We think it goes without saying, nothing makes a bathroom feel as luxurious as a wet room shower with a beautifully large showerhead cascading down. A place to really unwind, no clambering in and out, just a purpose built area of the room for your dream shower.
They certainly do have a lot to be desired for. But they don't come easy. Wet rooms are that by their nature, wet. That water must be controlled and the installation completed in a specific way to ensure that the area is correctly 'tanked' - tanking is the process of using a completely waterproof membrane to ensure to ensure no water is going anywhere it shouldn't.
There are a few key tips to ensuring your wet room is perfect and watertight for years to come.
Tanking involved ensuring that the structure of the wetroom is entirely watertight to ensure no water ingresses into the sub structure including the floor or the walls. This can be achieved in a few ways, most notably using a variety of products from companies such as Schluter, who manufacture synthetic backing boards and membranes to do just this task.
Their KERDI line offers waterproof tanking in either membrane form (on a roll) or as a prefab board. (we think be boards are great as they are minimal mess, easy to handle and can be tiled straight onto.) The boards are fitted to the studs and all joints are sealed with a KERDI tape. There are even prefabricated shower shelves which can be fitted between studs to form a lovely tiled recessed shelf in your shower- which is a really easy way to get your wet room area looking truly purpose built.
2: Control the movement!
Tiles move, and we need to make sure we control the movement, this avoids any unwanted cracking in either the grout itself or the tile.
Tile movement is much more important with a larger format tile such as a 600x300 tile or larger (you can get tiles that are 3 meters tall,) as opposed to a metro 200x100 tile, where you have considerably more grout to absorb any movement of the tiles.
It is important to use a flexible adhesive to ensure that the tiles are able to move slightly. Using a flexible, water resistant adhesive and grout will ensure that the tiles are allowed flex, as well as providing that extra protection to the KERDI board tanking.
3: Get creative.
There are so many options when it comes to wet rooms, its important to get the space right for you, as you probably will spend time in there every day. Ensure you have space to store your shower bits, whether that is on a recessed shelf as mentioned earlier, or something mounted off of the wall itself, or possibly a tiled shelf above your sanitary-ware and plumbing.
You can get really creative with a whole host materials, from solid stones to micro-crete, to beautiful mosaics and terrazzos. The world really is your oyster and designs in wet rooms have definitely been getting bolder and bolder, with more liberal use of colour, pattern and texture as has been on trend in previous years.
Should I incorporate a wet room into my home?
Well, we think they're fantastic, with huge opportunities in both function and design. They are accessible, often with a level threshold meaning they are easier to get into for children and people with reduced mobility than a comparable traditional bath/shower.
They do come at an increased cost. Due to the extra precautions and materials needed, as mentioned above, they do carry a cost of about 20-30% more than a normal bath setup.
Wet rooms certainly have their benefits, but as we said, they do carry that extra cost. But with some clever design and some conscious specification, costs can be kept minimal, ensuring you have a high quality, durable and well fitted wet room, without going to extremes on your budget.