What is a “wet” bathroom? Simply put, a wet bathroom features a design where all surfaces within it can be wet. Think of an open-concept bathroom, with no enclosed shower or tub area and complete freedom of movement. The entire room is like one big shower. This concept has been very popular in other countries for quite some time. You can also find such a bathroom in certain luxury hotels and resorts around the world. Now, more homeowners in the United States have started to incorporate wet bathrooms for various reasons.
Reasons To Avoid a Wet Bath
While growing in popularity, a wet bath certainly is not for everyone. First, anyone who places a high value on privacy while showering will not feel comfortable in such a room, unless he or she is the sole user. You typically don’t have a shower curtain or enclosure with privacy walls. Next, if you like warm and steamy showers, you may not like this concept as the steam will disperse quickly throughout the entire room. You could get a little chilly and feel the air conditioning draft immediately following a shower. This likely would be a more noticeable issue in larger bathrooms. Finally, the extra waterproofing and tile labor & materials involved may not appeal to those folks on a tighter budget.
Ideal Situations for a Wet Bath
To date in this country, wet baths most commonly serve the elderly or individuals with physical disabilities. The lack of an enclosed shower with a curb provides easier maneuverability, particularly for wheelchairs or walkers. The bathroom floor must be sloped gradually so that all water will flow to the drain instead of puddling in different areas or even leaking outside the bathroom. That slope cannot be too steep. Otherwise, it will become a dangerous slipping hazard.
With the large Baby Boomer generation already in or approaching retirement, the Aging in Place trend continues to grow. Instead of spending the golden years in an assisted living facility, many retirees and their families are choosing to redesign homes to accommodate physical limitations and caregiving needs. The wet bath can be a major component in this type of design.
Homeowners seeking a more modern, European-style bathroom also express greater interest in a wet bathroom. If you go this route, however, the amount of wood (for cabinetry and various trim) in the bathroom should be minimized and at a distance from water sources. Natural wood expands and contracts with heavy exposure to water or high humidity, so finishes and functionality can be adversely affected. Porcelain pedestal sinks, wall-mounted glass sinks, and even stainless steel cabinets would be appropriate in this setting.
Hire a Contractor Experience with Wet Baths
Most importantly, if a wet bath fits your objectives, make sure to hire a contractor with proven experience designing and executing this type of project. Otherwise, it will turn into a big, wet, and expensive mess…At TriFection, we know how to space plan, waterproof, and tile these unique open concept bathrooms. Additionally, we’re a Certified Aging in Place Specialist through the National Association of Home Builders. Call us at 281-548-2436 to get started on your custom bathroom remodeling project today!