A wet room bathroom is a luxurious and modern addition to any home, combining the sophistication of a spa with the convenience of contemporary living. It is a bathroom where there’s no need for shower trays or screens as all the water drains away into an invisible drainage system. A modern wet room bathroom is an open-concept bathroom structure with an open shower without any classic shower cubicle or tub. The entire floor is sloped to a drain, permitting water to funnel away with no impediments. The walls and floor are usually tiled with waterproof materials to stop drainage damage.
A wet room that is richly equipped with special accessories can create virtually any small bathroom appear larger and more inviting. There are many benefits to having an attached, wet-space bathroom. For one, it can increase the size of a small bathroom and make it feel more open and airy. It’s also very easy to keep clean, as there aren’t any hard to reach crevices or corners where grime can build up. What’s more, it can be a good choice for people who have mobility issues, as there is little to no step in a shower or bathtub.
This article offers guidance on the design and creation process of a bathroom, which is also known as a wet room bathroom. We’ll also provide tips for cleaning and taking care of bathrooms and information about the costs of building or remodeling this design style.
Table of Contents
- What is a wet room bathroom?
- How Small Can A Wet Room Be?
- Part 1: Planning a Wet Room Bathroom
- Part 2: Designing a Wet Room Bathroom
- Part 3: Building a Wet Room Bathroom
- Special Features and considerations Of Wet Room
- How to clean a wet room & Maintenance
- Advantages and Disadvantages of a Wet Room Bathroom
- What is the difference between a Normal bathroom and a wet room?
What is a wet room bathroom?
A wet room bathroom is a type of bathroom design where the entire floor and walls are waterproofed, and the shower area is open without any barriers such as a shower tray or bathtub. The water drains through a sloped floor into a drain, eliminating the need for a shower curtain or door. Wet rooms are typically tiled or finished with waterproof materials, making them easy to clean and maintain. This modern design is popular for its sleek and minimalist look, as well as its accessibility for people with mobility issues.
If you’re looking for a modern and stylish bathroom design, then you might have come across the term “wet room bathroom”. But what is it exactly? A modern wet room bathroom is a contemporary style of bathroom that offers an open and spacious showering area. Unlike traditional bathrooms, there are no barriers or cubicles separating the shower from the rest of the room. Instead, everything is waterproofed so that water can flow freely.
How Small Can A Wet Room Be?
A wet room can be designed to fit almost any size, including very small spaces. In fact, wet rooms are often recommended for small bathrooms because they can make the space feel more open and airy.
There is no official minimum size for a wet room, but industry guidelines suggest that a surface area of 1.5m x 1m is the smallest size that could comfortably accommodate a toilet and basin. However, it’s important to note that this is only a recommendation and that wet rooms can be designed to fit into even smaller spaces if necessary.
Part 1: Planning a Wet Room Bathroom
Assessing the space:
Before planning a wet room bathroom, it is essential to assess the available space. Measure the room to determine the dimensions, and note any obstacles such as pipes, windows, or doors that could affect the layout. It is also important to consider the ceiling height, as wet rooms require a minimum height of 7 feet. Additionally, assess the condition of the walls and floors to determine if any repairs or reinforcement is needed to support the weight of the tiles and fixtures.
Setting a budget:
Once you have assessed the space, set a budget for the project. Determine how much you are willing to spend on materials, labor, and any additional expenses such as permits or inspections. It is also a good idea to include a contingency fund for any unexpected costs that may arise during the construction process.
Choosing the Right Layout:
The layout of your bathroom wet room will depend on the size and shape of your space, as well as your personal preferences. Consider whether you want a shower area, a bathtub, or both, and where you want to place them. Also, think about the placement of the toilet, sink, and any storage units or cabinets. Keep in mind that the layout should be functional and practical, while also maximizing the available space.
Considering plumbing and drainage:
Wet rooms require specialized plumbing and drainage systems to prevent water damage and ensure proper drainage. It is important to hire a licensed plumber to install the necessary fixtures and ensure that the plumbing and drainage systems are up to code. Additionally, consider using waterproofing products to protect the walls and floors from water damage.
Obtaining necessary permits:
Before starting the construction of your wet room bathroom, check with your local building department to determine if any permits are required. The requirements may vary depending on your location and the scope of the project. Obtaining the necessary permits ensures that your project complies with local building codes and regulations, and can help you avoid costly fines or penalties in the future.
Part 2: Designing a Wet Room Bathroom
Selecting tiles and flooring
The tiles and flooring you choose for your wet room bathroom design will play a significant role in its overall design and functionality. Consider using non-slip tiles that are specifically designed for wet areas to prevent accidents. Porcelain, ceramic, and stone tiles are popular choices for wet rooms, as they are durable and easy to clean. You may also want to consider using large-format tiles to create a seamless look and reduce grout lines.
Choosing fixtures and fittings:
The fixtures and fittings you choose should be both functional and stylish. Consider using a rain showerhead or a ceiling-mounted showerhead to create a spa-like experience. Wall-mounted toilets and sinks can also help to save space and create a sleek, modern look. Choose fixtures and fittings that are made from high-quality materials and are resistant to water damage.
Deciding on lighting:
Lighting can play an important role in creating the right ambiance in your wet room bathroom. Consider using dimmer switches to control the intensity of the lighting, and use LED lights to save energy and reduce maintenance costs. Additionally, consider incorporating natural light by adding a skylight or window if possible.
Incorporating storage options:
Storage is essential in any bathroom, and wet rooms are no exception. Consider using wall-mounted shelves or cabinets to save space and keep your bathroom clutter-free. Additionally, consider using built-in niches or shelves in the shower area to store toiletries and other essentials.
Adding personal touches and decor:
Finally, add personal touches and décor to make your best wet room bathroom feel like a relaxing oasis. Consider using plants or artwork to add color and texture, and choose towels and bath mats that complement the color scheme of the room. Additionally, consider adding a few decorative accents such as candles or vases to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere.
Part 3: Building a Wet Room Bathroom
Hiring a contractor:
Building a small wet room bathroom can be a complex and challenging project, so it is important to hire a licensed and experienced contractor who specializes in wet room construction. Look for a contractor who has a good reputation and has completed similar projects in the past.
Demolishing existing bathroom:
If you are replacing an existing bathroom, the first step is to demolish the existing fixtures, flooring, and walls. This may require removing tiles, toilets, sinks, and other fixtures. Careful demolition is important to ensure that the underlying structure is not damaged and that the debris is properly disposed of.
Preparing the floor and walls:
Once the existing bathroom has been removed, the floor and walls must be prepared for the new wet room. This may involve leveling the floor, repairing any damage to the walls, and installing a subfloor to provide a stable foundation for the tiles and fixtures.
Installing plumbing and drainage:
Installing the plumbing and drainage system is a critical step in building a bathroom wet room. This may involve adding new pipes, relocating existing pipes, and installing a floor drain or a linear drain system. It is important to hire a licensed plumber to ensure that the plumbing and drainage system is installed correctly and meets local building codes and regulations.
Adding waterproofing and sealing:
Waterproofing is essential in a wet room bathroom to prevent water damage and mold growth. This may involve using a waterproof membrane or a liquid waterproofing system to seal the walls and floor. Careful attention must be paid to the corners and edges of the room to ensure that they are properly sealed.
Installing tiles and flooring:
Once the waterproofing is complete, the tiles and flooring can be installed. It is important to choose tiles and flooring that are specifically designed for wet areas to prevent slips and falls. Large-format tiles can help to create a seamless look and reduce grout lines. The tiles must be properly installed and grouted to prevent water from seeping through.
Fitting fixtures and fittings:
The fixtures and fittings can now be installed, including the showerhead, toilet, sink, and any other accessories. Careful attention must be paid to the placement of these fixtures to ensure that they are functional and meet local building codes and regulations.
Adding final touches:
Finally, the wet room bathroom can be completed with the addition of final touches, including towels, bath mats, and decorative accents. Consider adding plants, artwork, or candles to create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere.
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Special Features and considerations Of Wet Room
Wet rooms are becoming increasingly popular in modern bathroom design. Here are some special features and considerations to keep in mind when planning a wet room:
Accessibility: Wet rooms are an excellent option for people with mobility issues or disabilities as they do not require a step up into a shower or bath.
Space-saving: Wet rooms can be an excellent option for small bathrooms as they can create the illusion of more space.
Versatility: Wet rooms can be designed to suit any style, from contemporary to traditional. They can also be tailored to suit specific needs, such as adding grab bars or non-slip surfaces for safety.
Easy to clean: Wet rooms are generally easier to clean than traditional bathrooms as they have fewer nooks and crannies where dirt and grime can accumulate.
Drainage: Proper drainage is essential in a wet room to prevent water damage and mold growth. A linear drain system is a popular option as it can be installed flush with the floor for a seamless look.
Waterproofing: Adequate waterproofing is essential to prevent water from seeping through the walls and floors. This can be achieved through the use of a waterproof membrane or a liquid waterproofing system.
Ventilation: Wet rooms require adequate ventilation to prevent moisture buildup and mold growth. Consider installing an extractor fan or a window to improve air circulation.
Flooring: The flooring in a wet room must be slip-resistant and able to withstand exposure to water. Porcelain, ceramic, and stone tiles are popular choices for wet rooms.
Fixtures and fittings: The fixtures and fittings in a wet room should be made from high-quality materials that are resistant to water damage. Wall-mounted fixtures can save space and create a sleek, modern look.
Lighting: Consider incorporating natural light through the use of a skylight or window, and use dimmer switches to control the intensity of the lighting. LED lights can also save energy and reduce maintenance costs.
How to clean a wet room & Maintenance
Wet rooms are a trendy bathroom design that offers an open and spacious showering area. However, with this style comes the challenge of keeping it clean and well-maintained. Regular cleaning and upkeep are essential to prevent mold and mildew growth, water damage, and component deterioration.
To start cleaning your wet room, remove any items from the floor like bath mats or towels. Using a squeegee, remove excess water from the walls and floors to prevent water stains from forming. Next, spray an all-purpose cleaner on the surfaces and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a brush or sponge. Pay special attention to grout lines where mold can accumulate.
Addressing mold and mildew is crucial in wet rooms since they thrive in damp environments. Use a bleach solution or specialized anti-fungal cleanser to kill off any visible mold on tiles or grout lines.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Wet Room Bathroom
- Creates A Stylish Design: Wet rooms are super-stylish and perfect for creating a contemporary look.
- Increase The Value Of Your House: As a second bathroom, a wet room can easily increase the value of your home.
- Great for small bathrooms: removing the bath creates loads more space.
- Easier To Clean: Wet rooms are, in general, easier to clean. There’s no shower screen or tray to worry about and if you go for a wall-hung sink and toilet, it’s easier still.
- If it’s done properly, your floor (the bit under the tiles) is better protected than it would be in a standard bathroom.
- In small bathrooms, watch out for wet towels and soggy loo rolls caused by spray from the shower.
- Water Drainage Issues: You’ll need a professional fitter to waterproof the room – if it’s not done properly, leaking water can cause damage.
- Wet rooms should be tiled from floor to ceiling – and that’s expensive. And if you go for porous stone tiles, they may need to be resealed every few months, which is hard work.
- Swapping a main bathroom for a wet room could make your home less saleable – buyers want at least one bath.
- May Lower Value Of Your Home: Wet rooms are a unique feature to have in place of a traditional bathroom and sometimes they are not what people are looking for. If someone is thinking of buying your property but wants more of a traditional design that includes a bath, this may reflect on the kind of price they offer to you.
- Expensive To Build: Creating a wet room design needed a lot of work, and as a result, it can be costly to build. Professional installations typically range from $5000 to $10,000, which is significantly more expensive than a traditional bathtub or shower. If you’re curious about the total cost of a wet room, check out our informative post for all the details.
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What is the difference between a Normal bathroom and a wet room?
When it comes to designing and renovating a bathroom, one of the most popular options is a wet room. However, many people are confused about what exactly sets a wet room apart from a normal bathroom. The main difference between the two is that in a wet room, there is no separate shower enclosure or bathtub – instead, the entire space is designed to be waterproof and open.
Another key feature of a wet room is its level floor design. Unlike traditional bathrooms where there may be steps or raised areas, in a wet room the floor will typically be completely level throughout. This not only adds to the sleek modern look of the space but also makes it more accessible for those with mobility issues.
While some may worry about water damage in such an open space, proper installation and sealing can ensure that this isn’t an issue.
In summary, wet room bathrooms offer several benefits such as a sleek and modern look, excellent ventilation, easy maintenance, and accessibility for people of all ages and abilities. They are also versatile in terms of design, making them suitable for a variety of preferences.
However, wet rooms also come with their own set of challenges. For instance, proper waterproofing and drainage are essential to avoid water damage and mold growth. The lack of shower enclosures may also mean that water splashes into other areas of the bathroom.
Whether a wet room bathroom is right for you ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you prioritize accessibility, easy maintenance, and a modern aesthetic, a wet room bathroom may be a great choice. However, if you are concerned about water damage or prefer a more traditional enclosed shower, you may want to consider other options.
What is the average cost of a wet room bathroom?
On average, a basic wet room bathroom can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 or more. However, if you opt for high-end materials and custom features, the cost can quickly exceed $20,000 or even $30,000.
It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of a wet room bathroom can also be affected by the location and availability of skilled professionals to install it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get multiple quotes from reputable contractors and factor in any additional costs such as permits or inspections.
Can a wet room bathroom be installed in a small space?
Yes, a wet room bathroom can be installed in a small space. In fact, wet rooms are often considered a great option for smaller bathrooms since they can create the illusion of more space and allow for a more streamlined design.
What type of tiles are best for a wet room bathroom?
When it comes to choosing tiles for a wet room bathroom, there are a few factors to consider. Since wet rooms are designed to be waterproof, it’s important to choose tiles that are durable and resistant to water damage.
– Porcelain and ceramic tiles are popular choices for wet rooms since they are both durable and relatively easy to maintain.
– Natural stone tiles, such as granite or marble, can also be used in wet room bathrooms.
How long does it take to install a wet room bathroom?
The answer to this question depends on various factors such as the size of the space, the complexity of the plumbing work required, and the materials used in construction. Generally speaking, installing a wet room can take anywhere from 3-5 days up to several weeks for larger projects. The duration also depends on whether you are carrying out renovations or building from scratch.
Is A Wet Room Expensive?
The cost of converting an existing bathroom into a wet room depends on various factors such as size, materials used and complexity of design. However, with careful planning and smart choices when it comes to fixtures and fittings, you can create a beautiful wet room without spending a fortune. One option is to go for basic tiles or vinyl flooring which are affordable yet durable. You could also save money by choosing standard-sized shower heads instead of custom designs.