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5 important considerations when planning a wet room

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Wet rooms are a stylish design feature.

They create bright, open-plan bathrooms that feel spacious and serene.

They are also hugely practical. In fact, in many cases, a wet room installation can provide increased independence for older or disabled residents, bypassing the need for cumbersome baths and shower trays.

Whether you’re installing a wet room for accessibility or as a design feature, there are a few important considerations to be aware of during your planning. We’ve summarised them below:

wet-room-drainage

1. Wet room drainage

When planning a wet room installation, you need to find out what type of floor you have. Wet rooms can be installed upstairs or down, however, the floor level needs to be raised or sunken, depending on the flooring.

Without the presence of a standalone shower tray, wet rooms require a gradual slope surrounding the shower drain. This should be at a ratio of around 1:4 to prevent water pooling together on the floor and causing a hazard.

If you have suspended timber floor (i.e. floorboards) it’s usually possible to install the shower drain below floor level. However, if your floor is concrete, a suspended floor will need to be constructed from timber joists. This will mean your ceiling height is slightly lowered.

2. Flooring type

There are two main options for wet room floors – vinyl and tiling.

Tiling can create a beautiful finish to the room and is available in plenty of styles. However, tiling will require grouting and maintenance, as well as being trickier to keep clean.

Another important consideration with tiled flooring is the risk of slipping. Wall tiles are not suitable and matte or slip resistant tiles are always required to make sure your wet room remains safe and functional.

If your wet room installation is for the purpose of accessibility, then vinyl flooring is usually recommended. As well as being more slip-resistant, vinyl flooring is easier to clean and maintain.

wet-room-floor-former

3. The position of the floor former

The floor former, or wet room shower tray, is what positions your shower area. Spend some time thinking about the most practical area for this to be placed. For instance, avoid placing it too near the door or in front of a window and, ideally, leave some room for manoeuvring around it.

The shower is usually the focal point of a wet room, so its position is important. Your wet room installer will be able to offer practical advice on where best a floor former could fit, as well as providing you with clear information on sizes and dimensions that can help you plan it in.

wet-room-shower-surround

4. Shower surround

There are a few different options for your shower surround. One option suitable for smaller wet rooms is to bypass a surround completely, but in this case, the floor former will need to be large enough to channel all the water away from the rest of the room effectively.

Frameless glass wet room screens or partial shower enclosures are a nice feature as they provide protection from water spray and vapour, while still maintaining an open plan look and feel. Frameless glass screens are also very easy to clean and maintain.

Full frameless enclosures and enclosed shower screens or curtains provide added privacy at the same time as being fully accessible. These are useful as you have the flexibility to enjoy an enclosed or open showering experience.

wall-tiles

5. Your personal style preferences

All of these practical considerations might have left you feeling like installing a wet room is a technical undertaking. But it’s really not! There are plenty of ways you can explore your own style in the design too.

Wall tiling is one area where you can add extra elegance and, if you opt for floor tiles, mosaic and texturised patterns blend style with practicality. Equally, fixtures like taps, handles and heated towel rails are an opportunity to select something standout and unique to your tastes.

We hope you’ve found this short list useful and you understand a little bit more about what’s required when planning a wet room.

If you do have any questions, or would like to request a free survey to discuss a possible wet room installation, please don’t hesitate to talk to our customer care team.

 

Latest PDF Guide

We talk you through everything you need to know about planning a bathroom that’s far from simply being functional. We hope you find it useful, inspiring and that it becomes your ‘go-to’ guide for all of your bathroom projects.

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