In a traditional bathroom, you generally see a shower, a bathtub or both, with a threshold that separates the bathing space from the rest of the bathroom. However, one bathroom trend continuing to grow in popularity and often seen in new construction and bathroom remodels are wet rooms.
A wet room is a bathroom where the shower has no curb or threshold over which one needs to step in order to enter it. This design works well for homeowners who plan on aging in place, as well as handicapped individuals – but as with most home features, it’s not for everybody. Here Callen Construction outlines the differences between the two to help you decide which option is right for you.
Wet Rooms: The Details & Benefits
In order to separate it from the rest of the bathroom, a wet room typically has a single wall or a shower screen that blocks off the shower area and a slight slope in the floor to help direct water to the drain. The most obvious thing you’ll notice about a wet room is there is no threshold on the shower, as the shower floor is flush with the rest of the bathroom flooring. If considering a bathroom remodel that includes installing a wet room, keep in mind it will need to be completely sealed with a waterproof underlay to prevent leaking and water damage.
Wet rooms have a number of benefits, including:
- Ease of cleaning. The threshold that keeps the water contained in a traditional shower often traps dirt, with mold and mildew growth common as well. The absence of a threshold makes it much easier to clean the shower area.
- Improved accessibility. For the elderly and disabled, maneuvering into a bathtub or over a shower curb can be extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible. It can also be dangerous. With a wet room, these obstacles are removed. This allows older people to age in place and can help those who are disabled live on their own, without worrying about their safety in the bathroom.
- Saving space. A normal shower or tub-and-shower combo can take up a large amount of space. By removing the shower threshold, there will be more square footage to work with because the shower will fit into a smaller area.
Traditional Bathrooms: Why Newer Isn’t Always Better
There’s a reason why traditions are formed. Traditional bathrooms as we know them in the United States came into being because they offer advantages that make homes more comfortable. Here are just a few:
- It’s what people are used to. If you plan on selling your home in the next several years, you don’t want to spend a large amount of money on a bathroom remodel that isn’t the traditional set-up most buyers prefer. In this case, sticking with a conventional bathroom is your best option.
- A traditional bathroom helps contain backed-up water. If the drain in your shower or bathtub backs up, the water will be contained in a traditional bathroom, at least for a time. With a wet room, however, there’s nothing to hold back the water, so it will go everywhere if the drain isn’t working properly. If you do decide to install a wet room, be sure to keep an auger nearby in order to quickly clear out the drain if it becomes clogged.
- You can’t take a bubble bath in a wet room. While showers are convenient and used by the majority of people most of the time, there’s nothing like soaking in a warm bath after a long day. In this instance, a traditional bathroom definitely trumps a wet room.
Ready to Remodel Your Bathroom?
Whether you’re planning to remodel your kitchen or bath or have been contemplating exterior remodeling, Callen Construction can help. Call Callen today at 414-867-2207 or complete our online form to find out what we can do for you.