How to Install a Wet Room Shower and Wet Room Flooring

August 11, 2020

Is your shower room looking out of date? Could your bathroom do with an update? Then it might be time to consider installing a wet room shower as part of your bathroom remodelling project!

Wet rooms are becoming an ever more popular option for bathrooms. Their sleek and modern look can transform a dated bathroom into a modern oasis.

To help you get started on your home remodelling project, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about wet rooms. Before you know it your bathroom will look top-notch and you will be able to cross another home project off your to-do list!

What is a Wet Room?

What is a wet room

A wet room is essentially a shower without a complete shower enclosure. Instead of a traditional shower enclosure with glass walls or a shower curtain a wet room is more open.

Some wet rooms do have a partial glass partition to protect the rest of the room from the spray of the shower but this is not always the case. The glass partition is typically a matter of preference, not a necessity. The purpose of a wet room is to transform the bathroom itself into an open concept shower room.

Should You Install a Wet Room?

should you install a wet room

So, you are wondering whether or not your bathroom is a good candidate for a wet room. While most bathrooms can be converted into a bathroom, some are better candidates than others.

It is often best to build a wet room in a larger bathroom. Larger bathrooms simply allow more space for a portion to be converted into a shower, without drenching the rest of the room. In contrast, building a shower in smaller bathrooms risks exposing your towels to any renegade shower spray.

Don’t fret if your shower room is small, this article on shower room ideas is packed with suggestions on how to make the most out of small bathrooms!

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Can You Install a Wet Room Upstairs?

modern wet room

One of the most common questions when it comes to installing a wet room is whether you can install a wet room upstairs. Between shoddy installations, and general misconceptions about wet rooms it is no wonder that there is some confusion about this.

However, to put your mind at ease, you can install a wet room on any floor. The key to installing a wet room successfully isn’t whether it is on an upper or lower floor. Instead, its success actually relies upon effective waterproofing and the correct installation of drainage. So, if you want to install a wet room on an upper floor, don’t fret, it is certainly possible.

What are the Benefits of Installing a Wet Room?

wet room modern

Installing a wet room can benefit your home in a variety of ways from improved resale cost to increasing the accessibility of your home.

In terms of finances, a wet room can potentially augment the resale value of your home later on. Renovated bathrooms are one of the key features that buyers look for when they are house hunting. So, stumbling upon an updated bathroom with a wet room can only help your cause.

Wet rooms are also good if you need to ensure that your bathroom is accessible for a wide range of mobility levels. Unlike tubs which you need to climb into, you can walk straight into a shower room. Additionally, if you or your loved one requires a wheelchair, a wet room can be designed without an edge at the entrance. That way there is no impediment when entering the showering area. No matter the mobility level of you or your loved one, when you have a wet room everyone can shower with ease.

Then let’s not forget that installing a wet room will help to refresh and update your home. Removing an outdated shower stall that is cluttering your bathroom in favour of a wet room will create the illusion of a larger space. This will, in turn, make your bathroom feel more modern. Just imagine how nice it will be to enjoy your showers without worrying about your renovation to-do list!

How to Install a Wet Room Shower

So, you are all ready to install a wet room shower in your home, but now what? Fret not, in this section we will cover everything you need to know about installing a wet room shower!

Step 1: Gather the Right Supplies

tiling materials

To build a wet room you will need quite a few different supplies from primer to tiles. Depending on how you or your professional is installing the wet room most of these supplies could come together in a kit. However, if you don’t buy a kit then you will have to source each item separately.

To get you started here is a list of the main supplies that you will need:

  • Primer
  • Waterproof liner and tape or tanking compound
  • Wet room deck
  • Drain
  • Piping connectors
  • Tiles and grout
  • Tile sealant

Don’t feel like gathering all of these supplies and then tackling the job yourself? Hire a local shower installation specialist on Bidvine and let a professional take care of it for you.

Step 2: Out with the Old

old bathroom

Image Credit

Before you can begin to install the wet room shower, you will need to renovate your existing shower structure. This means removing any bathtubs or shower stalls that are currently in your bathroom.

If your shower stalls or bathtubs are still in good condition, you may be able to re-purpose them. Should your home have a second bathroom in need of a replacement then this could present the perfect opportunity to upgrade it.

Don’t need your old shower or bathtub? Then it is important to contact your local district council to find out if they will recycle these items. If they don’t then you can either try and sell it, or you can contact a rubbish removal specialist to pick it up for you.

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Step 3: Install Proper Drainage

shower drain

Once you have removed your old shower enclosure it is truly time to get to work. With these out of the way, you will be able to begin installing the drainage system.

To install a proper drainage system for the wet room you will need to connect the drain with the piping that runs beneath your bathroom floors.

There are two main types of drain options that are used for wet rooms, compact and linear. They both operate similarly having a grate that covers a water filtration trap. You can then temporarily remove the water filtration trap later on for cleaning purposes.

Where the drains differ is in their appearance. You place a compact drain in the centre of the showering area. Then you must slope the wet room flooring inwards towards the central drain. This helps to ensure that your water will move directly towards the drain.

If you do opt for a compact drain it is important to keep in mind that you will likely need smaller tiles. Due to the central location of it, it will be easier to arrange the smaller tiles around the drain.

In contrast, you can install a linear channel drain at the edge of the wet room’s showering area, while the floor slopes gently towards it for water collection. This placement at the edge can serve as a visual marker to the end of the showering area. You can also use larger tiles with a linear drain as you won’t need to arrange the tiles around a central component.

It is good to note that when both of these drains are properly installed that they are both effective. So, it is unlikely that you will need to remove them to take care of maintenance issues beneath the wet room flooring.

Step 4: Lay the Wet Room Deck

Wet room deck

Once the drain is installed, you can then lay the wet room deck. The wet room deck is essentially a durable, waterproof base that you fit around the drain and beneath the primary showering area.

It is similar to a traditional shower base as it describes the area you stand on while showering. However, unlike a traditional shower base, the wet room deck will eventually be covered by your tiling.

How you go about installing the wet room deck will vary somewhat depending on the type of flooring which already exists in your bathroom. The installation method can also vary among similar floor types as well.

For instance, when installing a wet room deck in a solid concrete bathroom, you may be able to inset it in the existing floor. However, in the case of other concrete floors, it might be best to overlay it on top of the flooring. Then in other situations, you may need to overlay it and then raise the flooring slightly. The same is true for wooden floors as well.

Are you unsure whether you need to inset, overlay or raise the flooring of your bathroom? Then it is best to seek out a professional opinion. The last thing you want to do is risk the structural integrity of your flooring.

Step 5: Underfloor Heating for Your Wet Room Flooring

underfloor heating

Along with installing your wet room deck comes the installation of underfloor heating. While underfloor heating is not strictly necessary to a successful wet room installation it is nonetheless a great addition.

When you install underfloor heating around, or just outside of the showering area, your toes will always be toasty after showering. It is the perfect addition when you are remodelling your bathroom. After all, who wouldn’t like warm feet after a shower instead of stepping onto cold tiles?

In addition to making your toes feel nice, underfloor heating is also particularly beneficial for wet rooms. When water wanders away from the showering area, underfloor heating will help to ensure that your floors dry quickly. This can help prevent lingering dampness and any mould growth that could come along with it.

Step 6: Waterproof to Protect

waterproofing your wet room

Image Credit

It is essential to waterproof your wet room effectively. This is, after all, the primary layer of protection against water damage in your flooring and walls.

However, it is not necessary to waterproof the entire room, even though this is an option. Instead, most people who install a wet room in their home will focus on waterproofing the area directly exposed to water from the shower. For good measure, you could also waterproof nearby the showering area to protect it from any stray water spray.

To begin the waterproofing process the first step is priming. Are you purchasing a wet room installation kit? Then, the kit will likely include your primer. If so, you can then use this to prime any area which is porous such as plaster, painted walls, or exposed timber.

Now that you have finished priming, it is time to complete the waterproofing process. To do this you can use either a waterproof liner with specialised waterproofing tape or, a tanking compound. In the case of a waterproof liner, you will need to affix it to the wall using specialised plugs and then seal off any connections with the waterproofing tape.

If a waterproof liner isn’t your cup of tea, the other option is to use a tanking compound. A tanking compound is a waterproof substance, with a consistency somewhere between paint and putty. You can then paint this compound onto the walls and areas which you have primed.

Step 7: Polish It off with Tiles

polish it off with tiles

After you have finished waterproofing the wet room area the next step is to tile it! Tiling your bathroom will ensure that the wet room flooring remains watertight. Plus it will open up an opportunity to update and refresh your bathroom in a whole new way.

There are countless different types of tiles in endless colours, shapes and patterns. So, you can truly run with your imagination when it comes to this aspect of the renovation. If you are hunting for tiling inspiration we recommend checking out this article.

Step 8: Seal Your Tiles

updated modern shower room

Yes, your tiles will automatically provide protection from the water on their own but if you truly want a top-notch wet room you should also seal your tiles.

For more porous tiles a sealant can provide that extra bit of waterproofing protection. Even if your tiles are already highly water-resistant sealant can still help. This is because when properly applied a sealant can also protect the tiles themselves from the wear and tear of daily use. Grime, dirt and stains will be less likely to stick to sealed tiles, which will make cleaning that much easier.

If you are going to update your bathroom correctly it is important not to cut any corners. You want all of the time and energy that you invest in your new wet room to stand the test of time.

Are you ready to install a wet room shower in your home? Submit a request to receive bids from trusted, local professionals near you. Then just sit back, relax and let us do the work for you!

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