Tips on Including a Shower Room in Your Bathroom Remodeling Project

Modern bathroom remodeling projects include luxurious features and upgrades that transform this practical room into a destination. A shower room or wet room is the ideal way to update your main bathroom or master bath. Improve the value of your house and create a place of solitude with a well designed shower room.

What Is a Shower Room?

Traditionally installed in larger bathrooms and executive homes, shower rooms are making an appearance in small bathrooms across North America and Europe. Often termed a wet room, this design features a seamless walk-in shower. Tiled walls and a tiled floor connect the wet room to the balance of your bathroom, and glass walls replace the traditional shower curtain to create an open feeling.

Shower rooms often include an area for drying off, set apart by a glass partition. Also, spa fixtures and luxury shower bars that feature multiple water settings provide an even better showering experience.

Finish the ceiling in the same way as the balance of your bathroom—with mold-resistant drywall. And consider carrying the tile into the majority of the room to provide consistency and an appealing flow.

Framing and plywood sheathing under the flooring and behind tiles should be specially designed for use in bathrooms. This could include a chemical treatment (such as BluWood) or a cement board that keeps this space free from moisture damage and dangerous mold growth.

In essence, a shower room combines a large, spacious shower with other bathroom fixtures like a sink and toilet. Bathroom storage is often well hidden and other upscale features like heat lamps and spa tubs fit right into the look and feel of this bathroom style.

Can You Convert Your Small Bathroom Into a Shower Room?

Small bathrooms are actually ideal for a makeover and convert well into a shower room. You simply need to remember that certain features of a standard bathroom are tweaked to accommodate the open styling of a wet room.

Use light neutral tiles and plenty of glass to optimize the small space. Lighting also plays a major role in avoiding a cramped atmosphere. Maximize the shower size through placement, which may require moving the existing plumbing and drains. Also consider space-saving fixtures like wall-mounted sinks and toilets. These help to create a practical space that delivers the most bang for your buck, visually and economically.

DIY Versus Hire the Pros

Some handy homeowners prefer to tackle bathroom remodeling projects on their own, installing fixtures and handling the various renovation aspects involved. When it comes to wet room construction, even the most experienced DIY enthusiasts will need the help of experienced pros.

Hire a general contractor or bathroom renovation contractor that has specific experience with this type of project. Depending on your location, building a shower room may require additional building permits and construction techniques that go beyond standard practices. A knowledgeable contractor is invaluable when dealing with these important aspects of a wet room:

  • Drainage - When a tiled shower makes up the majority of your bathroom, drainage becomes an important issue. Flooring must be installed at a particular pitch and the floor drain must be adequately sized and located in the proper spot. Avoid water damage and plumbing backups by having your wet room installed by a plumber familiar with drainage issues.
  • Tile Selection - Choose the proper tiles to create your shower room and you are less likely to deal with maintenance issues later on. Non-porous tiles, like high quality ceramic and porcelain, work best in these applications, effectively keeping moisture out of the framing and reducing the risk of mold growth. Natural stone tiles, like granite or marble, require a sealant to create the same level of protection. That sealant must be reapplied on a regular basis.
  • Tile Installation - DIY enthusiasts can install tile flooring with little problems, but vertical tile applications, such as walls, can be much more challenging. Ensure your shower room is built to last with adequate support for your tiling and a high quality grout application.

What About Vinyl?

Affordable tub surrounds are made from vinyl panels welded together to form a shower stall. These can be adapted to create a shower room, but you will need to contend with several limitations. Most vinyl shower stalls come with a molded floor. Connecting that component with the balance of your floor can be challenging, and often detracts from the seamless feel.

Expansive vinyl panels also present numerous seams or sealing points. While high quality brands design these areas to be unobtrusive, the finished look is less appealing than a tiled wall. You will also have more difficulty sealing around windows, doors and bathroom hardware (towel racks, for example).

Vinyl may be less expensive than tile, but it will not create the same luxurious look and smooth feel of a tiled wet room.

How Much Does a Shower Room Conversion Cost?

Bathroom remodeling costs vary, depending on the amount of work involved and the fixtures chosen. Converting your bathroom to a shower room tends to cost a little more than a standard remodel, due to the extent of the work and materials involved.

Ensuring that the space is water-tight, by using specially designed framing, drywall and cement board, drives up the cost. Investing in high quality tiles also sets this room apart and boosts the budget. Upscale shower faucets, modern wall-mount sinks and spa tubs also drive up costs.

Conservative estimates state that shower room conversions cost around $12,000 to $13,000 on average. Remember that adding a wet room tends to increase your property value, especially when your home includes two or more bathrooms.

Plan to convert your existing bathroom into a lavish shower room, complete with beautiful tiling, glass walls and an upgraded showering system. This bathroom remodeling project presents a variety of design and installation challenges, but with the right approach and the help of an experienced professional, your new wet room will become an oasis of comfort for the whole family.

Posted by: diana
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