Ask any interior designer what the latest trends in bathrooms are and they will probably put wet rooms at the top of their list. Your next question is likely to be, "What is a wet room?" Basically, a wet room is a bathroom that includes a shower, but has no shower enclosure. Hence, the room is "wet." Wet rooms are becoming so popular because they create such a spacious look in the bathroom and give it a spa-like feeling. While they are a great alternative to traditional screened shower enclosures, in order to create a wet room that works, you need to take its unique characteristics into consideration.
Creating a Wet Room from the Ground Up
You can't simply remove your old shower screen and have a wet room that works. It needs to be built from the ground up, because water is not going to be contained within an enclosure. The floor and walls in a wet room need to be completely waterproof and the flooring or "deck" around the shower should gently slope towards the shower drain. There are products available that make it easier for a skilled do-it-yourselfer to create a perfect sub-floor for a wet room or you may prefer to enlist the services of a tradesperson with experience in their construction.
Once you have the sub-floor and walls prepared is when you can start getting creative. Natural stone and ceramic tiles are both popular choices for wet room flooring and walls, but you do need to take a couple of things into consideration before you make your choice:
- If you choose natural stone, remember that limestone and some other stones are very porous and will stain unless they are thoroughly sealed. Lime deposits may discolour black and very dark coloured stones, so if you choose one of these, be prepared for extra cleaning and maintenance time.
- If you choose ceramic tiles, choose those with a textured surface. These are more slip resistant than smooth surfaced ceramic tiles.
Placement of Your Wet Room Shower
Usually, but not always, the shower goes at the back of a wet room and is placed in a corner. In wider bathrooms, the shower and toilet may be placed side by side, often with a single glass screen separating the two. Sometimes, the toilet will be placed at the back of the room with the shower standing between it and the vanity, either along the same wall or or on the opposite wall.
When deciding where to place your wet room shower, you need to give special consideration to what is around it. Your dry storage areas and towel and clothes racks must be well away from the shower or behind a protective covering. Never place a wet room shower near the entry door and make sure any power outlets are completely safe from exposure to shower water.
Wet Room Design
The hallmark of a successful wet room design is its sleek, modern, uncluttered appearance. This is one reason why wall mounted toilets and sinks work best in wet rooms. Another good reason for having wall, rather than floor mounted toilets and basins or sink cabinets is that they make cleaning and drying the floor much easier.
Instead of installing a wall mounted vanity and trays for shampoos, soaps and other toiletries, think about having them built into wall recesses. This adds to the uncluttered sophistication of the room.
Why have a wet room if you don't take advantage of the most luxurious shower head you can find? A couple of options include ceiling mounted shower outlets that create a luxurious cascade of water or two or even three wall mounted directional shower outlets. A wet room allows you to think outside of the box and create a dream shower that turns your bathroom into a resort spa. Talk to a bathroom renovations specialist
in your area and they can help you create a wet room that will make you look for any excuse to take a shower.