What is a wet room and why do builders and bathroom fitters need to understand the best way of fitting them and the right system to use?
According to Ideal Home magazine wet rooms – which are shower areas but without the shower screen and tray – have become more and more desirable for homeowners. However, the magazine also adds that installing a wet room is “a job for the professionals”.
Chris Burrell, National Technical Manager at Buildbase supplier partner, Abacus Bathrooms, agrees: “People are scared of wet rooms because they have a reputation for leaking and not working.
“But this idea is based on what used to happen more than 10 years ago when drains fitted in timber floors and plasterboard walls were affected by movement in a property.
“Timber moves and grout breaks – and plasterboard is completely porous for moisture behind bathroom tiles which can lead to mould and smells. This is an even bigger problem today as tiles are getting larger and larger and risk falling off plasterboard.”
Chris explains how things have progressed in the past 10 years which, in the best systems available today, means:
- Wet room trays are fitted into the bathroom floor to take away water
- Using a tanking system for the walls and floors in the rest of the wet area to prevent water going through the floor
The tanking system
The Abacus Bathrooms system is a polystyrene-based product with a fibreglass mesh and waterproof screed. The trays are pre-sealed in the factory so the drain doesn’t leak and includes paint tape on all the joints. This is effective in new build homes if any cracks appear in floors or walls, as the tape stretches to cover the cracks and prevent leaks.
The design of the system means it’s also fully accessible and serviceable once installed, including shut-off valves.
Abacus Bathrooms has now developed a modular basin frame andhas just launched the infinity wet room tray that has a one-way fall to the drain and laser cut, glass effect edge profile. This takes the fall back to floor height which makes it perfect for full tiles. This also lends itself to electric underfloor heating, allowing a warm and quick-drying wet area.
Chris added: “If the bathroom fitter is on board with the system and approach, installation is easy and makes life better for everyone involved. It also means getting consistent installation across different fitters and bathrooms.
“The risk comes when people cut corners but if they use this system, it will never leak. I would love to see the trade never using a piece of plasterboard in a wet room again!”
To see how an Abacus Wet Room can look in your home, book your free design consultation today at your nearest Buildbase bathroom showroom