Wet rooms are a contemporary small bathroom solution, offering an excellent way to open up and make efficient use of limited space. The space normally required for a tub or bathroom shower stall is eliminated; the entire room becomes a shower.
In contemporary wet room design, wall mount sinks and toilets further economize on space, affording significant enhanced ease of maintenance.
As with any type home renovation, however, there are pros and cons to consider before adding a wet room to your home.
- Small bathroom space can be greatly enhanced with the elimination of a bath tub or shower stall.
- Second small bathrooms converted to shower wet rooms can significantly increase the market value of your home.
- Wet room design for a small bathroom is exceptionally stylish and very vogue.
- Wet rooms are easier to keep clean; especially with wall mounted sink and toilet fixtures.
- A properly installed tile wet room and sub-floor is more water proof and will last longer than a standard bathroom.
- A wet room should be installed only by a professional; proper water drainage is crucial. Improper installation or inadequate drainage will result in costly damage.
- If your home does not have a second bathroom, and you convert the main bathroom into a wet room, it may decrease the real estate value of your home.
- Wet room design dictates a tile bathroom; walls and floors must all be tiled using non- porous material. The amount of tile and special installation techniques required to insure a tight water seal can be rather expensive.
- A wet room bathroom floor must be sloped toward the drainage tile for proper drainage; items such as towels cannot be allowed to block the drain, or water could back up and flood adjacent areas of the home. In a very small bathroom, a shower screen may be necessary to keep linens, towels, or other items dry.
Proper Water Drainage is Crucial
Wet rooms must drain properly and be absolutely watertight. A professional contractor, whether a plumbing contractor or general contractor, builds sloping into the plywood sub-floor; with channels directing the water to the drain.
It is important to use exterior grade or WBP plywood; the initials stand for water and boil proof. The plywood is manufactured using water resistant glue to prevent de-lamination. This plywood is not totally waterproof; it is only resistant to a certain amount of moisture.
When using WBP for construction of a wet room floor, the surface must be treated with a waterproof gel. One that sets up to create a waterproof membrane, sealing the floor and wall before tile is installed. This is known as tanking the room.
Using treated plywood is another flooring option. It is also resistant to water, but not totally waterproof.
Another important consideration for wet room flooring is plywood thickness. Using several layers to achieve at least 1 -inch thickness is recommended, to provide a solid sub-floor. On that will not flex or shift, causing tile or grout lines to crack or pull away.
An alternative to this procedure is to use a pre-formed tray with sloping built in. The tray is installed into the room, and then tile is installed over the tray. Tile is optional for some tray types. Trays are available in custom sizes from numerous manufacturers.
Be sure to allow ample funding for your small bathroom design. Overall cost for an average small bathroom remodel to create a wet room will run approximately $12,500 and up. This includes installation of tanking, drain gradient, and tile.
While sheet vinyl or Corian can be used for the floor, the most popular choice is tile. Non-porous tiles (such as ceramic) are best; porous tiles such as slate, marble or limestone need re-sealing every 2-3 months to keep water from penetrating and causing damage to the sub-floor. Adding to overall cost.
Another excellent feature to include in your small bathroom idea is under-floor heating. This keeps floor tile warm; at the same time, promoting quick drying of wet surfaces after shower use.
Small bathroom makeovers to add a tile wet room must comply with your local building code. While most local building code principles are based on international building code guidelines, regulations may vary slightly from one locality to another. It is always best to work closely with your local building authority to comply with all code requirements.
Finding a Contractor
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Project owners can then make an informed hiring decision, or hire no one at all. Remember, there is no obligation whatsoever, and services are free!Posted by: TrustedPros