wet room with green mosaic tiles with curved shower panel by Ex-t

Planning advice for a wet room

Wet room ideas with design and build tips by bathroom experts

By Becca Green | 21 September 2021

Looking for wet room ideas? The latest waterproofing methods mean even the smallest space can become a chic shower spot. Wet rooms are accessible, ideal where squeezing in a bath is not practical and, when thoughtfully designed, very easy to keep clean.

First up, what is the difference between a wet room and a walk-in shower?

‘A true wet room features a drain fitted into the floor,’ explains Yousef Mansuri, head of design at CP Hart.

Plus, a walk-in shower sits at the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum, whereas a wet room installation requires additional waterproofing and new pipework. The latter also tends to have a more luxurious feel, especially if you opt for spa-style fittings.

Watertight structure

Wet room ideas should be planned at an early stage of building your own home. Similarly, a retrofit project requires advance planning. This is because the entire room needs stripping back for waterproofing and the installation of new pipework and fittings.

Seek out an experienced professional to tank the room and ensure the walls and floors are waterproof, and create a gradient in the floor to ensure water runs towards a drainage point. The floor and any areas of wall within the splash zone must have an impermeable membrane lining, as any water leaks will damage the subfloor and walls. So, it’s really important this work is done correctly.

wet rooms must be professionally tanked to prevent leaks

A wet room must be professionally tanked to prevent water escaping. Photo: Asquiths Bathrooms

Walk-in shower option

A true wet room eliminates the need for any form of shower screen. But if you want a wet-room-style walk-in shower as part of a bigger bathroom, one or more glass panels prevent the rest of the room getting wet. A frameless panel can be fixed to a wall. Or it can be held in place parallel to the wall by a pole attached to the ceiling or wall brackets.

All glass screens must be toughened and meet British Standard EN 12150-1. The usual thickness is from six to eight millimetres. Screens with slim frames and a low-level tray create a streamlined look. Or opt for an extra-shallow tray that fits flush with the floor. Most quality trays have an anti-slip surface. ‘This is important with shower floors,’ says Yousef. ‘Many steel and composite trays offer anti-slip options and. When tiling, choose a matt finish and check the product’s slip rating.’

wet room with mosaic tiles and green tinted curved shower screen

Green tinted glass shower panel with a curved top by Ex-t

Luxury design

If you have enough room, why not fit two showers? You could have one at either end of the space. This will require two drainage points. A built-in bench and storage niches spa-style additions. Opt for a recessed drainage gully for a sleek finish. The drain is fitted at the bottom edge of the wall and all that’s visible is a linear gap alongside the shower area.