In our 2012 Trend Report we predicted Wet Rooms would be an on-trend alternative to regular bathrooms. The walk-in, open shower spaces, are in fact revolutionising traditional bathroom design in SA. HL chatted to Kate van Niekerk, Marketing Manager for Tile Africa, about the benefits of this fabulous feature and the process of setting one up. Here’s what she told us:
The main advantage of a wet room is the overall experience it affords. Through its open-plan structure it effectively transforms the bathroom from a mundane, purely functional area into a luxurious, soothing space you’ll want to spend time in. Other important benefits include:
- Simplicity of aesthetics. The wet room is uncluttered, clean and spacious, with a barrier-free, continuous floor.
- Optimal usage of space. As there is no need for a bulky shower cubicle, no space is wasted. Wet rooms are therefore ideal for compact homes where space is limited.
- They are an economical choice. As you don’t have to install partitions, glass or expensive stalls, you’ll save significantly on costs.
To ensure you benefit from these advantages, and that the room works as it should, you need to do some careful planning and design. When installing this feature be sure to bear the following points in mind:
- Walls should be properly waterproofed and sealed. Damp will cause damage to the room’s structure and adversely affect adjacent rooms.
- Slope the floor slightly to ensure that water drains and does not pool.
- Be sensible about your choice of tiling. Wet tiles are slippery, so fit cut tiles or mosaics. This way feet can grip on the grout lines. Remember to use stain-free grout and sealer to prevent marks appearing.
- As the shower is the focus of the wet room, invest in a big, bold showerhead and a contemporary, eye-catching mixer set.
- If the space is very small, consider installing a narrow wall or glass panel to shield the rest of the room from spray.
- Install towel rails within easy reach of the shower area, but not so close that towels will get wet.
This advice was supplied by Tile Africa. For more information, and to view their range of bathroom products, visit tileafrica.co.za. Alternatively, call them on 0800-002-783.