29th August 2018

Walk In Shower Designs For Modern Bathroom Suites

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Post by Wetroom Materials

You will almost certainly be asked to incorporate a walk in shower into a bathroom design soon, if you haven’t already. While stopping short of being a full wet room, a walk in shower requires the same thought and planning as the shower element of a wet room. Conventional tile and tray shower cubicles are quite simple by comparison. A walk-in shower does require a far greater level of technical design and planning.


Things To Consider When Designing A Walk-in Shower

By a walk-in shower, we mean no door. Water still needs to be restricted to within the showering area, otherwise, the bathroom becomes a very wet area. There are just a few principles to be borne in mind:

  • A Suitable Wet room Drain
  • Thorough and robust waterproofing
  • Correct floor slopes
  • Solid foundations
  • High volume drainage
  • Water spray radius
  • Screen the shower from the bathroom area
  • Secondary drainage (barrier) option


Waterproofing And Subfloor

These are two important fundamentals, which both are out of sight in the finished product. They are also the two aspects that cause most post-installation problems, almost always because of botched workmanship and/or an inexperienced installation crew or enthusiastic DIY.

Designing a walk-in shower for a new build is usually an easier task than retrofitting one into an existing bathroom. With a new build, you know exactly what material will be used in the floor and its style. Drain positioning and floor slopes can be predetermined to make the best of out the space available. This cannot be said for an older building with existing walls and subfloors. It is essential to survey the site/bathroom in an existing build and to draw up a very accurate picture of the essential elements before attempting to design the new walk-in shower.


Floor Slopes 

The floor slope is essential for wetrooms. It allows the water to drain without pooling. You want the floor to slope enough that the water follows the gradient to the drain, though you also want to keep the slope subtle enough that the user doesn’t feel as if they’re standing on an uneven floor. 

The floor slope should be a minimum of between 1.5 and 2 degrees. This ensures the water will run to the drain efficiently and not cause water pooling. This gradient is also low enough to avoid the user feeling like they are standing on an uneven/sloped floor. 


How to Slope a Shower Floor

While there are various rules of thumb that you can use when sloping a floor yourself, it’s much easier and faster to install a pre-made floor kit that incorporates the correct gradient. 

However if you’d like to try sloping the floor on your own, it’s common for the floor to slope 6mm per 30cm,  this will keep you around the 1.5 and 2 degree slope mentioned above. 

The slope will also depend on the type of drain that you have. Wall-mounted drains will have a single slope leading towards the wall. A linear drain may have the same, though these can also be placed in the centre of a wetroom where both sides of the floor will slope towards each other. Centre drains will have four sides of the floor sloping towards the centre drain tile. 

Take a look at our different drain types here.


What is the Minimum Floor Slope?

The minimum floor slope that we’d recommend is 1-2% grade. But how is the grade calculated? Each 30cm gradient drop over a 30-metre length is 1%. 

If the distance is 3 metres, then the gradient should fall roughly 6cm from the highest point to the drain to create a 2% slope.  

Many wet room kits are reducing the slope to help with installation depth which can be counterproductive. 


Want to take the math out of the equation?

Our wetroom kits come with a pre-sloped floor so that you don’t have to work out the calculations, and you can rest assured knowing that the gradient of your wetroom floor is perfect for the drain that you’ve bought. 



There are many options for the type and style of drain, with linear drains proving extremely popular due to the range of finishes and they are out of the way of the user. That adds to the aesthetic pleasure and aids the designer in delivering the desired look.  It is important to specify a drain that complies with UK regulations and one that can cope with the volume of water from the shower heads.

 Secondary drainage has recently begun to prove very popular too. This can act as a safeguard in case the primary drainage backs up, or can create a barrier across the threshold of the shower area or even of the bathroom itself to prevent any water from escaping. It can also be used mid-floor to speed drainage in general.


Next Steps

Walk-in showers and wet rooms are both becoming increasingly popular. They add a discernible extra element of pleasure to the bathing experience that people are actively seeking out.

Architects and designers are invited to familiarise themselves with the range of wetroom kits, components and services available from Wet Room Materials. Successful and trouble free installation requires professional skills and experience. Engaging us to perform the installation guarantees that your client will be delighted with the end result.

Download our free eBook The Architects Wet Room Design Guide for a useful insight into the principles and constraints of successful design.


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