Wetrooms not only look great but they are ideal if you want to maximise on space
The main idea of a wet room is that the whole bathroom is treated as though it's one big shower cabinet. It’s perfect for smaller-sized rooms as you don’t need a shower tray or enclosure taking up valuable space, although the room must have suitable drainage to allow water to flow away properly. Already commonplace in mainland Europe, the trend is now catching on in Britain. Belfast-based architect Alan Jones chose to fit one in the family home he built in Northern Ireland.
Alan, his wife Laura, and their two boys, Isaac and Gideon, enjoy showering without the restrictions of a cabinet, so a wet room was a great idea. The concrete waterproof external walls have been left unfinished to save on tiling. They are also ‘stable’ meaning they don’t ‘move’ (that is, expand and contract with heat/ moisture – which can be a problem with wet rooms in older buildings).
Before the space could function as a wet room the stud walls had to waterproofed. The walls were lined with WBP ply (water and boil proof) to protect them and the floor was sloped and tanked, which involved covering it with a waterproof membrane or skin that extends 600mm up the walls. ‘It’s important to choose tanking membranes carefully,’ says Alan. ‘Those in sheet form must be overlapped and the resulting ridge can disrupt tiling. A paint-on system, such as Toughseal by RIW may be better.’
In a wet room, use the same surface for walls and floors for a uniform look. Alan favoured this option and went for Bisazza mosaics in a simple colour combination. ‘Make sure you use a professional tiler who has plenty of experience with mosaics,’ he says. Team with a rainfall-effect shower to finish off the classic wet-room look. Try Hansgrohe.
Words: Barbara Chandler Image: Jefferson Smith