Last year over 250,000 wet rooms were installed in the UK, with around 5% of homes now believed to have a wet room overall. A wet room or level access shower room is often seen as a luxury, however it is fast becoming the practical choice for homeowners. With around 11.6 million people living with a disability in the UK, plus an ageing population, the open plan design of a wet room makes it the perfect bathroom choice for all members of the family. If you are thinking of installing a wet room or walk in shower room in your home read on to find out just what you will need.
Make sure you start with a solid sub-floor, as this will help you avoid movement and therefore leaks in the future. Wet rooms can be installed on both wooden and concrete bases, on any floor of the home. Ensure that the waste water has somewhere to go before you think about the design of your wet room. It is also important to make sure your floor is level before you begin, which is easily achievable with a self levelling compound.
This is the most important part of your new wet room. If the room is not entirely watertight you risk leaks which could mean tearing up your tiles and making costly repairs or replacements. There are several options for waterproofing your wet room; a paint on tanking membrane, waterproof tile backer boards, and waterproof matting. Which one is best for your project will depend on your substrate, type of tiles you are using and whether you need the waterproofing to also act as a decoupling layer.
To encourage the water to flow into the drain wet room shower trays have a slope built into them. These trays are installed at floor level and then tiled over to keep the level access design of the room. The drain you choose will need to be compatible with the tray. There are a range of wet room drain covers to suit your style, from stainless steel linear to almost hidden tileable covers.
This is not a wet room essential, but is a great option in wet rooms. Not only does underfloor heating free up wall space normally taken up by radiators, but it can help evaporate any water that hasn’t quite made it to the drain.
Just like underfloor heating this is not a necessity in your wet room, however it can be extremely useful. Water can splash throughout your wet room, and a shower screen will keep it confined to the shower area. Our glass wet room shower screens look stylish and modern, and won’t break up the open plan nature of your wet room.
when choosing your wet room tiles, it is important to consider the flooring first. Choose a matt tile that does not have a glossy or polished finish, as these will be very slippery when wet. Mosaic tiles are perfect for wet room floors, particularly in the shower area, as the extra grout joints provide added grip – but remember not to use glass mosaic tiles on the floor. Many of our ranges include co-ordinating wall, floor and mosaic tiles – making them perfect for a modern and stylish wet room. Add trim or border tiles to break up large sections of one colour tiles, or use different colours to create zones within the room.
When choosing the components of your wet room, consider how the room will be used. If you plan on keeping the wet room for many years you might want to think about making it accessible for future use. Wall hung basins and toilets can make the space feel larger, and are also easier for those in wheelchairs to use. Lights must be suitable for use in wet environments, so check the IP rating before installing.1
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