15 Wet Room Ideas to Inspire You
Sarah Lyon is a freelance writer and home decor enthusiast, who enjoys sharing good finds on home items. Since 2018, she has contributed to a variety of lifestyle publications, including Apartment Therapy and Architectural Digest.
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Updated on 01/25/23
@alinadrugainteriors / Instagram
If you’re looking to incorporate a wet room into your home, you’ll want to take a look at these 15 remarkable spaces that will have you feeling ready to go all in design-wise. Wet rooms are bathing areas that generally include both a shower and tub. There are no steps or major walls involved in sectioning these spaces off from the rest of the bathroom. Wet rooms provide an excellent opportunity to experiment with a fun tile design—either on the walls or floor—or to go bold with a paint color that speaks to you. Check out a few of our favorites below.
Be Classic With Black and White
Design by Emily Henderson / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp
Black and white are always a winning duo. This wet room is simple and fresh, and the stone flooring adds a layer of dimension.
Say Yes to Mega Marble
Design: Olivia Hail / Photo: Elizabeth Brooke
Say hello to magnificent marble! This incredible finish is not to be missed and makes this wet room appear ultra grand. We just can’t get enough.
Design a Spa-Like Sanctuary
@the_eden_co / Instagram
This wet room is like a mini sanctuary in which to unwind, thanks to all of the decorative accents in place—there’s even a piece of art leaning on the windowsill. After all, why shouldn’t bathing or showering be as stylish as possible?
Say Hi to Geometric Goodness
@pavlidesstudio / Instagram
You’ll be seeing double when you step foot into this wet room that features a bold, geometric design. The pattern adds a bit of whimsy to this utilitarian space.
Showcase Your Love of Subway Tile
@wildroseinteriorsinc / Instagram
Subway tile became popular many years ago, but it’s still popping up quite often, as we see in this wet room. But if you’re not feeling it all over, that’s ok. On the floor, octagonal tiles add a bit of contrast.
@essex_road_renovation / Instagram
Love terrazzo? We’re seeing it everywhere these days, so why shouldn’t it have a place in the shower? Take a cue from this wet room and incorporate the fun finish into your own design. Terrazzo adds automatic color to any space.
Keep It Contemporary
@butterfieldbathrooms / Instagram
This contemporary wet room will make you feel like you’re ending the day at your favorite luxury hotel, in the best way possible. A light-up mirror adds ambiance to the room, no matter the time of day.
Mix and Match if You Wish
@dickiebertinteriors / Instagram
Mixing and matching patterns is still majorly in vogue. So if you just can’t make up your mind between two types of tiles, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Choose to Get Loud
@ashfordbathroomcentre / Instagram
No tile? No problem. Have fun with paint—no really, we mean it. It’s not every day you see neon green used in the bathroom, but it surely makes a splash in this vibrant wet room.
Don’t Forget a Shelf
@alinadrugainteriors / Instagram
Go green—this wet room boasts gorgeous green tile that looks lovely with black accents. A built-in shelf serves as a handy spot to set shampoo and the like.
Go Big With Lighting
Design by Lisa Kooistra / Photo by Mike Chajecki
A chandelier above the tub? Hey, why not! This wet room has all of the bells and whistles, including hooks inside to house towels, which makes it easy to transition out of the bath and into the shower.
Make It Nice and Minimal
Grey Joyner Interiors
Minimalists, this is the wet room for you. While it’s simple and white, a scalloped and textured bathmat placed right outside warms up the space a bit.
Pair Marble and Brass
Folding Chair Design / Photo: Jenn Verrier
Marble and brass are a timeless mix. These materials always look luxe when combined; don’t underestimate the impact of upgrading your builder-grade fixtures and subbing in a stunning new shower head.
Or Try a Cool Gray
Etch Design Group / Photo: Avery Nicole
This gray wet room is nice and sleek. There are truly so many directions one can take when it comes to tile. No two wet rooms ever really look the same!
Slide in a Stool
Etch Design Group / Photo: Avery Nicole
If your wet room is large enough, placing a small stool or bench next to the tub is always an excellent option. A wooden piece like this one warms up the space while providing plenty of function: It’s a great spot on which to rest a drink or jar of bubble bath!
The 15 Best Places to Buy Bathroom Accessories in 2023
The Best Flooring for Wet Rooms and Curbless Showers
Wet rooms and curbless showers are some of the most popular bathroom upgrades thanks to demand for universal design and open floor plans. Wet rooms typically consist of a freestanding tub and shower space divided from the rest of the bathroom with a pane of glass. Curbless showers, on the other hand, look like traditional showers but they have no threshold and typically feature a clear glass wall and door.
Homeowners have always been trying to make their bathrooms look and feel larger than they are. By remodeling their bathroom with a curbless shower or full wet room, it opens up the room, making it feel large and airy. Plus, when there are no thresholds to worry about, that means the design is accessible to everyone, which is a necessity for many homeowners — and a great feature for resale as well.
Electric floor heating is installed between the subfloor and the new flooring material.
Once the decision has been made to remodel a bathroom with a curbless shower or wet room, it’s inevitable that flooring will have to be removed and replaced. Therefore, this is the perfect opportunity to select a new material that’s specifically suited for the new shower or wet room. It’s also the ideal time to add in-floor heating to the project. Electric floor-heating systems can be installed right under the new floors and, depending on the system, can be outfitted with a waterproof installation membrane. Under tile, the membrane has the added benefit of being an uncoupling membrane, which means it will prevent the tile above from cracking.
To help you choose the best flooring for wet rooms and curbless showers and explain how to integrate radiant floor heat, we’ve separated the information into two sections: wet room flooring and curbless shower flooring.
Wet Room Flooring
This wet room features small tile with plenty of grout lines for slip prevention. Photo by Advantes Group
Tile is always a great option for bathrooms and showers. However, in the case of wet rooms, we’re going to focus on vinyl and — believe it or not — concrete flooring. Because wet rooms are larger spaces, the slip factor is more important to consider. Stepping out of a bath tub inside a wet room can be hazardous if you haven’t chosen the right flooring material. A large-format, glossy tile will create very slippery conditions, versus small mosaic tile or hex tile, which will use a wide array of grout lines to add skid control. However, vinyl and concrete offer superior slip resistance, plus they’re highly resistant to water.
Vinyl floors come in sheets or planks/tiles. Sheet vinyl is the most affordable option. It is extremely waterproof because it has few — if any — seams for moisture to infiltrate. Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and vinyl planks, on the other hand, are trendier offerings because they mimic the look of real wood or stone at a fraction of the cost and without any maintenance. Many of these products have mold and mildew inhibitors, waterproof guarantees, and a slip resistance warranty, according to RestorationMaster. Vinyl floors can also be heated with a TempZone™ floor-heating system.
Concrete recently made its way onto kitchen countertops, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s making its way into wet rooms as well. Concrete can be stained or stamped to suit your decorative taste. And as long as it’s sealed properly, it delivers excellent protection against water. Best of all, an electric floor-heating system can be embedded right in the concrete during installation to ensure that your wet room floors are always warm despite concrete’s “cold” reputation.
Curbless Shower Flooring
While vinyl and concrete can also be used in a curbless shower, tile is typically the go-to option for curbless shower flooring. Whether you like large-format tiles or small tiles with plenty of grout lines, the slip resistance within the shower should be sufficient as long as you don’t select a particularly glossy tile.
Porcelain tile is the most durable option. It’s made from denser clays than ceramic and fired for longer at a higher temperature, making it stronger and less porous. As a result, it’s highly resistant to water. Porcelain tile is also low maintenance, which is an upside for many homeowners.
Ceramic tile is very similar to porcelain (since porcelain is actually a form of ceramic tile), but it’s slightly less durable. It’s also highly resistant to water and low maintenance, but often comes at a lower price point than porcelain.
Natural stone is the most luxurious option, but also the most expensive with the highest maintenance. Some of the most popular options include marble, limestone, travertine, sandstone, slate andgranite.
This bathroom uses the same tile in the curbless shower as the rest of the bathroom.
Regardless of the type of heated shower tile you choose, all types of tile can be heated with an electric floor-heating system.
To find out how much it would cost to put heated floors in your wet room or curbless shower, use the WarmlyYours Radiant Floor Heating Quote Builder.
Tell us About your Project
Our team of Radiant Experts is ready to help! Just tell us a little about yourself and your project to get started.
Bathroom floor: 6 finishes
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Porcelain tile, quartz vinyl, natural stone and other finishes that are great for finishing the floor in the bathroom.
Tiles, laminate, stone, cork, linoleum – today there are many options for flooring. Some of them are better than others for rooms with high humidity and other special characteristics. In this article, we will consider the options for decorating the floor in the bathroom with all the pros and cons of each material.
Which finish should I choose for my bathroom floor? Listed ideas in the video
What floor to make in the bathroom
– Porcelain stoneware
— Natural stone
— Moisture resistant laminate
— Self-leveling floor
To understand which flooring to choose for the bathroom, you need to focus on a few key characteristics:
Moisture resistance. Since the bathroom is a wet area with high humidity, the floor material should not be afraid of water and any contact with it. Otherwise, the coating may deteriorate, and a fungus can start on or under it.
Let’s take a look at a few popular finishes that are best suited for this area.
Ceramic tiles are the classic choice for all wet areas, in particular the bathroom. This material has many advantages and only a few disadvantages.
- Moisture resistance – ceramics are not afraid of direct contact with water, air humidity and steam. She can veneer any part of the bathroom, including a bath or shower.
- Durability – on average, tiles serve quietly for 10-15 years, and with proper installation and careful handling, even more. The main thing is to regularly wash the surface, and if mold suddenly appears, get rid of it quickly.
- Versatility – this applies both to the design of the material itself (there are details of different shapes, sizes, colors, with and without patterns), and the ability to fit it into the interior. The tile will look appropriate in absolutely any style.
- Easy care – since ceramic is not afraid of water or household chemicals, it is very easy to care for it. For regular cleaning, you only need a rag and any suitable cleaning agent.
- Environmental friendliness – ceramic cladding does not contain any harmful or toxic elements, so it is environmentally friendly, hypoallergenic and safe for children.
- The main disadvantage of ceramics is its coldness. Stepping on such a surface with bare feet is not very pleasant, especially when you get out of the shower or bath. There are two solutions. More complex – to make a warm floor in the bathroom. The second, simpler and more economical, is to simply lay a bath rug.
- Most types of tiles require grouting. They, in turn, become unusable faster than the cladding itself, so they need to be looked after and, if necessary, renew the grout after a while.
- Another drawback is the relatively difficult installation. In general, you can deal with it on your own, but for reliability, masters are usually called. Also, if the tile has a complex shape or does not fit in size, it will need to be cut.
This material is considered the “big brother” of ordinary tiles and is also very popular for decorating the floor in the bathroom (photo below). The advantages and disadvantages of porcelain stoneware are almost identical to classical ceramics, so it makes no sense to list them separately.
But there are a few nuances that are important to consider:
- Porcelain stoneware is characterized by a large format: 45×45 cm, 60×60 cm and more. There are slabs with a side of more than a meter, up to 3 m. Despite the stereotype that only small details should be in a small space, in fact this is one of the main trends of 2023 in bathroom design.
- Porcelain stoneware can be laid as standard as tiles, but seamless models are also available. This solves the problem with floor care, but keep in mind that such varieties cost more.
- The visual variety of this material is slightly less than that of a tile. The design of the slabs mainly imitates various textures: concrete, wood, marble, and other types of stone. The result is a discreet, but noble and visually expensive finish.
PVC tile (and quartz vinyl is its most popular variety) is very relevant today. This is a modern multi-layer material that has absorbed all the best from traditional tiles, but due to the changed composition, it also eliminates the main disadvantages of ceramics. The composition of quartz vinyl is based on quartz sand, which gives it strength, and a polymer that provides elasticity. The plates consist of five layers, therefore, both in structure and visually, the coating is more like a laminate than a tile.
- Wear resistance — due to the complex composition and multi-layering of the quartz vinyl plate, it lasts a long time, is not afraid of sunlight, exposure to chemicals (including aggressive ones), and temperature changes.
- Moisture resistance – like all types of tiles, the material perfectly tolerates contact with water and high humidity.
- Unpretentiousness – you can clean PVC tiles in any way: vacuum, wipe with a damp cloth or napkin with a product, walk with a mop. And thanks to the antistatic effect, dust is practically not collected at the joints, which makes cleaning even easier.
- Warmth is the main advantage of the material over other similar ones. Unlike tile or porcelain stoneware, quartz vinyl, like a wooden floor, is tactilely pleasant, it does not require additional heating or a soft coating.
- Design – visually, PVC tiles look like high-quality laminate, parquet or stone. This allows you to create the atmosphere of a living room in the bathroom and fill the space with natural textures.
- Under this coating, it is necessary to carefully prepare the base so that there are no irregularities, otherwise they will be visible through the plates.
- Since quartz vinyl is sufficiently elastic, it can eventually sag under the legs of heavy furniture or equipment.
- Not all types of underfloor heating are suitable for PVC tiles: for example, you cannot use a film one, since the infrared heating can be too strong and thereby damage the plates.
Like any natural material, stone is always an expensive pleasure. But if you are looking for premium interior coverage, this is one of the best options.
- Appearance — of course, natural stone looks noble and expensive. It immediately transforms even a small neutral space.
- Durability – such a floor will last for decades, it is not afraid of mechanical and chemical influences, it is not afraid of high temperature, steam and contact with water.
- Safety – for example, unpolished marble does not slip at all when exposed to water.
- The cost is the main and practically the only drawback of the stone.
- Weight – stone slabs are quite heavy, this must be taken into account, especially if you are decorating a bathroom in a private house.
- Care – so that the coating does not lose its natural beauty, it must be periodically treated with special compounds and kept clean.
Moisture Resistant Laminate
Laminate is definitely not the most obvious option when it comes to deciding which floor to choose for your bathroom. It is believed that this material is suitable exclusively for residential areas, since in itself it really does not like moisture. However, laminate flooring has grades, and some of them are suitable for the hallway, kitchen or bathroom (for example, 33 and 34). Consider the pros and cons of the moisture resistant version of this coating.
- Installation is simple: you can actually handle the process of laying the plates yourself, without involving a specialist.
- This is a fairly inexpensive material that is suitable for budget repairs.
- Laminate is warm, it is pleasant to walk on it with bare feet even without additional heating.
- Imitation of wood texture makes the interior more comfortable, the main thing is to choose a coating with a high-quality pattern.
- After all, laminate does not like frequent and direct contact with water, so it is better to lay it in a storage area or, for example, in a separate toilet. And for the shower choose more traditional materials.
- It is the moisture-resistant coating option that will not be as cheap as the standard one.
- Most likely, in the bathroom will not last as long as ceramics, quartz vinyl or natural stone.
Self-leveling floor is a rather unusual finishing option, which is used much less often than tiles or porcelain stoneware, but in fact it is also well suited for a bathroom. Unlike all other finishing materials, this one is not laid out from its component parts, but completely covers the entire floor. The process is similar to concrete pouring, but a self-levelling compound is used, and such a finish is already considered a fine finish.
- Fast work – on average, after pouring the mixture, you can walk on such a floor in a few hours. This is convenient, since you do not need to wait 1-2 days for further work.
- Good waterproofing – if the installation is carried out correctly and all seams are well processed, the probability of flooding the neighbors is reduced to zero.
- Hygienic – Self-leveling floor will definitely not become a haven for mold or fungus, besides, it is easy to wash and clean.
- Moisture resistance – the material is not afraid of water and temperature changes, which makes it perfect for a bathroom.
- Difficult assembly and dismantling – before pouring the mixture, the surface will need to be carefully prepared. And if later you decide to make repairs and replace the finish, then it will be extremely difficult to remove the frozen mass from the screed.
- Coldness – like tiles, self-leveling floor is not very pleasant for walking barefoot. Therefore, you will need heating or a soft mat.
- High cost – all the work together plus the mixture itself will be quite expensive.
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tiled shower walls and floor – Materials, DIY steps
A permanent wet environment is created in the shower room, which means ideal conditions for the growth of moulds. This is harmful to health and to the family budget, because getting rid of the fungus will be problematic and very costly. Obviously, without proper waterproofing of the shower room, you will not have to count on comfort.
Liquid roofing GIZPOLYMER T99
Chemical-resistant one-component polymer hybrid mastic
One-component liquid rubber for waterproofing TECHNOPROK PRIMER
Bitumen-polymer primer on water-based for waterproofing
Special attention areas
The shower room is completely exposed to regular moisture. However, there are areas that take on the greatest load, the so-called high-risk zones. This is, as a rule, the lower part of the walls, the location of the washbasin, the floor, the shower (without a pallet or with it). As well as the entry points for communications and the pipes themselves, if we are talking about metal elements subject to corrosion. These vulnerable areas and elements of the shower room require special attention when waterproofing.
Three ways of processing shower rooms
- only floor and walls on walls 20-30 cm high, communications;
- floor and wall sections at plumbing locations, as well as communication elements;
- floor and walls throughout the height, communications.
The third method is ideal, as it provides a comprehensive hydro- and vapor barrier for the shower.
Don’t skimp on waterproofing your shower room. Firstly, so that this zone does not turn into a mold and mildew generator. And, secondly, if you live in an apartment, it’s elementary so as not to flood the neighbors from below.
The ideal solution – proven waterproofing. Having been professionally engaged in waterproofing for almost a decade and a half (since 2004), we have repeatedly seen that the best material for waterproofing a shower room (without a tray, with a tray, with a cabin, etc. ) is liquid rubber. In the case of a shower, this is a bitumen-polymer mastic that does not contain solvents, i.e. without smell.
– Elastopaz mastic. The material is suitable for floor and wall processing. On top of such a waterproofing layer, you can lay tiles, perform a screed, etc.
Primer or primer as a companion to mastic. The primer, firstly, improves the adhesion of the mastic to a concrete or other base. And secondly, it works as an additional penetrating waterproofing. In our company, you can buy water-based bitumen-polymer primer PazPrimer and Technoprok.
– “Expanding Plombizol” + “Penetrating Plombizol”. These two units work in pairs. Used for waterproofing the floor in the shower, including under the tile.
If desired, you can combine: “Elastopaz” and primer – for the floor, “Penetrating Plombizol” + “Expanding Plombizol” – for the floor.
One-component liquid rubber ELASTOPAZ (Pazkar, Israel)
Water-based bitumen-polymer mastic, cold, ready for waterproofing
For finishing treatment of leaks, waterproofing indoor walls below ground level.
For penetrating waterproofing of concrete surfaces
a/apartments . If it is not possible to lower the floor level, there should be a high threshold in the doorway, as a natural barrier in case a spill of water occurs.
Materials such as GIZPOLYMER T99, GizElast and TECHNOPROK primer are very suitable for waterproofing the shower tray.
Working with waterproofing material
Today, 3D or self-leveling flooring, anti-slip porcelain stoneware and other advanced materials are used as flooring in the shower. But ceramic tile remains the most common option for flooring and walls in showers. Therefore, speaking about the device for waterproofing a shower room, we will focus on waterproofing under tiles.
Tile shower sealant is an excellent choice if you plan to do the work yourself. The mastic is easy to work with: it is ready to use, applies evenly with a brush or roller, dries fairly quickly and is odorless.
Procedure for waterproofing
- Remove debris, dust, plaster residue, etc. from the surface.
- The joints of walls and floors, as well as the seams of panels and slabs, are expanded to 2-2.5 cm. Longitudinal and corner strobes are moistened with water and filled with Expanding Plombizol.
- All surfaces (floor, walls, ceiling) and corners are treated with an antifungal solution.
- A clean, dry surface for waterproofing in the shower (walls, floors) is primed with a primer at the consumption indicated on the package.
- Primer must dry completely.
- Elastopaz mastic is spread over the primed surface. The recommended mastic consumption is 2.0-3.0 kg/m². The composition is applied in two layers: the second layer after the first has completely dried.
- The walls are covered with mastic to a height of at least 30 cm from the floor level. Most often, experts recommend completely treating the walls, since the mastic creates not only a hydro-barrier, but also works as a vapor barrier.
- Places of communication output are additionally reinforced, for example, with the help of geotextiles.
- When the second layer of waterproofing is completely dry, finishing work can begin.
Shower waterproofing diagram
Use of the Plombizol complex for floor waterproofing
- The surface is thoroughly cleaned from debris and dust.
- Joints of walls and ceilings, as well as seams of panels and slabs, are expanded to 2-2.5 cm.
- “Penetrating Plombizol” is diluted in the form of a suspension, as indicated on the package, and applied manually to the floor surface, joints with walls.
- Longitudinal and corner strobes are moistened and filled with Expanding Plombizol.
- Coating waterproofing is carried out with “Expanding Plombizol”, mixed with water in the specified proportions.