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wet room screen with grey tiles

Wet room advantages and disadvantages

Having a wet room can bring a world of benefits to your life; if you struggle with mobility, it can be a convenient way to enjoy a shower removing the need to step over the bath or step into a shower enclosure. Wet rooms are also stylish and contemporary, adding a different element into your home that isn’t achieved with a more traditional bathtub bathroom.

When it comes to installing a wet room, there are many pros and cons that you should consider. In this article, we will be going through some of the advantages that come with having a wet room along with some of the disadvantages and whether it is the right choice for your home.

What is a wet room?

A wet room is a completely waterproofed bathroom space with a shower area flush with the rest of the floor in the room. Water drains through a flush drain that is usually located in the shower section of the room.

If you decide to have a truly open planned wet room, the need for a shower enclosure is made redundant, although many people like to install a glass screen to prevent splashing into the rest of the room and provide that further sense of privacy.

A wet room is a perfect choice for people with mobility issues, eliminating the need to step into the bath or shower, allowing effortless movement walking in and out of the showering area.

The use of a wet room is also a great way to utilise space in an effective way with both ground and upper floor installations available. No matter if your home is made from timber construction or has concrete floors, a wet room could be the right choice for you.

Less cleaning and maintenance is required than a usual bathroom, due to water reaching further places of the room, making it a perfectly hygienic choice suitable for families of all kinds.

The difference between a wet room and a shower room

Shower rooms and wet rooms both can be made with glass panels but unlike a traditional shower enclosure, they don’t include a door. In replacement of a door, these rooms include a singular glass panel that acts as a division to the rest of the room.

Wet rooms and shower rooms both provide a great alternative to the traditional bathtub or shower enclosure, offering both style and accessibility to all sorts of bathrooms.

If you’re looking to make a statement in your bathroom or en-suite these are a great design idea to choose from.

So what are the differences between a wet room and a walk-in shower? The answers are pretty simple, a wet room is a typically open-plan space with the floor that has been altered so that the water flow will drain through one single drainage unit in the shower area of the room.

They don’t always, but wet rooms can feature shower screens helping to reduce the spray of water into the rest of the bathroom.

Walk-in showers or shower rooms differ slightly with the inclusion of a low profile shower tray that usually has either one or two glass screens. The cost will change depending on your own personal needs, so consider carefully what is the most cost-effective option for yourself.

How to build a wet room

There is no hiding that installing a wet room in your home will be a big job and isn’t something that can just be done over a weekend. The entire room needs to be tanked, which is a process of applying plastic or rubber waterproof materials as a membrane sheet, or a waterproof liquid compound that needs to be applied to every wall before the tiling begins.

The floor of your bathroom will need to be adjusted so that all the water will drain properly. This is done by implementing a gradual slope towards the direction of the drain point. This can be done in several different ways, such as:

  • Installing a sub-floor made from WBP, a type of plywood that can later be tiled over.
  • Install a shower tray that acts as a ready-made shower former. This will also need to be tiled over the top.
  • A giant preformed tray can be installed that slopes down towards a drainage point. This kind of flooring doesn’t need to be tiled over, but the tray can easily be tiled if you are looking for that effect.

To be safe, the threshold for the door of your bathroom should be raised a minimum of 5mm from the floor. This will stop water from flowing from your bath floor space into the rest of your home if the drain is blocked.

All of these tasks mean that major building work will be required, and you should expect to be living without the use of your bathroom for up to two weeks. With all the tasks needed to be completed, it is fair to say that a wet room shouldn’t be installed by DIYers or amateurs who feel they can create your wetroom in a number of evenings and weekends.

Always use a reputable company who has experience in similar jobs to the type you need, and get them to provide you with a quote before starting any work. This kind of work needs to be done by a professional. Poor work will result in leaks and possible damage to the rest of your home, costing you a fortune over time.

Wet room advantages

Easier to clean

Maintenance and cleaning are made easy with a wet room thanks to the minimal lines created. A traditional bathroom with all the units inside, such as a shower enclosure and bathtub, will bring its own cleaning or maintenance issues. A wet room minimises this giving you more time to enjoy your luxury shower space.

Creates a stylish design

A wet room can bring something different to a home. The unsurprising demand for open plan living has increased over the years, with many homeowners changing the look of their outdated traditional bathrooms into sexy stylish wet rooms that bring a much more contemporary feel.

Walk-in showers add that extra sense of luxury, and the decor of floor tiles running up the walls can bring that European aesthetic.

Increase the value of your house

Experts say that adding a brand new bathroom to your home will bring an extra 2.88% of value to your home, with a wet room adding even more to a home when it comes to selling.

Works in small bathrooms

The installation of a completely waterproof wet room gives you loads more space to enjoy your shower in. If you’re struggling for space, a wet room is great in creating the illusion of space, even in the smallest rooms.

Removing your old shower enclosure or bathtub will maximise the overall space helping to create a beautiful room.

Wet room disadvantages

Not practical for everyone

With slippery floors, and dampness reaching a lot of areas of your bathroom, wet rooms are not always practical for everyone. Although they are great for people who have limited mobility who can sometimes receive funding from the local council, the slippery tiles can be a hazard to anyone moving around their shower room.

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

With all the work that is needed to create a wet room design, it isn’t a surprise that they can be expensive to build. Most professional installations will come at a price between £5000 and £10,000, which is considerably more than your traditional bath or showering format. For more information on how much does a wet room cost read our post.

Water drainage issues

Water drainage issues can be one of the main disadvantages when it comes to wetrooms. If they haven’t been installed correctly, a water build-up can cause flooding to the rest of your home. The usual build-up of hair in the plug must be flushed out more often to avoid any chance of leakage in your bathroom.