The Idealist

Wetrooms – The new trend in bathroom design

If you’re considering remodelling your bathroom or adding a new bathroom to your home, you’re likely familiar with the new wetroom trend. This sleek new trend gets rid of the typical shower enclosure and turns the entire room into a shower. Just think of the possibilities!

Bathtub in corian and walk-in shower
What is a wetroom?

A wetroom is an increasingly popular bathroom option that expands on the idea of a walk-in shower. Essentially, a wetroom is an enclosed, tiled room where you can shower without the constraints of a typical shower installation. In a wetroom, the entire room becomes the shower. Imagine the freedom of being able to move around (and not bumping your elbow on the wall or your head on the faucet), enjoying streaming light from a window and even being able to invite a friend to join you!

Double-size shower in beautiful wetroom
Things to consider when building a wetroom

As intriguing as the idea sounds, not all spaces are well-suited for a wetroom. Some key points to consider include:

  • Effective Drainage — This is critical. Of course, you need a way for the water from the shower to exit the room without collecting and causing mildew or mould and the resulting sour odour. This is a job better left to professionals, since the floor grading needs to be such that the water flows easily into a centre drain.
  • Waterproofing — Another important consideration for your wetroom is waterproofing. You don’t want the moisture from your wetroom to seep into the walls of your adjoining living spaces. Simply covering the walls and floor with tiles is not enough to prevent this from happening. You’ll want to cover all of the room’s walls and floor with a water-tight membrane before tiling. There are special products on the market for just this purpose.
  • A water barrier or lip — A water barrier or lip of 5 mm or so helps to prevent disaster if the drain in your wetroom should become clogged or should someone inadvertently throw a towel over the drain. This small barrier is easy enough to step over, but will contain the water long enough for someone to notice the drainage issue.
Beautiful step-in shower
Advantages of building a wetroom in your home

While the primary benefits of a wetroom are the stylish look of such a room and the space that it offers, these are far from the only reasons to build a wetroom.

  • A wetroom can add resale value to your home. A wetroom has that “wow” appeal that can make the difference between a potential buyer making an offer on your flat or taking a pass. It’s the kind of room that’s visually appealing and that most potential homebuyers wouldn’t know how to do themselves.
  • Wetrooms can make a small bathroom seem more spacious. Since there is no shower enclosure with a wetroom, this type of bathroom is ideal for a small space and will make such a bathroom seem less claustrophobic.
  • Wetrooms are easier to clean than traditional bathrooms. Since there are fewer permanent fixtures in a wetroom, they are generally easier to keep clean.
  • Wetrooms offer improved accessibility. If someone in your household can mobility issues, a wetroom can be easier to navigate. With a wetroom, you don’t have to step up into the shower for example over a bathtub. You simply close the door behind you, or walk around a corner.

While adding a wetroom is not necessarily the right choice for everyone who is remodelling a bathroom, this trend is stylish, will give you the feeling of more space in your bathroom and can even make a difference in enticing a potential home buyer to purchase your flat when it comes time to put your home on the market.

More information

For more information on wetrooms, it’s worth taking a look at this selection from Victoria Plum to get you started. Bathstore have some beautiful enclosures too.

Image courtesy Feature image (c) piovesempre. Other images (c) bialasiewiczbombaertaaphotograph/ 123RF Stock Photo.

  • Joan is an interior design project planner and freelance writer from Boston Massachusetts who lives with her husband and two bulldog terriers outside Wellfleet on Cape Cod.

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