Wetrooms are the modern, stylish, minimalist way to add a shower to virtually any space. Many Wetroom designs can be seen in glossy magazines, on-line or on TV that can give the impression you need loads of space and will have to spend many thousands to get your dream shower space.
Wetroom World is here to show you how you can transform even the most modest space in to the luxurious bathroom or en-suite.
Conventional bathroom design can be thrown out of the window, with a Wetroom your imagination can run wild. The options are wide and variable and here is a way your designs can be created.
Guiding Principles for Wetroom Design
These are not “hard and fast” rules but a few things you might want to consider are:
- Windows are best kept outside the “wet area” this is for privacy as well practicalities.
- Try and avoid having the toilet as the first thing you see when you come through the door.
- If possible try and keep access to the toilet and sink as a dry space.
- A large shower area is also comfortable to dry off in so you don’t need a separate space for this.
Plumbing and the Wetroom Shower
Wetroom World does not supply the hardware for the shower mixers or heads. What we do is supply the materials you might need to free your imagination. With our tile board you can construct “false walls” easily.
Type of floor – Suspended timber, floor boards, chipboard, solid concrete, don’t worry about that yet, there are options for all types.
Splashing where you don’t want it
If you have a big big room you might not need a screen.
In smaller rooms a screen (or wall) will keep your other fittings, towels and toilet paper dry.
Sinks and toilets can be in wet areas, but most people prefer a screen to separate them from the splash zone.
Free standing baths can be and often are in the splash zone. Baths with side panels are best kept out of the splash zone so water doesn’t get trapped behind the panels
Wetroom Splash pattern radius
Main wet drainage area size – where does most of the water go? What floor area needs to slope towards the drain?
The shower pressure and head size and the mounting of the head e.g.Wall mounted or overhead influence where the showering water goes.
With so many variables, we have used the typical spread from a ceiling mounted, “monsoon” type head as a working guide. The stream of water flowing from the shower and off the body is approximately 1m diameter (500mm radius) at floor level. The Splashing area is approximately 2m diameter at floor level.
Minimum showering area
The bigger the showering area the more luxurious. Most people will feel able to shower in a 700mm x 700mm area. A rectangular area 700mm x 900m is much more comfortable.
Wet Room Floor Former size
The smallest floor former (sloping deck to give a fall to the drain) is 800 x 800mm and may be cut to size.
The total wet floor area can be reduced by walls or screens. When the screen is not sealed to the floor it is recommended that the sloping floor area extends 30mm beyond the screen
The splash zone 1m radius can be flat but must be tanked and tiled.
Simple glass screens reduce the wet floor area and splash zones. A screen is used to keep the rest of the room dry it could be a short screen to stop most splashing on to toilets and basins etc.
Or a medium sized screen to keep the most of the floor space dry.
Or large screens with flippers or doors to construct a cubicle.
When you have designed your ideal layout it is time to start working out the details. The most important factor is the floor and the drainage. This can be the most complicated part of the process but DIY Wetroom is here to make it easier to choose the best solution for your situation.
Wetroom Floor Design
There are many ways of making a practical and reliable wetroom floor. All techniques involve creating slope in the floor towards the drain and “tanking” or sealing the floor and the walls to ensure no water can make its way through to the building structure.
Waterproof Wetroom Floor formed to provide a gentle slope towards the shower trap and drain
The easiest way to perform both these requirements is with a Wetroom Kit. These come with all the necessary bits including a matching drain so you can have confidence in the job you are doing. The variety of kits caters for virtually all situations and designs. However DIY wetroom also supplies components for bespoke areas so the options are unlimited.
For this guide we will keep things simple and explain just the kits.
In order to select a kit, decide on:-.
1. The size of the “wet area”
2. What the existing floor structure is.
Level access or a flat floor is the ideal that most people are after in a wetroom. If for some reason this isn’t possible then a raised area can always be created. The Wetroom guides show how the level access is possible in almost all situations.
Size of the Wet Area
From your design you should be able to see the area of the floor that needs to slope down to the drain. This area should cover the area where most of the water falls directly from the shower head or from your body. In our Design PDF we assume an overhead shower will give a wet area of approximately 500mm radius from the shower head. The size of this area can be cut down by using a screen . If the screen is supported above the floor the sloping area should extend past it by around 100mm.
What is the Existing Floor Structure?
Suspended timber floors
Most uppers floor in a building are suspended timber floors. These are timber beams with either floor boards or chipboard sheets over the top. The ground floors of many pre-war buildings are of a similar construction. These floors give an accessible cavity in which the drain and associated waste pipe can be located. If you can see the floor it is often possible to work out exactly where the joists are and which direction they run to work out a position for the drain and the pipe run.
Direction of floor boarding indicates joist direction to help plan waste pipe layout
Solid floors are normally a concrete screed. In older buildings this may be a little as 50mm deep direct on to the earth possibly with a damp proof membrane under it. (note: If the damp proof membrane has to be breached to get the necessary depth it must be repaired.)
Later buildings would have a sand and cement screed over a concrete slab and modern builds will have insulation in the floor as well. In all cases on a ground floor it will be possible to cut and breakout enough concrete to recess the drain and waste pipe.
If it is a solid suspended floor the structural elements should not be cut through although parts of the top screed can be removed.
If the floor contains wet under floor heating then great care should be taken. It is likely that the wet room floor will have to be raised slightly to accommodate the drain and waste pipe.
If fitting a standard drain and waste on to a solid floor restricts your perfect design a solution is available. An ultra slim pumped drain is available these also allow a wet room to be installed in basements, below normal drainage levels.
Wetroom Kits for Suspended Timber Floors
The easiest type of kit to install is the Maxxus structural deck. This is a solid reinforced deck that can span joists so the existing floor boards or chipboard can be cut away and the Maxxus deck fixed in their place to give a level floor. Various sizes are available for use with a square/round or linear drain. The Maxxus is also suitable for vinyl covering instead of tiling.
Structural wetroom deck set in to existing timber floor.
Other decks require structural support between the joists so these are normally laid on top of the existing floor, the rest of the floor is then raised by overlaying chipboard or tile backer board. This will raise the floor level by a minimum of 18mm but is a good way to ensure the complete floor is stable for tiling especially if the floor is floor boards.
Non-structural underlay former over existing floor
It is possible to support a foam cored deck of this type after removing the floor boards or chipboard with a bit of joinery to produce a flat surface flush with top of the joists.
Fully supported underlay former set in to timber floor
Wetroom Kits for Solid Floors
Any kit can be used on a solid floor as the floor will give all the necessary structural support. For this reason the low cost foam cored kits are usually chosen.
Note: All decks can be cut down in size to fit your exact space.
Drainage for Wetroom Floors
The waste pipe from the Wetroom drain is almost always 40mm plastic pipe (solvent weld, not pushfit). This has to be routed in such a way that it has minimum joints and angles and gives a minimum fall over its length of 18mm per metre. All the Wetroom World drains and trap comply with British Standards and Building regulations, you must ensure that the connection to the waste stack or drain also complies with building regulations.
The DIY Wetroom drain traps are all accessible from above by removing the grid so they can be cleaned and cleared from above. Once fitted no access to the underfloor area is required.
Routing the Waste Pipe
This is a consideration for choosing the ideal kit. For suspended timber floors it makes a much easier installation if the drain and waste pipe fits between two joists . If the joist run in the wrong direction then the Joists will have to be drilled. The fewer that need drilling, the easier the job With a solid floor shorter runs mean less depth and length needs cutting a breaking out.
Wetroom kits are available with various drain outlet depths. These give a waste pipe centre lines between 27mm to 80mm below the Deck. Vertical outlet options are also available.
Taking in to account the minimum fall of 18mm in 1m the illustration below shows space needed over a number of pipe lengths.
Minimum fall of wetroom waste pipe