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Wet Rooms: Complete Guide to This Style of Bathroom

What is a wet room? What benefits does it offer? To find the answers to these questions and more, keep on reading for some handy information
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Are you thinking about updating your current bathroom? Perhaps you’re trying to figure out how to design the bathroom in your newly constructed home? Either way, if you want to create a bathroom that’s trendy, yet stylish, and that’s definitely functional, consider installing a wet room!

What is a wet room? What benefits does it offer? To find the answers to these questions and more, keep on reading for some handy information.

What is a Wet Room?

OK, so first, you’re probably asking, “What exactly is a wet room, anyway?” Simply put, a wet room is a bathroom where the walls and floors are what is referred to as “tanked”.

This means that both surfaces are sealed with some type of membrane material that makes them waterproof. By tanking the walls, instead of seeping out, water stays in, which prevents the risk of damage.

In addition to being tanked, typically, the floors in a wet room are sloped. Either they have a slight slope in the middle or directly underneath the shower, for example. A drain is installed in the center of the slope, and any water that gets on the floor flows down the slope to a drain, which is connected to your home’s wastewater system.

Shower Wet Room
Shower Wet Room

A wet room has a more open design than a traditional bathroom would, which lends a more formal look to the space. There’s no real distinction between the shower area and the rest of the room; instead, everything kind of flows together.

Speaking of the shower, it’s level with the rest of the bathroom; there isn’t a raised edge, so you don’t have to step up to enter it or down to exit it. This is actually ideal for people who have mobility issues, as it’s a lot easier to get into and out of the shower. The shower can be completely opened, with no door, or, if you prefer, you can install a glass partition, which would help to prevent water from reaching the rest of the space.

Additionally, since wet room is, well, “wet”, the floors, walls, and even the ceiling, are usually tiled. Tiling these surfaces further prevents water from leaking out of the space and seeping into the underlying building material.

The Appeal of Wet Rooms

Wet rooms are a relatively new design trend, but they’ve certainly become quite popular. They’re commonly used in posh hotels and spas, and they’re quickly becoming a beloved bathroom design amongst average homeowners, too.

What is it that makes a wet room so appealing? There are a few things, actually. Because the shower flows with the rest of the bathroom, there’s no need to install a separate stall. As such, a wet room requires a lot less space than a traditional bathroom, making it an ideal solution if you’re short on square footage. And, because there’s no stall, you won’t feel like you’re trapped in a box; instead, you can freely move about with ease.

Wet rooms can look more modern than traditional bathrooms
Wet rooms can look more modern than traditional bathrooms

In additionally, wet rooms are considered by many a much more stylish design option than a standard shower stall. The look is often contemporary, though you can incorporate any design that you want into your wet room.

Lastly, wet rooms tend to be a lot easier to clean than a standard bathroom. Just wipe down the surfaces when you’ve finished showering and you’re done!

Benefits of a Wet Room

If you’re interests are piqued but you still aren’t sure if you should install a wet room over a traditional bathroom, the following benefits may help to sway you to this type of bathroom design.

Increased Property Value

Since wet rooms offer a modern, high-end look, and the layout is functional and easy to use, they’ll be sure to add value to your property. In fact, if you are updating your bathroom and you put it up on the market, according to realtors, you’ll see a good return on your investment.

Endless Design Options

While wet rooms tend to be thought of as contemporary (because they are a pretty new take on the traditional bathroom layout), you can incorporate pretty much any type of design that you can think of into a wet room. If you like modern, traditional, rustic, farmhouse chic, or any other style, you can certainly infuse your unique taste into a wet room.

Open Layout

Thanks to the open layout, a wet room feels a lot more spacious than a standard bathroom. You’ll have more room to move about freely and won’t feel as constricted as you would in a traditional bathroom; especially when you’re taking a shower. That’s because, as opposed to a shower stall, a wet room features either a totally open shower or a glass partition. Even if you decide to install a partition or a full glass door, the space will still feel open and airy because nothing will be cutting out your line of vision.

Wet rooms allow for a more open layout
Wet rooms allow for a more open layout

Easy Accessibility

A wet room is a lot easier to access than a standard bathroom. As mentioned, in this type of bathroom, the shower is level with the rest of the floor; in other words, there’s no step up. Since you don’t have to step up to get into the shower or step down to get out, this space is a lot more accessible; especially for those who have mobility issues. In fact, you a wheelchair or walker can be used in a wet room with no issues at all.

Completely Waterproof

In a wet room, the floors and walls are tanked, which means that a watertight membrane is applied to them. Plus, the walls, floors, and ceilings are completely covered with tile. These two factors combined – the tanked design and the tiled surfaces – make a wet room completely waterproof. You won’t have to worry about water seeping out of the space and damaging the underlying building materials.

Worry-Free Maintenance

The fact that wet rooms are totally waterproof alone makes them easier to maintain than a traditional bathroom. Because it lacks a shower stall, you won’t have to worry about cleaning between as many cracks and crevices, which definitely makes for easier maintenance. Plus, because a wet room is watertight, there’s no need to worry about water seepage and the damage that it can cause. Less water damage means less upkeep and future repairs.

Ideal for Small Spaces

If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, a traditional bathroom will only make it feel more cramped. Since a wet room doesn’t need a separate shower stall, the space will not only look a lot more spacious, but it will feel a lot more spacious, too; You’ll be able to move around and spread out without pumping into walls or feeling like your crammed into a tight spot.

Perfect for smaller or unique room shapes
Perfect for smaller or unique room shapes

Budget-Friendly

While it is true that wet rooms were a bit pricey when they were first introduced, since they’ve become more mainstream, they’ve become a lot more budget-friendly. In fact, a wet room can be less expensive than a standard bathroom. Why? – Because you don’t have to worry about the added expense of purchasing a separate shower stall or floor.

Things to Keep in Mind

While there’s no doubt that a wet room definitely offers numerous advantages over a traditional bathroom, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before you decide if this type of bathroom is the right choice for you.

First, as the name implied, a wet room gets, well, wet. As such, you’re going to want to carefully consider any furnishings that you incorporate into this room. Why? – Because they need to be waterproof, otherwise there’s a good chance that they can sustain damage.

Additionally, you’ll want to be mindful of any electrical appliances that you use in a wet room. Make sure that they’re stowed away in a water-tight location before you use the shower.

And, if you intend on using anything electrical – an electric shaver, for example – after you get out of the shower, you need to make sure that everything is completely dry, otherwise you could be putting yourself in danger. It might be a better bet to leave those electric-powered devices in another room.

Lastly, since the entire space is going to get wet, you might want to steer clear of natural stone, such as slate, granite, or marble. While these materials are certainly beautiful and they can be pretty durable, they are porous, and as such, they do absorb moisture. If you do opt for natural stone, you’re going to want to make having it sealed every few months to ensure that they remain waterproof.

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Otherwise, you’d be better off choosing something that’s totally watertight, like ceramic tile. They beauty of ceramic tile isn’t just that it’s waterproof, but that there are so many different styles that you can easily replicate that natural stone look you love – or even choose a tile that looks like wood!

Summing It Up

So, now that you have a better idea of what a wet room is, what are you thinking? Do you think it’s the right type of bathroom design for you? Sit down and weight the pros and cons to determine if a wet room is right for you.

Melinda Price

Melinda has a Bachelors Degree in English and has worked as an Interior Designer before starting her own home design company specializing in high-end finishes. She heads up our design team. Contact Melinda@HomesOutline.com

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