If you’re living off the grid and have decided to become one with nature, then you may be using a toilet facility you dug yourself and a nearby river for bathing. Otherwise, chances are you have a typical 3-piece bathroom in your home, consisting of a toilet, sink, and shower/ tub. You probably also have some sort of moisture-resistant flooring in this room such as tile, natural stone, or perhaps modern vinyl.
(PSA: If you have a fully carpeted bathroom, it means the space was most recently renovated in the 80’s. In this case, please stop reading this article, click the “Start Now” button on Remodelmate’s home page, and we will happily help you start your bathroom renovation today.)
As everyone knows, it’s impossible to keep all the water in the tub or shower. Invariably, drops will splash here and there when you step out of the shower, and a significant amount gets splashed around by children, pets, or fun-loving adults during bath time. However, there is an increasingly popular solution that doesn’t require you to clean up every time water splashes outside of its designated area: install a wet room.
What is a wet room? Why would you want one, and should you add this modern feature when it comes time to renovate your bathroom? Here’s what you need to know to make your life easier and increase the value and appeal of your home.
A wet room is a type of bathroom space in which every surface is designed to withstand water. If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you probably understand the basic idea, but a wet room is much larger and more luxurious than the molded acrylic cubes found in cruise ship staterooms.
The concept of a wet room had been popular in Europe for decades, and has recently been catching on in the US due to the functionality and beauty it can create in a small space.
While cruise ship bathrooms are literally designed as single, typically tiny, solid cubes where everything can get wet, a wet room in a home can be either compact or spread out. Wet rooms are meant to have an open-concept design, thus minimizing visual separations within the space. A low half wall or a glass panel is about as much separation as you get in a typical wet room.
Wet rooms have a curbless shower entry (i.e. no raised lip to step over to get into the shower stall), with completely tiled walls. What’s more, wet rooms often have a shower space large enough to fit a free-standing tub within them. The tub may be fully exposed to the room, or may be situated behind a glass shower wall.
This set up works because the walls are lined, floor to ceiling, with waterproof material, with another layer of waterproof backing behind/under that. The entire floor is then slightly angled (like a shower floor) to allow excess water to run into a drain. Naturally, this takes some additional plumbing work. It’s not excessive, but those wanting a wet room should be sure to factor this into their budget.
One of the most common reasons for choosing a wet room over a more traditional bathroom space is that it allows for more efficient use of space, opening the door to greater functionality. Without walls encasing a shower, tub, sink, or toilet area, you can make any bathroom feel more spacious, and the more open floor plan may even allow you to install components that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to fit in.
A bathroom that may only seem to have enough space for a large shower stall, for example, could potentially fit a shower and a soaker tub when the two don’t have to be separated by traditional partitions and platforms that gobble up square footage. Even if you decide it’s wise to install a full or partial glass wall separating the shower and tub from the sink and toilet area, this thin barrier takes up hardly any floor space, and it preserves the open-concept feeling because it doesn’t block sight lines like a regular wall. This creates an attractive visual flow and an open, airy ambience that can feel luxurious.
Cleaning a wet room is one of the main benefits. Have you ever washed a dog in your bathroom, only to have him spray water all over the walls as soon as he was liberated from the confines of the bathtub? (Let’s be honest, those spots may still be there today.) In a wet room, you could literally spray down the walls, turn on the fan, and walk away.
Of course, this modern home addition has also become an extremely popular upgrade, which means it could make your property more attractive to potential buyers when you decide to sell. While any bathroom upgrade is going to show significant return on investment, a wet room facilitates an open, inviting atmosphere that looks larger and has the potential to deliver the best possible return.
When considering adding a wet room for your master bath or shared bathrooms in the home, it’s important to start by understanding practical needs- like the space required to install separate components, as well as the plumbing required for appropriate drainage.
If your bathroom already has the basic layout, removing shower walls and tub platforms can make better use of available space and help your bathroom feel larger. It’s an ideal setup for anyone who enjoys a good soak in the tub, but would rather rinse off in a shower, and it’s a great functional option for families with children or pets that splash in the tub or shake off in the shower.
If you’re interested in upgrading to a wet room, just be sure to consult with professional design and install experts to ensure that this option is right for your home and meets your personal needs and preferences.