Choose from contemporary and classic designs for a spa-like bathroom zone or dedicated wet room including the latest technological advances
The latest sanitaryware is stylish in design and functionality. Long gone are the days when the bathroom was a merely practical space. It’s now a popular room where watching TV from the bath, listening to the radio or enjoying a jetladen power shower have become the norm. With simple relaxation and convenience in mind, dedicated spa-style wet rooms at home have risen in popularity and the latest designs are both sophisticated in style and high tech in operation. The beauty of the wet room is that the simple set up of shower fixture, tile and glass can be tailored to suit both traditional and modern bathroom schemes. ‘Wet rooms are very versatile,’ says Tom Healy at Kohler. ‘A wet room can be installed virtually anywhere and allows the maximum use of space where a more conventional solution would not be viable. Wet room areas give a sense of space, and add interest and dimension, giving you flexibility on the size and shape of your showering area. They complement both traditional and contemporary styles and can also be used to create a convenient and useful showering environment for wheelchair users.’
WATERPROOF YOUR AREA
When it comes to designing your wet room, it’s important to consider the space you want to create as this will determine how much waterproofing will be required. There are two main options to choose from: a wet room zone – a walk-in shower that is divided from the rest of the bathroom with a large screen – or a true complete wet room – an entire room that is fully waterproofed. Choose to have a wet room panel installed into a shower tray or position it straight to the floor. ‘Once the design has been established, you should have a much better idea about the level of waterproofing required,’ says Joanne Axtell, Senior Marketing Manager at bathroom specialist Iflo. ‘Known as ‘tanking’, this is the most important thing to get right as failure to properly execute the waterproofing will inevitably mean costly complications in the future. Underfloor heating will also facilitate a quick dry. These systems can be controlled independently for increased efficiency and a silicone-free sealed system is recommended.
CREATE A STYLISH AND PRACTICAL SPACE
If you plan on tiling a large area including both the walls and floor you’ll need to consider materials carefully as tiles and grouting can be porous. ‘The trend for mosaic and tiling in the bathroom will remain,’ says Steve Middleton, UK Sales Manager for Fiora. ‘When selecting a wet room floor, slip resistance is an important consideration. A matt finish floor is a sensible choice within a wet room. A suitable tile, for example, should carry a slip resistance rating of R11 or R12. But for those wanting a more minimalist look without the stress of grouting etc, there is a new advent of shower trays that can be flush to floor to easily create the look.’ You can turn disadvantages to your advantage too. ‘If you can’t have a level floor, turn the showering area into a feature with a contrasting tile,’ says Ben and Abbas Youssefi of APADANA. ‘Why not have a feature panel of glass mosaics on your back wall and if space allows, recess some storage space into a wall for shampoo bottles and essentials.’