Wet Rooms: The Ultimate 2017 Guide

Have you ever wondered:wet-room-guide

“I’d love to plan and build my own wet room but I don’t know where to start”

“How easy is it to build your own wet room?”

“Do I have enough space to make it work?”

“What materials do I need?”

This is a comprehensive guide with FREE resources that will show you EXACTLY how to plan your new wet room with our handy Showeriness wet room planner that you can print out at home.

This ultimate guide will also take you through floors, drainage, installation as well as extras such as tanking, under floor heating and tiling options.

Creating a wet room or converting your old bathroom into a stylish wet room from scratch can be very easy and fun to do as well as being straightforward. All you need to is plan everything in advance and read up the different chapters below for wet room DIY.

Here’s what you’ll learn in each chapter of Wet Rooms: The Ultimate Guide

  • Chapter 3: Wet Room Kit, Waterproofing & Installation – DIY Wet Room kits are different and will come with separate instructions to help you, at the planning stage this chapter will introduce you to the different kits.
  • Chapter 4: Thermostatic Showers & Valves – Having your dream wet room isn’t complete without the perfect shower, this section will guide you through walk in shower enclosures, glass and thermostatic shower valves.
  • Chapter 5: Wet room tiling, tanking and under floor heating – Finish off your dream wet room with underfloor heating, the best tiling and tips for tanking the floor.

Before getting stuck into our ultimate guides, here are a few points to consider:


Water Drainage

Most people will hire a professional to take on the job of making sure that there is a gradient in the wet room which allows for the water to be channelled into the drain, this also means that the floor needs to be tanked (waterproofed) to ensure that water that gets through tiles or the flooring does not affect the timber below or damage any other part of the house.

The most popular way of creating a gradient is to install a sub-floor made from plywood which you then put your flooring or tiles over the top. Another way is using a giant Walk In Shower Tray that slopes towards a drain. These come in different shapes and sizes and can be fitted across an entire room without any need for tiling.


Tanking (known as waterproofing)

Ensuring that your dream wet room is water tight is a crucial job as you need to make sure that water does not escape and damage the rest of the house, water may leak onto the timber frames supporting the floor or damage the ceiling if you’re not on the ground floor. Tanking, known as waterproofing involves priming the floor as well as the lower half of the walls and then the entire wall area where your shower area is.

Tanking usually involves a syrupy type material that covers the areas and sets. Once set it’s then suitable for tiling and covering. You may also want to consider lifting the wet room door by a few millimetres in case the drain blocks and you have excess water on the floor it will ensure water does not leave the bathroom.


5 Advantages of having a wet room

  • Wet rooms can be incredibly stylish and with a lot of modern city living and new build houses with smaller rooms you can ensure you make the most of your space while creating a beautiful contemporary look.
  • A wet room can considerably increase the value of your property if you don’t have room for a second bathroom.
  • Removing the physical bath tub means you can do so much more with a small space
  • Wet rooms are by far, easier to clean as there is no fitted shower tray and if you go for a wall hung sink or toilet then it makes the floor even easier to clean
  • If built and tanked properly – your floor will be better protected compared to a standard bathroom. 

4 Disadvantages of having a wet room:

  • If you have a small space to work with then be careful of things like wet towels and toilet roll due to the spray from the shower.
  • If you’re not comfortable sealing the room yourself (tanking) then you’ll need to hire a professional to make sure the room is properly waterproofed. If it’s not done properly you’ll risk a leak which could cause considerable damage to your property.
  • A proper wet room should have tiling on the floor and the walls which can be quite expensive depending on what tiles you choose. If you also choose a porous stone tile you may also need to reseal them every few months which is added time and cost.
  • If you’re swapping your main bathroom for a wet room then this may make your home less saleable – buyers on the market may still want a bath or bathroom.

Having a wet room will allow you to show off some style and reflect your own personality and style choices. It’s also a really inventive way to update your home and add value onto your property if you have a small space and want to add an additional bathroom or wet room to make life easier in the morning for families.

You can be as little or as greatly involved as you wish on the project, there are some retailers that will plan and design everything for you (with your input and decisions) and they’ll also see through the build and completion of the wet room, or you may wish to plan and design it yourself and hire the professionals separately when you need them (for example tanking / waterproofing) the room is quite a difficult task that not everyone is up for).


How much should a wet room cost?

This will all depend on how much you want to do yourself – the ultimate guide provided free by Showeriness.com will help you reduce those costs as much as possible by giving you confidence and information to do as much as possible yourself. Typically, installing a wet room is between £5,000 and £10,000 if you pay a professional to tank and install the room.

If you buy higher quality tiles, this may increase the costs as well as building artificial walls to segment off the toilet and shower area. Retailers may offer you additional ideas, or services and sell you the extras that you need to fully complete a wet room rather than managing different suppliers and builders, plumbers etc.


I’ve heard not all tiles are suitable for wet rooms?

That is correct! If you buy a porous tile material then you’ll need to seal those tiles every few months to ensure water doesn’t go through underneath. We recommend that you buy non-porous tiles to save on time and effort in the long term maintenance. You can also opt for other materials like sheet vinyl or Corian which is seamless and also easy to clean which is something that you may want to consider.

If you do use tiles, ceramic or porcelain are the best ones to get – this means you won’t need to reseal them or treat them every few months. Also make sure that when you choose tiling for the floor you choose a tile that is specifically designed for bathroom and wet room floors as these will have anti-slip properties. If you buy normal porcelain or ceramic tiles and put them on the floor, water and especially if mixed with soap from the shower will make the floor incredibly slippery.


Can I get a guarantee on tanking (waterproofing?)

If you employ a good supplier to build all of your wet room then they may offer some kind of guarantee up to 10 years on either the whole bathroom or elements such as the waterproofing. If you build your wet room yourself with a kit then hire a professional for the difficult bits they may still give you some form of guarantee in case you find a leak after a few years use. All you will have to do is show them the proof of your guarantee and they’ll come and fix the problem free of charge, even if it means taking up floor tiles, they’ll be obliged to fixed everything for you.


Is it possible to install underfloor heating?

It’s recommended that you install underfloor heating in your wet room – this will mean that you can have a very contemporary bathroom and remove the need for a radiator or towel heater on the wall. If you have glass tiles on the wall you would risk cracking them if you drill / screw towel radiators on the wall.

Having underfloor heating (whether it’s a wet or dry system is completely up to you) it means that the tiles will be warm under your feet which is great on those cold winter mornings and it will also help dry out the water on the floor after a shower so it has multiple uses. Underfloor heating would be installed after the room is tanked (waterproofed) but before you put the flooring or tiling down.


Useful contacts and associations

We recommend that you employ a specialist company rather than an individual builder, plumber and tiler as these will not be joined up together. You can view The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association (www.kbsa.org.uk) and also have a look at the Federation of Master Builders (www.fmb.org.uk) where both websites have an online database of specislists in your local area.

Remember, before you choose a company – ask to see examples of their work. If they’re a large company they may also have a show room for you to walk around and get some inspiration for designing your dream wet room. Make sure to ask about guarantees on the work being done if you hire professionals, many good companies will offer a few years guarantee to make sure if anything goes wrong in the early days after your bathroom is complete then they will put it right and fix everything.



If you found this guide useful then please share on Facebook or pass the message on. Don’t forget to read through the chapters of our Wet Rooms: The Ultimate Guide for more in depth information and FREE resources and tools to help you plan your dream wet room for your house.

Wet rooms are becoming very stylish and a great solution to small living spaces and they are also a fantastic way to add value into your property. Whatever budget you have and whatever your personal styling choices are, there are a huge range of options available for you.

But where should you start? This website and our guide will help you make sense and begin to plan out your dream wet room.

To get started on Chapter 1: Wet Room Design and Planning then click on the link to get started! Here is where you’ll also find the FREE downloadable resources to help you plan and map out what your wet room will begin to look like.