What is a wet room and why would I want one?

Wet room shower head

Creating the perfect bathroom is something many of us would love to do, and increasing numbers of us are looking for more unusual solutions. One option that you could consider is a wet room. This article takes you through the key features of wet rooms, looks at why they are popular, debates potential drawbacks and discusses where they are commonly used. Hopefully this should give you a better idea about what they are and whether a wet room would be the perfect solution for your bathroom.

What are the features of a wet room?

The main way in which wet rooms differ to ‘traditional’ bathrooms is that rather than having a built-in, enclosed shower cubicle, they room itself effectively acts as the enclosure. This means that wet rooms have to be fully waterproofed to prevent leaks.

In terms of bathroom suites, there is a wide range of options to choose from; the only difference is that you don’t necessarily need to worry about choosing a shower screen as you would with other types of bathroom. Many wet rooms are also tiled from floor to ceiling to take care of the issue of waterproofing, and drainage is another important issue to consider.

Why are they popular?

One of the main reasons wet rooms are popular is because they can help you to save space if you only have a small bathroom. They mean that you don’t need to have a shower cubicle, which can constrict movement in a small room, and you don’t even need to have a bath in there if you don’t want to.

Wet rooms are also very practical, particularly for people with mobility issues as they eliminate the need to step up into a shower cubicle. They are also considered to be very stylish and so if you want to create a cool, modern look in your bathroom, they could be a good option to consider. With the increasing range of bathroom suites available, there are plenty of designs to choose from so you should be able to create exactly the look you want.

Another reason many people like wet rooms is that they can be easier to clean, due to the fact there are fewer fiddly surfaces and corners to worry about.

Are there any drawbacks?

As wonderful as wet rooms are, there are a couple of things to consider before you decide to have one installed. For example, if you make the decision to remove your bath and just have a shower, you might like to think about the effect this will have on the value of your property – for many people, this isn’t an issue but it can alter some people’s decisions.

Also, if your bathroom is very small then you might need to think carefully about the bathroom furniture you choose for your wet room. This is because the dampness of the room can lead to your towels and toilet roll getting wet, so you might want to make sure accessories such as towel rails are kept as well away from the shower as possible.

Another issue to consider is the tiling – many people love the idea of natural stone tiles in their bathroom, but this isn’t always practical in wet rooms because the porous stone absorbs moisture and will need to be resealed every few months to keep it waterproof. This is why tiles in wet rooms tend to be made from ceramic or another similar material.

Where are they used?

Wet rooms can be used as your main bathroom or as an en-suite. They are particularly popular for use as second bathrooms, as these rooms tend to be smaller than the main bathroom and so need to be more conscious about how they utilise the room.

 Are they growing in popularity?

There are signs to suggest that wet rooms are growing in popularity as an alternative style of bathroom. They have been featured on quite a lot of interior design programmes over the past few years, which have helped to increase their profile among the general public.

Also, it is much cheaper than it used to be to turn your bathroom into a wet room, so it is becoming a more accessible and attractive option for many people looking for something different. Overall, making the move to a wet room isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, but if you are keen to have a stylish bathroom that’s different from the norm and is ideal for showering, a wet room could be just what you are looking for.

pic: 5@mbudley