Wetrooms are open-concept bathrooms that are quite popular across the pond in the UK. While this concept is still rather new to American homeowners, we get calls from property owners interested in this bathroom configuration enough times to make it a topic worthy of its own blog post. So, what exactly is a wetroom? Essentially, a wetroom is a bathroom that has an open shower configuration. The shower does not have a door and its floor is flush with the rest of the bathroom’s flooring. This kind of bathroom configuration works well in small bathrooms because it gives the illusion of space and eliminates clearance obstacles for swinging shower doors. UK properties tend to be smaller than American homes, which is why the wetroom is seen more often across the Atlantic. If you’re interested in remodeling an existing bathroom in this manner, there are some things you’ll want to take into consideration.
The greatest challenge homeowners face with this kind of shower setup is the potential for leaks or other water damage. Waterproofing is essential since the entire bathroom acts as the enclosure for the shower. Materials used must be able to withstand dampness. For example, you’ll need to install a vanity that is made of materials that won’t warp or breakdown from the exposure to the constant humidity. If you’re interested in using natural stone, a wetroom may not be ideal. Natural stone is porous and absorbs water. Wetrooms with natural stone need to be resealed every couple of months to stay watertight. This is why most wetrooms use ceramic tile or another similar material.
While wetrooms are stylish, comfort is an issue. With traditional, enclosed showers, the water heats the area and keeps you warm while taking the shower. Since the entire bathroom acts as the enclosure in a wetroom, it is harder to stay warm while showering. Some homeowners opt to install radiant floor heating to overcome this challenge or heat lamps.
If you plan to sell your home in the near future, contact a real estate agent to find out if this is a feature that will attract homebuyers. Although a wetroom may increase your property’s value, it may turn off potential buyers.
If you decide to accept the wetroom challenge, make sure you work with a licensed plumber who understands the delicate nature of these bathrooms. Planning must be precise and you may need additional permits. For more information about the latest trends in bathroom plumbing, get in touch with Rooter Hero Plumbing. We can help you design a bathroom that is stylish, functional, and will add value to your home.