When it comes to bathroom design, wet rooms are becoming increasingly popular. Not only do they provide a practical solution for users with reduced mobility, they can also offer a stylish alternative to more traditional bathroom designs. This guide will talk you through the concept of wet rooms from the basics to the benefits, and a few useful facts in between.
Essentially, a wet room is a bathroom with an open shower area rather than a shower enclosure, as in most standard bathrooms. Sometimes the shower area is separated from the rest of the room by a glass screen, but often the space is entirely open-plan giving a contemporary design. Wet rooms are often tiled from floor to ceiling, as this helps ensure the space is waterproofed effectively to cope with the steam and moisture from an open shower.
Wet rooms look sleek and stylish and so can appeal to homeowners on an aesthetic level. What’s more, with their open-plan feel, wet rooms are a particularly popular choice for small bathrooms. They give a larger, lighter feel and make the most of available space. With an open shower, gone is that feeling of restriction or irritation when you hit the glass with your elbows as you wash your hair. Not only that, the room itself is far easier to keep clean with no more problematic nooks and crannies in shower doors.
Wet rooms are also a clear favourite for many people with restricted mobility. With this approach to bathroom design, it’s no longer necessary to step up into a shower cubicle or struggle in a confined space. It’s also far easier to design the bathroom space around individual needs, choosing specific shower trays, flooring and accessories to maximise user comfort and independence.
Because a wet room is like a large shower cubicle, with the shower itself not enclosed, the fittings and contents of the room are exposed to far more moisture than is the case in a traditional bathroom. Therefore, water-proofing the entire room effectively is essential.
One of the most important areas to get right in a wet room is the flooring. Some stone tiles absorb a considerable amount of moisture meaning they need to be constantly maintained with sealant. For more elderly users or individuals with mobility issues, glazed ceramic tiles can pose a risk of slipping. Because of this, Altro flooring is a popular choice for wet room floors. Fitted by a professional, this material provides an effective anti-slip surface suitable for both bare feet and shoes.
While wet rooms have many advantages, there are alternatives which offer some of the same benefits. One example is a walk-in bath, which still allows individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy a bath without the physical effort getting in requires. Likewise, replacing one’s existing shower with a low-level access tray can be that little helping hand to make everyday bathing easy.
Whether you’re installing a wet room in your home for aesthetic or practical reasons, you’re sure to find a design and materials to achieve the effect you’re looking for.