Interiors Q&A – creating a wet room
Dear Andrew, I have just come back from holiday and was taken by the wet room that was part of the suite in our boutique hotel. I was thinking about updating my ensuite – how can I recreate it?
A wet room is a great way to achieve a clean and contemporary look for your ensuite. The principle feature is that the shower tray is removed and the traditional enclosure is typically replaced by a sheet of glass from floor to ceiling with minimal fittings.
The first thing to do is to ensure that the room is watertight and the floor must be treated with a waterproof membrane, usually fibreglass, which can then be tiled directly over. It is essential to complete this step properly otherwise water leakage will cause future problems.
The room is designed to be uncluttered and good storage is essential to allow everything to be put away, although it is a good idea to include a tiled recess in the shower area to keep your daily toiletries to hand. This should finished with a very slight slope so that water drains properly. This should also be the case for the floor – the tiling needs to slope into the drain and, although it sounds obvious don’t put the drain where you stand.
In a room where every surface will get wet, heating is important to help the evaporation of splashed water. One way to achieve this is to put in under floor heating before the floor is laid. Another great option is to include a heating pad behind the mirror so the glass doesn’t steam up after a shower, and also a heated towel rail to keep your towels warm and dry. Adding a summer heating element to the rail will give you warm towels all year round. Bisque has a great selection of heated towel rails from purely functional to spectacularly sculptural.
Ventilation is essential and all bathrooms are required to have adequate air extraction and it’s worth paying more to get a quiet and efficient extractor fan. It’s also worth splashing out on a large shower head since you are less constrained by space in a wet room. Hansgrohe now produce a range of overhead shower heads that draw air into the shower to create the ultimate showering experience!
If you remember to consider the points above a wet room can be a successful option for most bathrooms and help you remember your holiday long after you have returned home.
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