How and why to build a wet room
Bathrooms with wet rooms are all the rage these days but there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. Thankfully, building your own DIY wet room is a lot easier than you think!
What is a wet room?
A wet room is a waterproof shower area which is the same level as the rest of the room. The water pours away via a drain on the floor. You can keep the shower area separate with a wet room shower screen if you want – but it’s not imperative as the whole room should be waterproof.
- More accessible – level access entry offers total showering accessibility and no stepped trays to navigate
- Easy to clean – the drains feature in-built hair and dirt traps that can be washed out
- Can be installed downstairs and upstairs
- Can add value to your property
- You’ll often get a Lifetime Gurantee (this is the case with the Impey Former and Impey WaterGuard tanking membrane combination)
- Make the room look stylish sleek and bloody sexy!
- Can get damp and require good ventilation if not properly installed.
- Items like towels and toilet roll might get wet (this is where the shower screen can come in handy!)
- Poorly installed wet rooms can leak – ask your installer if they’ve done training (such as Impey wetroom training)
How do I DIY install a wet room?
I love the Impey Aqua-Dec Easyfit, which is a pre-formed wet room floorboard tray with proper tanking that makes sure your room is completely waterproof and ready for tiling. It’s got drainage options galore, (including long, sleek ‘slits’ for the waste) and you can trim it to fit exactly how you want – round walls, windows and soil stacks.
To see all this in detail, watch my video on how to install a wet room shower:
Wet room installation guide
Mark out where you’re going to install your wet room shower floor and use the appropriate tools to cut out your floorboard. Be careful not to hit any pipes or wires! Reinforce joists and level if needed. If you think you’ve got a dodgy floor then now is the time to sort that out (and maybe even add in some underfloor heating [link to underfloor heating article] if you need to sort it anyway and have depth to spare). Either way, make sure the floor is 100% level.
Fix down the flooring, install the waste mount (or the Death Star as I like to call it) and the waste trap. Connect the waste trap to the pipes and run a glass of water down them to make sure everything’s connected properly before you move on. Then you can screw on the waste mount and insert and pop on the protection cap.
Make sure all the surfaces are totally clean and dust-free (I call this the “hoovering interval” and take several of them. Seriously, don’t miss this out!)
Next up, fix backing board on your walls ready for tiling, then it’s on to Waterguard tanking membrane. This membrane is seriously brilliant stuff and keeps the leaks at bay. It looks a bit like heavy-duty sticky backed plastic, and you want to use it on your corners, along your floor/wall joints, on your uprights and then on the floor itself. It’s really a thick rubber that’s not going anywhere and ensures there’s no leaks.
Nearly there: assemble the trap and waste next – adjust the height on the grill, depending where you want the tiles to sit and taking into account how thick your tile adhesive will be (talk to your tiler!) Only then can you glue the waste parts together, install wall and floor tiles and put up a shower screen to complete the job. Bingo, one sexy wet room!
Plumberparts introduce Impey Showers
The original pioneer of wetroom technology and creators of the first wetroom floor former. We are recognised as the UK’s market leading specialist wetroom manufacturer. We continually re-invest into in-house design and innovation. Our wetroom training courses have seen 500+ plumbers, tilers, and builders across the UK.
A proud part of the Coram International Bathroom Group.