At first thought, it is easy to dismiss the possibility of transforming a small bathroom into an open-plan wet room as fanciful at least, and maybe even implausible.
However, there’s an immense variety of clever small wet room ideas to consider for a smooth conversion process, that will help to introduce a spa-like aura within your very own home.
In this blog, we’ll highlight several stylish small wet room ideas, most of which are fairly simple to implement. In turn, we’ll look to illustrate the boundless scope that exists with regards to creating this standout luxury home feature.
What Is A Wet Room?
Don’t worry if you aren’t especially well versed in the stylings of the modern bathroom design phenomenon that is the wet room. Essentially, a wet room is a bathroom in which the shower space dominates the room, and is incorporated wholly into the design of the bathroom area.
As such, wet rooms require large parts or the entirety of the bathroom to be waterproofed or ‘tanked’, and there is no real requirement for a shower tray (although some people do prefer to include low-level versions).
In a typical wet room, a bespoke shower tray will be installed at floor level before being tiled over. This component will also usually incorporate a waste outlet and shower drain cover at a dead central position for the most charming aesthetic effect.
Ultimately, wet rooms connotate slick, minimalist modern designer flair, and their inception is viewed as one of the best methods to transfigure a bathroom into an indulgent, luxurious spa-style area.
Can I Fit A Wet Room In My Home?
Rather than a case of concern, it’s often one of dismissal where wet rooms are concerned. A lot of homeowners simply assume that their bathroom can’t feasibly be converted into a wet room, likely simply because they can’t envisage such a transformation.
But almost any bathroom layout can be manipulated into a wet room with a touch of imagination and a fair bit of elbow grease. Of course, the smaller the space, the likelier it is that a shower screen will be required to protect nearby fixtures and fittings like radiators or heated towel rails from water splashback. For larger bathrooms, no sort of protective glass partitions are likely to be needed, but could be included at the homeowner’s discretion.
How Do You Waterproof A Wet Room?
When opting to switch from a bathroom to a wet room, the space in question will have to be waterproofed thoroughly.
Dependent upon how big the bathroom area is, you might only need to complete a full waterproofing process on the lower parts of the walls within the showering space, in addition to the floor. In line with your own personal preferences, you might also want to incorporate some splash protection for the other walls as well.
And it’s a simple process to get the job done. Once you’ve ensured the floor and walls are as clean as can be, apply your primer before adding a silicone filling to any gaps. Then, apply masking tape to the wall and proceed to add the waterproofing agent to the relevant areas, then the waterproof membrane to the joints. Add a final coat of waterproofing agent to the flooring and walls, and voila.
What Happens To The Water In A Wet Room?
In a waterproofed wet room, the excess water that emerges from a shower system typically won’t be contained by the minimalist shower tray, if there is one present at all.
Instead, water will tend to run straight onto the wet room floor, exiting via a waste outlet.
Special design considerations will have to be made in wet room areas following this water disposal method in the absence of a shower tray. That being, a small and gradual decline within the floor’s profile, leading into the drain itself.
This is one of the most invasive parts of the wet room transformation procedure for those who wish to go all out, and decide against the inclusion of even a low-level shower tray. Because at the very least a partial re-flooring of the bathroom will be required, or the use a basic shower former. In the latter case, floor tiling can simply be added over the top after installation.
Any Other Small Wet Room Considerations?
There’s a few extra considerations to make in a small wet room that you wouldn’t necessarily need to worry about in a standard bathroom space.
One being the potential impact on nearby essentials – the likes of towels and toilet rolls won’t be afforded anywhere near as much protection from splashes in a wet room environment. So you might have to demonstrate a bit of guile when it comes to storage solutions, as opposed to the ‘done thing’ of fitting bathroom vanity units.
Also, be wary of the impact a wet room transformation may have on the resale value of your property. Whilst a contemporary wet room space is very much sought after amongst some sectors, prospective homeowners with families often prefer a bathroom to include a freestanding bathtub as a focal point, so they may view homes with wet rooms as less desirable.
What Are The Main Advantages Of Wet Rooms?
Enhancing Property Value
Right from the start, we’ll counter act the most recent point made about wet rooms potentially decreasing the resale value of a home in this list of advantages they can provide.
If you put to the side the point regarding how sought after bathtubs can be, there’s plenty of plus points as it pertains to wet rooms enhancing the appeal of a property.
For instance, you would be properly waterproofing an area of the home that might otherwise be especially prone to leakages and other water issues. In standard bathroom spaces, water might travel into unwanted places and lead to a conglomeration of moisture and damp.
Wet rooms see all excess water focused towards a central drain, so moisture is effectively trapped within the structure of the wet room itself.
These are all points which make a wet room an attractive proposition if and when it does come to selling your home, particularly so if there is an alternate ‘normal’ bathroom elsewhere in the building.
Easy Cleaning & Maintenance
A major benefit of a wet room installation is just how easy the space is to clean and maintain.
Given that the area is wet and waterproofed throughout, standard household bathroom cleaners can be taken to all nooks and crannies throughout the space, significantly reducing the prospects of mildew and mould developing.
Of course, some wet rooms might be designed specifically to provide shower accessibility for elderly or disabled relatives, for example. Whether that is the plot from the outset or not though, there’s no denying wet rooms are an especially prudent choice for those with restricted movement.
The lack of shower tray, or diminutive height of the component if there is one, makes it far easier to enter and exit the shower enclosure.
Also, no shower doors are necessitated, further easing the task of showering for those with lower mobility.
It’s your home and you can opt for décor as wild or subdued as you like. But the multitude of design possibilities that wet rooms present is undeniable. Their makeup itself dictates slick, contemporary designer stylings are a given, and the space will define your home as one exuding modern pizzazz.
Considering the minimalist profile of wet rooms generally speaking, the opportunity exists to include a variety of materials such as concrete, wood and stone, so you can get as creative as you like and mix and match if you wish. Even cottagecore style wet rooms might not be out of the question!
Better Use Of Space
As the title of this blog suggests, a wet room is an ideal installation option for compact bathrooms especially.
Without having a requirement for a bath, there’s the opportunity to introduce an ultra-stylish modern shower system that will catch the eye, and open up the room immensely.
Wet rooms remove any need for a bulky, space-sapping shower enclosure, allowing for the relatively little surrounding space to be used for crucial alternative means such as storage.
Implementing Small Wet Room Ideas
To explain how the clever, smooth implementation of small wet room ideas can come to fruition, we’ll visualise a setting which makes for a textbook open-plan transformation bathroom.
First things first, the compact area would incorporate a light and airy colour scheme – think whites, creams and light grey or anthracite hues, or soft pastel shades like subtle yellows, pinks and greens.
This defining aesthetic can be complemented in the form of shower wall panels as well as floor tiles. And large format tiling is particularly eye-catching, serving to enhance a sense of space at least from a visual perspective. It’s also quicker and easier to install.
That said, the type of shower tray former used, if any at all, may dictate that smaller tiles are instead preferable for fittings, dependent upon the angle of the decline leading to the drain and waste.
Immense scope exists with regards to tile material too – glossy black and white contrast styles, slate or wood effect and stone tiling are just some of the supremely stylish options to select from. Whichever type you go for can go a long way towards setting the tone for the wet room on the whole.
Of course, you need to ensure your tiles are compatible as a wet room foundation prior to purchase.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the showering space itself, the layout of a diminutive bathroom will usually dictate that this will be positioned towards the top end of the room. Larger wet rooms, by contrast, often feature centrally located shower spots as a focal point.
Similarly so, end wastes are more common sights in smaller wet rooms, with centre wastes also a frequent feature of bigger wet room areas. In any case, where the waste outlet pipe is placed will ultimately dictate.
Wherever the shower space and accompanying waste is fitted, it will be tiled over with waterproofing floor and wall kits encapsulating the area and the surrounding sections of the floor and wall.
And one aspect of a luxury wet room that cannot be underestimated or overlooked is the inclusion of an attractive modern shower system, equally as impressive in terms of looks and performance.
There’s all sorts of styles that fit the bill, with digital showers and shower towers amongst the most popular designs that fit in seamlessly with a contemporary wet room aesthetic, and deliver a phenomenal showering experience as well.
That same streamlined theme can also prove applicable to another key element of a small wet room, somewhat surprisingly to many, in the form of heating too. Whilst slimline designer radiators and heated towel rails especially are a favourable option in a compact bathroom or wet room, the opportunity does exist to fit underfloor heating as well.
The advantages of the latter type are two-fold from a basic standpoint – they’re perfect for keeping the room at a comfortable temperature all year round, but they’ll also assist in drying out a wet room floor at a quicker rate. Of course, they also negate the need for any bulkier heating components that could impact on available room and other fixtures and fittings.
Similarly so, the addition of a compact shower caddy or small-scale basket can make for an appealing substitute to bathroom vanities, offering a perfect means for the storage of toiletries, shampoos, shower gels and other essentials.
A Small Wet Room Setup
In essence, the way a small wet room it set up will typically allude to the way it operates. It’s a given, particularly in wet rooms where space is at a premium, that showering areas should be located at the opposite end of the room to the entrance point.
Furthermore, the positioning of the likes of toilets and basins are crucial to consider. And components such as wall hung toilets and back to wall toilets might prove vital additions in this regard. Find out more about these styles in our dedicated blogs, Why Buy Wall Hung Toilets, and Why To Upgrade To A Back To Wall Toilet.
If the wet room is populating a narrow space, it might not be worth including extra splashback protection nearby to the sink or basin. And provided your toilet is situated as far away as comfortably possible from the shower space, you can do without added waterproofing for that component as well, all the while confident it is dry and readily for use at any time.
As modern toilets will understandably tend to be installed close to the entrance in small wet rooms, the door opening is an essential consideration to make. Think about whether the door opens inwards or outwards, and the potential issues it could cause to people using the toilet etc.
Ventilation is another key element to think about as it pertains to a small wet room setup too, and especially so if the area is free from windows. In such instances, a working extractor fan is a must.
Contact Big Bathroom Shop For More Small Wet Room Ideas
A professional wet room installation is always recommended, not least due to the invasive nature that the fitting process usually necessitates.
If you would like any further help or advice regarding planning putting small wet room ideas into practice, or are keen to discover any further inspiration regarding wet rooms or walk in shower spaces though, please don’t hesitate to contact us.