17th July 2018

Can Wet Rooms Work For Small Spaces?

Post by Wet Room Materials

To properly answer this question, let’s first examine what a wet room consists of and what makes it different from a standard shower cubicle.

Features Of A Wet Room

If you search online for the definition of a wet room you will get many variations in the suggestions but all of them will contain these features, or wording that suggests them:

  • Fully waterproofed bathroom
  • Shower but no shower tray
  • Shower water falls directly onto the bathroom floor
  • Level floor access

While it does imply a bathroom (i.e. more sanitary ware than just a shower cubicle), nowhere does it state that there are minimum dimensions. In fact, a simple basic shower room with a toilet and wash basin could qualify as a wet room if the above specifications were incorporated.

Disadvantages Of A Small Space For A Wet Room

If somebody mentions “wet room” in conversation, the picture that immediately jumps into the minds of most people is a spacious bathroom area, probably an image from one of the glossy home décor magazines. Glass screens restrict the water soakage area while contemporary accessories and fittings emphasis the luxuriousness of the space. It is quite a challenge to duplicate that total effect in a tiny space.

Pleasures Of A Wet Room

One of the distinct pleasures of using a wet room is the ability to walk around the entire bathroom and shower area, using it as a single integrated space. That does require a certain minimal amount of space to work well. However, a small space can be transformed visually when the basic shape lends itself well to the wet room concept.

When Does A Wet Room Work Well In A Small Space?

In a typical en-suite shower room, the shape may be a very narrow rectangle with the shower cubicle at one end, a toilet at the other and a wash hand basin in the middle. There is not a great deal you can achieve with that layout. Removing the shower tray and shower door may be nice but delivers no great advantages.

On the other hand, consider a square shape where the shower cubicle presents an obstacle or intrusion of sorts – either a wall that forms the side of a conventional tile and tray construction, or perhaps a quadrant shaped glass construct in a corner. For example, a frameless floor to ceiling glass panel, separating the shower area from the toilet and wash basin, immediately opens the space up and brightens the entire area. This is an example where a wet room definitely works well in a small space.

The Bottom Line

Not every small space benefits from being converted into a wet room. Square shaped floor plans lend themselves better to a wet room than narrow rectangles. However, there may be compelling reasons, such as providing accommodation for the physically handicapped or some other practical requirement that outweigh aesthetic considerations. The fact is that any space can be converted into a wet room. The only question is do the benefits justify the cost?

Free Resources

We have written a very useful guide for architects and designers who are considering planning a wet room. Feel free to download The Architect’s Wet Room Design Guide – Inspire and delight your clients while avoiding leaks and common problems.

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