Installing a wet room is an incredibly stylish way to adapt a bathroom. Not only does it give a more freeing shower experience by removing constricting shower cubicles, it can also make a lot more space and they are generally easier to clean.
If your home has a smaller, second bathroom, you can even add value to your house by converting that second bathroom into a wet room. However, think carefully before turning your main bathroom into a wet room as you may regret doing away with a bath, especially if you’re eventually going to be looking to move. The vast majority of buyers will want at least one bath in the house.
In the past, wet rooms were really only deemed suitable for ground floor bathrooms with solid concrete floors, but advancements in the converting methods has meant that pretty much any bathroom can become a wet room with the installation of a waterproof subfloor. Here we look at the vital factors to consider before starting to build a wet room.
What is a wet room?
Before we get started, let’s cover what a wet room actually is. A wet room is a completely waterproofed or tanked bathroom with a shower area at the same level as the rest of the bathroom floor. The floor in a wet room is usually sloped in the direction of a drain, so that water drains away. Some wet rooms have no enclosure whatsoever, while others have a glass shower screen to prevent water splashing outside the shower area.
Factors to consider before installing a wet room
Wet room installation is best left to professionals as any mistakes in drainage or waterproofing could be catastrophic and very costly. However, every wet room design requires careful structural, safety and cost consideration. See our advice on everything you should consider before creating a wet room below:
Any size bathroom can be converted into a wet room, but if your bathroom is on the smaller side, you need to think about protecting your toilet paper, toiletries and towel from getting sprayed. In a small bathroom, we recommend installing a divider panel, or for greater protection without losing the accessibility of a wet room,our large shower sliding doors provide a useful compromise.
At Mira our shower enclosures are manufactured in a range of sizes and for various installations such as in alcove or corners spaces. As well as containing water spray, enclosures can also help reduce the amount of ground water spreading to the rest of the room.
Waterproofing and drainage
Waterproofing and drainage is incredibly important in a wet room. The entire room needs to be waterproofed as even though there will be more water in some areas than others, you don’t have the same separation of wet and dry areas as a regular bathroom.
The floor needs to be on a gradient so that all the water is directed towards the drain, and the walls around the shower area and the lower half of the walls around the rest of the wet room need to be waterproof too.
It’s important to consider the location of the toilet within your wet room. The aim is to keep the area around the toilet dry. We’d recommend installing a sheet of glass to separate the shower area from the loo and create space between wet and dry areas. Mira’s shower divider range is made up of stylish shower glass panels which are perfectly suited to wet rooms.
When choosing the tiles, it’s best to opt for non-porous porcelain or ceramic tiles or sheet vinyl. Stone tiles, such as marble and granite, will need to be continuously resealed every few months to keep them waterproof. Consider putting underfloor heating beneath the flooring as not only is this a dream in the winter, it also helps dry out the floor after showering.
With so much extra moisture in the air, effective ventilation is key for the installation of any bathroom. You should aim to install an extraction system which helps to pull moisture out of the room and vent it outside. The type of bathroom ventilation fan you require will depend on whether your bathroom is on an external wall. Read more about how to keep your bathroom ventilated here.
It’s important to consider the aim of your bathroom style. If you’re looking for a functional, yet stylish look in your wet room, spotlights can provide the room with good overall light. They can also be positioned in specific areas of the room to create light around your mirror or shower area. If you’re looking for something more unique, there are options for every taste and budget. Take a look at our guide to bathroom lighting guide to bathroom lighting for more inspiration.
Underfloor heating is a great option for any type of wet room. If space is at a minimum, installing underfloor heating is often the best option, as you can extend your existing radiator system to add a new underfloor heating circuit. Alternatively, if your wet room is on the larger side, you can install additional new radiators or heated towel rails, as you may need an extra heating boost.
The cost of a wet room
To buy everything you need to make a wet room, including tiles, bathroom suite, fittings and fixtures, you can expect to pay between £5,000 and £10,000, and it could cost you an extra £650-£1,000 for professional installation.
Wet room design ideas
A light and bright colour palette can help make your wet room space look larger. Statement walls and colourful accessories can then add warmth and softness to your wet room space.
House plants are a great way to liven up your space and can help to absorb excess moisture, preventing the build-up of mould. They can also help to improve the air quality in your bathroom.
The paint colours you choose for your wet room can have a big impact, not only on the look of your bathroom but also on your mood. Our bathroom paint guide can help you work out how to add the right splash of colour to your space.
Getting the right features and fittings for your bathroom can be just as important as the colour of the walls. Introducing a rainfall shower head to your shower area can help add a little luxury to your wet room, whilst upgrading your taps can help you achieve either a traditional or minimalist look. If you’re looking for a spa like experience, our dual showers range offers an option between a larger shower head and a smaller handheld jet.