet area from the rest of the bathroom while still maintaining a sense of openness. A glass divider can also create a more transparent and airy feeling in the space, while a curtain can add a touch of privacy.

Using a glass divider or curtain

12. Incorporating a rain showerhead: A rain showerhead can provide a spa-like experience in an open-concept wet room. The large showerhead can provide a gentle and relaxing flow of water, and can be mounted from the ceiling to enhance the feeling of spaciousness.

Incorporating a rain showerhead

Small-Space Design Ideas

Small-space design ideas for Japanese wet rooms focus on maximizing the use of limited space. Some popular design elements include:

13. Using compact fixtures: Compact fixtures such as a corner sink or a wall-mounted toilet can save space and create a more streamlined look. These fixtures can be paired with small and understated accessories to maximize the use of space.

Using compact fixtures

14. Incorporating a sliding door: A sliding door can save space and provide easy access to the wet room. Sliding doors can also add a touch of elegance to the space while maintaining a functional and space-saving design.

Incorporating a sliding door

15. Using light colors and mirrors: Light colors such as white or beige can make a small space feel larger and more spacious. The use of mirrors can also create the illusion of a larger space by reflecting light and adding depth to the room.

Using light colors and mirrors

Japanese-Style Lighting Ideas

Japanese-style lighting ideas for wet rooms focus on creating a bright and relaxing atmosphere. Some popular design elements include:

16. Using natural light: The use of natural light can create a bright and airy atmosphere in a Japanese wet room. The incorporation of windows or skylights can provide natural light and ventilation, creating a more comfortable and healthy environment.

Using natural light

17. Incorporating pendant lighting or paper lanterns: Pendant lighting or paper lanterns can add a traditional touch to a Japanese wet room. These fixtures can provide a warm and inviting glow while also adding a sense of elegance and sophistication to the space.

Incorporating pendant lighting or paper lanterns

18. Using dimmable lights: Dimmable lights can create a relaxing and soothing ambiance in a Japanese wet room. They can be adjusted to create different moods or settings, providing flexibility and versatility in the design. They can also be used to highlight specific design elements or features in the space.

Using dimmable lights

How to design a Japanese wet room

Designing a Japanese wet room involves considering various factors such as the available space, desired style, and functionality of the space. Here are some steps to follow when designing a Japanese wet room:

1. Consider the available space: Before designing a Japanese wet room, it is essential to consider the available space. A wet room typically requires at least 30 square feet of space. If the space is limited, small-space design ideas can be incorporated to maximize the use of the available space.

2. Choose a design style: There are various design styles to choose from when designing a Japanese wet room, including traditional, modern, zen-inspired, and open-concept. Choose a design style that reflects your preferences and complements the overall aesthetic of the bathroom.

3. Select appropriate fixtures: The selection of appropriate fixtures is crucial when designing a Japanese wet room. Consider fixtures such as a deep soaking tub, a rain showerhead, and a wall-mounted toilet or sink. Choose fixtures that are functional and complement the design style.

4. Incorporate traditional elements: Incorporating traditional Japanese elements can add a unique and authentic touch to the wet room. Consider elements such as shoji screens, tatami mats, and natural stone for a more traditional design.

5. Choose appropriate lighting: Lighting can significantly impact the overall ambiance of the Japanese wet room. Consider natural lighting, pendant lighting or paper lanterns, and dimmable lights to create a bright, inviting, and relaxing atmosphere.

6. Select appropriate materials: The selection of appropriate materials is essential when designing a Japanese wet room. Consider wood, natural stone, and ceramic materials for a more authentic and traditional design.

design a Japanese wet room

here’s a list of some common Japanese wet room accessories:

  1. Shower stool or bench
  2. Japanese-style bathtub (ofuro)
  3. Shoji screen
  4. Washlet toilet (bidet toilet)
  5. Heated towel rack
  6. Waterproof speaker or audio system
  7. Waterproof lighting fixtures
  8. Bamboo or teak bath mat
  9. Aromatherapy diffuser
  10. Wall-mounted soap dispenser or shelf.

Note: These accessories can help to create a functional and luxurious Japanese-style wet room.

Related: Wet Room Bathroom – Style, Functions and How to use it

Japanese Wet Room vs. Traditional Bathroom

When it comes to designing a bathroom, homeowners have many options to choose from. One popular trend in bathroom design is the Japanese wet room. While a wet room may not be the best choice for every home, it does offer a unique and stylish alternative to the traditional bathroom. In this article, we will compare the advantages and disadvantages of Japanese wet rooms to traditional bathrooms in terms of functionality and style, to help homeowners decide which option is best for their home.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Japanese Wet Rooms


  • Maximizes space: A Japanese wet room can be an excellent choice for small bathrooms as it can maximize the use of space by eliminating the need for a separate shower stall or tub.
  • Easy to access: With no raised lip or step to enter the shower, a wet room can be more accessible to individuals with mobility concerns.
  • Easy to clean: With a drain located in the center of the room and no separate shower enclosure, a wet room can be easier to clean and maintain.
  • Unique and stylish: Japanese wet rooms offer a unique and stylish alternative to traditional bathroom design.
  • Versatile customization options: Wet rooms can be customized with a variety of materials and fixtures to suit individual style and taste.
  • Incorporation of traditional design elements: Wet rooms can incorporate traditional Japanese elements such as natural wood, shoji screens, and bamboo.


  • Cost: Wet rooms can be more expensive to install than traditional bathrooms due to the need for waterproofing and proper drainage.
  • May not fit with overall home style: The unique style of a wet room may not fit with the overall style of the home, which could impact resale value.

Comparison with Traditional Bathrooms in Terms of Functionality and Style


  • Use of space: A traditional bathroom may waste space by having separate shower and bathtub enclosures.
  • Accessibility: Traditional bathrooms may not be as accessible to individuals with mobility concerns due to the need to step over a raised lip or into a bathtub.
  • Water management: Traditional bathrooms require more upkeep to prevent water damage and mold growth.


  • Aesthetics: Traditional bathrooms offer a classic and familiar look, while Japanese wet rooms provide a unique and stylish alternative.
  • Customization options: Traditional bathrooms may have limited customization options compared to wet rooms.
  • Traditional design elements: Traditional bathrooms may not incorporate traditional Japanese design elements.
AspectJapanese Wet RoomTraditional Bathroom
Use of spaceMaximizes spaceMay waste space
AccessibilityEasy to accessMay not be accessible
Water managementEasy to cleanRequires more upkeep
AestheticsUnique and stylishFamiliar and classic
Customization optionsVersatile optionsLimited options
Traditional design elementsCan incorporateMay not fit with style
Overall Comparison  
Maintenance and upkeepLow-maintenanceHigher maintenance
CostMay require moreMay be more affordable
Accessibility and safetyMay be moreMay not be accessible
Personal preference and styleUnique and stylishFamiliar and classic

Which One is the Better Choice for Your Home?

The choice between a Japanese wet room and a traditional bathroom ultimately comes down to personal preference and style. Homeowners should consider the available space, desired style, and functionality of the space when making their decision. For those with mobility concerns or limited space, a wet room may be a better option. However, for those who prefer a more classic look or have a limited budget, a traditional bathroom may be the better choice. Homeowners should also consider the potential impact on resale value when making their decision.

How much Does it cost to build?

As a rough estimate, a basic Japanese wet room can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 to build, while a more elaborate and high-end wet room with luxury features such as a Japanese-style soaking tub, heated flooring, and custom tiling can cost $30,000 or more.

It’s important to note that these estimates are just rough averages and the final cost will depend on various factors specific to your project. Additionally, labor costs can vary widely depending on your location and the expertise of the contractors you hire.

Related: Wet Room Bathroom Cost – Get an estimate idea with it

Can you build a Japanese bathroom in America?

If you’re thinking about adding a Japanese wet room to your home in America, you might be wondering if it’s even possible. The answer is yes! Japanese wet rooms are becoming increasingly popular in the United States as people look for unique and luxurious ways to upgrade their homes. 

A Japanese wet room is essentially a bathroom that combines a shower and tub area with the rest of the space. The entire room is waterproofed, making it easy to clean and maintain. In Japan, these types of bathrooms have been around for centuries, but they’ve only recently started gaining popularity in other parts of the world. And while building one in America might require some extra work due to different building codes and regulations, it’s definitely possible with the help of an experienced contractor or designer. So why not consider bringing a little slice of Japan into your home with a beautiful new wet room?

How big is a Japanese wet room?

A typical Japanese wet room can range in size from around 30 square feet (3 square meters) to 80 square feet (7.5 square meters). However, larger wet rooms can also be designed to accommodate additional features such as a separate toilet or dressing area.

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