What is a wetroom?
A wetroom is a bathroom that has a walk in shower, so the room will need to be completely waterproofed (tanked). There will be a gentle slope towards the drain instead of a traditional shower tray in a separate enclosed unit. Wetrooms were only present in luxurious spa centres and 5 star hotels a few years ago, now there are realistic and affordable solutions to having a wetroom in your own home. Bathroom tiles will finish off the wet room and give the style you want in the bathroom.
If you are re-designing your bathroom or considering investing in your bathroom, a wet room is a good investment.
The room has to be completely tanked to protect your building from the wetness and moisture from your shower. There are two types of shower trays available for wetrooms: Pre-formed Showerlay (which creates an effective water slope to the drain) and also a Pre-formed Showerstone (which is laid directly onto floor joists and is made from a polymer modified concrete). To tank (waterproof) the room, tile backer board will be attached to the walls and around the formed shower tray on the floor – reputable products include Marmox boards and Schluter Systems Kerdi boards and Ditra matting. If your wetroom is going to be a DIY project – make sure that you research these products and speak with experienced sales staff for advice, such as the friendly Tileflair helpdesk.
Wetrooms are a growing trend and are a key contemporary feature when selling a house. Wetrooms open up the room, thus creating more space. If combined with underfloor heating, the tanking system (required for waterproofing the wetroom) will reflect heat and maximise the efficiency of heating, therefore reducing heating costs.
Benefits of Installing a Wet Room
Benefits of installing a wetroom in your own home include their contemporary style, increasing the value of your home, a practical use of open space and creating more space in the room. By removing traditional baths and shower enclosures, barriers and boundaries are taken out to give much more floor space and open plan living. This will also make the wetroom easier to clean than a traditional bathroom, as there is no shower screen and less surfaces for example.
Ease of access is a major benefit, not just for the elderly - you do not have to climb in or out of a bath with a wetroom, which is great for families, good for aching joints and you can stretch out feeling more free. Due to the tanking system in your wetroom, your floors and walls may well be more protected compared to a traditional bathroom set up. Many tile stores will have a practical demonstration of a wetroom to help explain how they work and how they are a possible option for most people.
On the flip side of the coin, wetrooms can have their disadvantages too. In small bathrooms, even though more space is created through installing a wetroom, the open plan element of the shower may cause splashes and spray water on your towels and toilet paper. Here you have to look at the design and practical functionality of the space. Form must always follow function, meaning that your wetroom will be useless if you cannot use it even though it looks amazing. It is possible to research and fit your own wetroom, but it is vitally important that you are confident that the room has been tanked properly, which is where a professional should be brought in for peace of mind that leaking water will not cause damage to your house. You will need to tile your entire wetroom, from floor to ceiling. If a porous tile is used you will have to seal the tiles every couple of months to maintain and protect them correctly. Ceramic and porcelain tiles reduce this work, but should still be considered. It is always best to protect the grout as well to increase the aesthetic and functional qualities of the grouting.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Now the fun part – choosing your tiles! Due to the sloped floor for the shower drainage, you will need either small or mosaic tiles. It is possible to tile the whole of your bathroom with mosaic tiles but this may blow your budget out of the window if you have a large bathroom! It is possible to use mosaic tiles on the floor even if made of glass – the high number of grouted joints help to make a non-slip surface.
Mosaic tiles are ideal for use on a sloping floor, you just have to check that they are suitable for wet room use. There are so many varieties of mosaic tiles it is impossible to mention them all! An impressive series of mosaic tiles is Classy Glass. See pictures of the blue Fiji range for a combination of pearlescent and complimentary blues to create a calming and relaxing feel to the wetroom with an element of fun. Or you could opt for the rich and sensual Zanzibar for a contemporary and inspirational feel, as pictured also.
Incorporate mosaic tiles into the tile design both on the wall and floor, these features really add character and personality to your wetroom. Wetrooms can be neutral colours, natural stone effect, a dramatic metallic feel, contemporary in style and strong in subtlety. It is of course a personal preference as to what wetroom you choose, let your imagination run wild!
It is a good design tip to incorporate a different tile design (colour or texture) in your wet room area to define the area in your bathroom.
Contact Tileflair for some personal and professional advice regarding your tile project, we are experts and will help plan your wet room from start to finish.