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Buyer's Guide: Wet Rooms



What is a wet room?

A wet room has a shower area on the same level as the rest of the floor in the bathroom. They are modern, stylish, low maintenance, and provide great accessibility when designed well. Combined with a wall hung toilet and wall hung basin you will have an extremely sleek and easy to clean space.


There are 3 main areas to consider when designing your wet room, floor gradient, drainage, and waterproofing.


Floor gradient


A gradient in the floor is needed to allow water to flow to the drain without pooling. A correct gradient will help prevent slip hazards and water from escaping the waterproof area.



Is your wet room being built on a solid floor or on a timber floor?


Solid floors - Screed or latex topped with a tapered board are most commonly used to create the gradient.


Timber floors - The floorboards are removed in the shower area and batons are fixed to the joints to support a plywood base. They create a level surface for the floor former to sit on which will create a guaranteed consistent gradient in the direction of the drain.


Waterproofing/ Tanking

Waterproofing or ‘tanking’ is needed to keep the area watertight and stop water from escaping and causing damage. Tanking involves covering the area in a waterproof membrane either a liquid paint on the membrane of a self-adhesive sheet that is cut to shape.



Self-Adhesive membrane – these are easy to apply and provide a consistent thickness across the entire area. Tiling can commence straight away as well.


Liquid membranes – Liquid membranes are brushed onto the floor area, generally requiring two coats with a 24-hour drying time


How much of the floor needs to be covered?

This depends on if you tanking on a solid or wooden floor. It's recommended to tank the entire floor for wooden floors whereas for solid floors an area of around 1m around the shower will suffice.


Risk Area

Wall and floor junctions can be a point of weakness so reinforcing tape and liquid membrane overlapping can help to ensure a waterproof seal.


Drainage


The choice of the drain is both a practical and aesthetic one.


Linear Drains


Linear drains are positioned parallel to the wall opposite the shower entrance allowing water to flow away from where there will be most foot traffic. Linear drains can handle a higher flow rate of water than traditional drains.


Traditional Drains


Traditional drains on the other hand can sit directly beneath the shower head. If you have a high flow rate of water from your shower you will need to ensure your drain can cope with those rates.


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