The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (2023)

Showers and wet roomsThey have become a very popular choice for bathroom remodelers, which is not a huge surprise given that most people prefer showering over showering. We lead hectic lifestyles than ever before, and a walk-in shower or bath offers a stylish and practical bathroom solution for all age groups, from young professionals to the elderly, as well as those with reduced mobility.

So if you're planning a new bathroom and wondering whether to install a walk-in shower or a toilet, our essential guide reveals everything you need to know, from how much you can afford to different types of flooring. in showers and much more, which we hope will help you make the right decision.

The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (1)

Complete shower Milano Vaso


The difference between a wet room and a walk-in shower is that in a true wet room, the space is completely open (although a shower screen can be used in a wet room) and the water drains through a floor drain, while a wet bathroom Walk-in showers typically have one or two glass partitions and a low-level shower tray. Both options provide easy access and make a real statement in any bathroom or suite.

Budget, time constraints and style all play a role in whether to have a full wet room in your home or opt for a walk-in shower for a modern look.

The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (2)

walk in the shower

The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (3)

wet room

How to choose a shower or wet room

(Video) How To Choose A Walk In Shower & Wet Room | Big Bathroom Shop

At BigBathroomShop there is a wide range of showers and toilets that adapt to any shape or size of bathroom.

  • First decide if you would like a shower or a wet room. Our shower cabins include a tray, while our wet rooms have a drain.
  • Once you've made your decision, you'll need to think about the shape and position.
  • There are three main types to choose from, including recessed, corner, and floating.

Incorporated– fits in a niche and is ideal for replacing a bathtub. This type features a single glass screen, which can be installed to allow entry from the left or right. The glass shade is available in a variety of profile and arm finishes, including chrome, black and white. The arm can be mounted on the wall or on the ceiling.

Canto– adapts to any corner of the bathroom and can replace a standard shower cubicle, like a quadrant. This type features two glass shades, which come in a variety of profiles and arm finishes including chrome, white, and black. The arm can be mounted on the wall or on the ceiling.

floating– creates a very stylish and modern look and allows entry from both sides. This type features a single glass panel and floor-to-ceiling posts with a chrome finish.

Standing at 1950mm tall to capture more splashes, our glass shower enclosures come in a variety of widths including:

  • 700 mm
  • 800 mm
  • 900 mm
  • 1000 mm
  • 1200 mm
  • 1400 mm

You can choose from a wide range of configurations or just choose a single glass display. Each screen features 8mm tempered glass with an easy-to-clean protective coating.

The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (4)


The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (5)


The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (6)


walk-through shower trays

In addition to sizes and styles, there are a variety of shower trays and shower drain designs available. Our range ofwalk-in showersincludes a selection of low-profile shower trays, including standard white, walk-in and anthracite. They all come in a wide range of sizes.

The anthracite tray features a slate effect finish for a natural feel, while the white tray creates a sleek, modern look. The shower tray is divided into two sections, one end for the shower and the other as a drying space. All types have strong, durable construction to withstand the rigors of daily use.

(Video) Shower Enclosure and Shower Tray Buying Guide

The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (7)

shower drains

If you opted for the wet room option, you'll get a variety ofshower drainschoose from. These come in a variety of designs and feature stainless steel construction for durability. The drains also have excellent flow rates to ensure that water drains quickly.

learn more aboutMilano walks in showers and wet roomsand how to choose the ideal one for your bathroom.

The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (8)

Milano linear bathroom drain for bathroom


Showers and bathroom glass panels do not have a door, unlike a traditional shower stall. Instead, a simple glass panel separates it from the rest of the bathroom. Frameless glass panel can be attached to a wall or for a walk-through design, held in place parallel to a wall by a post attached to the ceiling or facing a wall.

Wet room glass panels can be mounted in a low-level shower tray, providing an easy and effective way to create a sleek, minimalist look, or they can be mounted directly to the floor. An excellent alternative to glass panels for wet environments, flush entry shower enclosures consist of a narrow framed or frameless glass enclosure paired with a low profile rectangular shower tray.

Available in a variety of styles and sizes, walk-in showers give a bathroom a seamless, modern feel, while also providing a practical showering solution. They can be installed built-in so that a single glass is exposed, or with two glasses, as well as with or without a shower tray.

The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (9)

What is a walk-in shower?

A walk-in shower has no doors, allowing you to simply walk in. This type of bathroom solution usually includes a bath screen and a low-profile shower tray. One end of the shower is open to the bedroom and can be used for drying off, while the opposite end is the glass-enclosed shower area. Walk-in showers allow you to create the look of a wet room, but without all the associated costs.


Advantages of the walk-in shower

Walk-in showers have many advantages and are a great option for adding a sleek, contemporary look to any bathroom. These are some of the benefits of walking around the compound.

Perfect for small bathrooms.

Walk-in showers are ideal for small bathrooms, as they help create the illusion of more space. A bulky shower enclosure means you have to account for the space taken up by shower doors and a tall tray, but opting for a large walk-in shower eliminates this need.

Create a bigger and brighter space.

You can also install a walk-in shower without a tray, which will offer more design flexibility, since there is no tray, it can fit into a tight and awkward space. A single glass screen provides an uninterrupted view of the bathroom, making it appear larger and brighter – perfect for small bathrooms where space is limited and natural light is lacking.

Ideal for people with limited mobility.

Another fantastic benefit to having a walk-in shower over a walk-in shower is that it is much easier to use. The doorless and nearly stepless design makes the shower a great choice for anyone withlimited mobilityand the elderly, who struggle to lift their leg during the shower and keep their balance. There is also plenty of room for a shower, so you can wash the kids with ease. You can even add two shower heads for a touch of luxury.

easy maintenance

By simply cleaning the glass partition, shower tray and shower head, shower heads are much easier to maintain compared to a traditional shower head. When shopping for shower enclosures, be sure to choose one that has an easy-to-clean protective coating that repels dirt and soap scum to keep it looking newer for longer.

Designer styling that adds value

A walk-in shower features clean lines and a minimalist look, giving it a luxurious feel while also making a statement. If you decide to sell your home in the future, a walk-in shower can be a real selling point. Also, you don't have to break the bank to get this.

durable design

With minimal fixtures and no moving parts, a walk-in shower is a strong and durable shower option that will last for years.


When choosing a shower, there are a few things worth knowing...

  • All glass displays must be toughened and comply with British Standard EN12150-1. The thicker the glass, the better, 6-8mm is standard.
  • Large expanses of glass in the bathroom can mean a lot of cleanup, but glass panels with an easy-to-clean coating help prevent soap scum from building up and sticking to the glass, so cleanup will be less complicated.
  • Framed chrome-edged glass panels are ideal for families with small children, as the edge is a bit more blunt. For a truly flawless look, opt for a bezelless display—it'll have a beveled safety edge.
  • Don't forget to check the warranty period as well, which can range from one year to a lifetime warranty and covers defects in workmanship or materials, but not breakage.

How much does a walk in shower cost?

All this depends on the size of the shower and the type of tray that is available. But you can expect to pay from £190 for a walk-in shower at BigBathroomShop, while a shower screen with drain will set you back £232.

See: How to install a walk-in shower

What is a wet room?

A wet room is where the shower is fully open and the shower floor is flush with the rest of the bathroom floor. The floor shower area has a slight slope to allow water to drain to the drain. A wet room must be completely sealed with waterproof boards to prevent water from escaping, so it is best to hire a professional to do the installation work. A glass shower screen can be installed to protect items like toilet paper and towels from splashing water, which is ideal for small, damp rooms.

The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (10)

Advantages of wet rooms

Wet rooms have many benefits and are a great option for adding a sleek, designer look to any bathroom. These are some of the benefits of a wet room.

Add value to your home

A wet room will add a wow factor to your home and create a selling point if you want to sell in the future. As long as the wet room is installed correctly it will add value, but this is only the case if the wet room is added as a suite or as a second bathroom.

Easy access

In addition to being stylish, wet rooms are ideal for people with disabilities and the elderly. As there is no shower tray, access to the shower is much easier.

(Video) What is a wet room and a guide to other shower bases from Burdens Bathrooms

Create a designer look

Wet rooms are a super stylish option and perfect for adding designer flair and a focal point to your home.

Ideal for small bathrooms.

Creating a wet room adds to the feeling of space in a small bathroom, and removing the tub means you'll have a lot more space. Even if you put up a wet room screen, the space will still feel bright and airy. Wetroom partitions come in a wide variety of sizes to fit any space.

easy to clean

A big advantage of a wet room is that it is easy to clean and maintain. There's no shower tray to worry about, and if you install a wall-mounted sink and toilet, it's even easier.

FoundHow to make a wet room waterproofin our step-by-step guide.


Although it's a complicated and expensive option that involves construction work, creating a wet room with a screen is the perfect way to achieve a spa-like look. Wet rooms do not need a shower tray as the water comes out through a drain in the floor.

To obtain a true wet room, it is necessary to create an airtight environment, covering the entire space, including floors and walls, to prevent leaks. Installing the correct drain is essential to prevent water from accumulating on the floor. Drains, underfloor trays - essential if you have hardwood floors - and tank kits can all be installed by experienced DIYers, but if you don't know what you're doing, call in the professionals to make sure your wet room provide many years of trouble free use.

Once the waterproof sheet is in place, it is necessary to tile the entire wet room and create a gradual unevenness in the floor so that the water runs down the drain. Remember to opt for floors with a non-slip finish to avoid accidents. Underfloor heating is definitely a must in any humid environment, so the floor around your shower can dry out quickly and keep the heat underfoot for a luxurious feel.

Foundhow to make a wet roomon a wood and concrete floor in our step-by-step guide.

The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (11)

wet room ideas

  • Before you hire a professional to fit your wet room, be sure to consider all the elements of the scheme. Think about the size of the shower area, as well as the shower system, fixtures, storage, and the type of sink and toilet.
  • To ensure a sleek finish and a super sleek look, opt for an integrated shower valve and a large rainfall shower head. It is also a good idea to install a hand shower. If you have the space, why not create a luxurious look by folding your shower heads?
  • Be sure to install a drain that can handle a large volume of water efficiently. Enhance a sleek, streamlined appearance by choosing an overflow channel-style drain that collects water across its full width.
  • A bath screen is not the only way to separate the shower area; instead, you can create a partition wall of tiles to prevent water from splashing.
  • To increase the feeling of space, opt for a wall-mounted sink and toilet; this will also make cleanup much easier.
  • Storage is important in any wet room or bathroom, so make sure there's a place to store your beauty and personal care products. You can put a dressing table and a mirror cabinet or create niche shelves, which can be built into the wall. To keep your towels warm as well as neat and tidy, install a heated towel rail near the shower.

Can I have underfloor heating in a wet bathroom?

if you can haveradiant floorin a damp room. Heated flooring will keep your feet warm and help the space dry faster. If you're installing a wet radiant floor system, you'll need to embed the pipes in a screed, but with an electrical system, the mats are installed on top of an insulated tile backer board.

How much does a wet room cost?

The cost of a wet room depends on the size of the space and can cost approximately £1500-£4000 including fixtures and fittings. It is important to put quality above cost: if the cistern and drain are insufficient or poorly installed, it will cost more to repair the water damage in the long run.

Shower screens for wet areas – glass thickness

At BigBathroomShop, all of our bath and shower screens have 8mm tempered safety glass with an easy-to-clean coating. 8mm glass is the recommended thickness for wet rooms and enclosed spaces, as it is strong and durable. It also offers a high-end luxury feel.

The essential guide to showers and wet rooms (12)

Complete the look with a stylish shower system.

(Video) Shower Buying Guide

Finally, once you've chosen your shower or bath, you can complete the look with one of our stylishshower systems. Available in a variety of styles, each of our shower systems includes a thermostatic shower valve, which incorporates anti-scalding technology to ensure a safer shower experience. You can go for a system with just a shower head and shower valve, or go all out and install a system with a shower head, body jets, shower valve, and handheld shower head to add to the wow factor. .


What are the disadvantages of a wet room? ›

There are also Cons to a Wet Room.

Wet rooms can be an expensive bathroom to fit out because the walls need to be tiled from the wall to ceiling. They will also need to be waterproofed too. The room needs to be adequately ventilated, and you will be limited on the style of vanity cupboards you install.

What is the difference between a wet room and a shower room? ›

A wet room is completely open plan, with waterproof walls and flooring, as well as a central drain that allows water to flow out easily. A shower room is similar to a bathroom, with the exception that it is usually separated by one or more panels and has its own drainage system.

Are wet rooms hard to keep clean? ›

Wet rooms are easy to clean with few barriers and enclosures. Floors that can be hosed down around all areas, including the toilet, toward a single drain. Design the room with good ventilation, and a wet room will produce less mold, mildew, and water decay.

Should a wet room be fully tiled? ›

A wet room will require the flooring and walls to be waterproofed and fully tiled – a job for a professional builder or plumber to complete. Many will consider underfloor heating fittings for wet rooms as well, helping the space to dry out quicker and negating the need for bulkier radiators or heated towel rails.

Does a wet room devalue your house? ›

If you're selling a luxury home or looking to renovate your home to make it appeal to high-end buyers, a wetroom, as a secondary or tertiary bathroom, can add value. But for a small family home with one bathroom, a wetroom (which may be without a bath) might make it less appealing to sellers with young children.

Do wet rooms get moldy? ›

Indoors, mould can thrive in damp and poorly ventilated spaces such as wetrooms and bathrooms.

How often should a wet room floor be changed? ›

If your property is prone to mould, your wetroom grouting may need replacing after 10 or 15 years. Replacing your tiles will make your wetroom last longer, but it's important that you replace the waterproofing at the same time, to guarantee the wetroom will remain watertight.

Do you need a shower door in a wet room? ›

A wet room is simply a room with a tiled floor that has been waterproofed ('tanked') instead of a conventional shower tray. If the entire room has been tanked there is no need for any glass screens or shower doors, and the room itself becomes the shower enclosure, with a shower drain inset into a gently sloped floor.

Do I need a shower screen in a wet room? ›

In theory, yes. Wet rooms are basically shower rooms that do away with the shower screen and tray, and have an open, fully tiled shower area. If your bathroom is on the small side you probably will need to include a shower screen to prevent everything getting sprayed.

Is it expensive to install a wet room? ›

Yes, usually a wet room will cost upwards of 20% more than a standard bathroom. Mainly, this is because of the waterproofing (tanking) process that is a necessity with wet rooms.

Do wet rooms always leak? ›

The question is, do all wet rooms really leak? The simple answer is no, as properly installed wet rooms are just as water tight as a bath or a traditional shower enclosure.

What do I put on the floor of a wet room? ›

The most suitable types of tiles for a wet room floor are Porcelain, Natural Stone or Mosaic tiles. Because of there construction we do not recommend the use of ceramic tiles on a wet room floor, they are however perfect for the wet room walls.

Do wet rooms cause problems? ›

Like many things, wet rooms can go wrong if not installed correctly and these affects can be devastating. At best, damp patches and unpleasant odours, at worst, loose tiles and flooding can occur. Fixing wet room problems can be costly, time consuming and disruptive.

Why should you not keep the floors of the bathroom wet? ›

Bacteria and germs grow at a much faster rate in wet areas and can easily spread through the entire home. The smell coming from a wet bathroom not only makes it embarrassing for you but also ruins the overall appearance of the bathroom.

Does a wet room need a window? ›

Wet Room Ventilation Building Regulations

Wet rooms need to be ventilated due to the presence of heat, water and steam.

Can you put a toilet in a wet room? ›

Just as there are toilets that suit both small and larger spaces, there are toilets to fit almost any style of wet room or bathroom! If a traditional finish is more your style, opt for a high level, low level or close coupled toilet.

Do you tile the floor or walls first in a wet room? ›

Bathroom walls should be tiled before tackling the floor to help avoid damage to the floor.

What is a good size for a wet room? ›

The average bathroom is about 40 square feet, which is large enough to be a wet room, although larger bathrooms allow for more design options. The minimum amount of room needed for a shower, toilet, and sink is at least 15 square feet. There are plenty of wet room ideas out there to choose from, with or without a tub.

Is tile on bathroom walls outdated? ›

Should a bathroom be fully tiled? No, it doesn't have to be. Traditionally, tiles are used in wet areas of a bathroom (around the bath and within the shower enclosure) as a means to waterproof walls but there are now alternative materials to add a decorative, waterproofing to bathroom walls.

Are wet rooms messy? ›

Not only does a wetroom look fantastic in sleek, contemporary bathrooms, it's also practical. For the simple fact that there is very little to a wetroom, meaning they are incredibly easy to clean.

How many toilets should a 4 bedroom house have? ›

How Many Bathrooms Should a 4-bedroom House Have? Following the rule of two bathrooms to three bedrooms, a four-bedroom house should therefore have 2.5 bathrooms.

Is a tub or walk in shower better for resale? ›

Generally, a bathtub is seen as more valuable in terms of resale value. This is because bathtubs are seen as more difficult and more expensive to install when compared to showers. The market itself has seen a surge in freestanding bathtubs especially, with their popularity growing over the past 10 years.

What can I spray in my shower to prevent mold? ›

Once you've gotten rid of the mold, you've got to keep it away with regular maintenance. Regularly spraying vinegar on bathroom surfaces and letting it air dry kills mold spores and prevents growth.

What's the pink stuff in the shower? ›

What Is the Pink Mold in Your Shower? The “pink mold” creating slimy buildup in your bathroom is not actually mold at all: it's a bacteria. The two most common bacteria causing pink shower mold are called Serratia marcescens and Aureobasidium pullulans.

What is the black gunk in my shower? ›

If you're finding black residue around your water fixtures, it's most likely because of the trace levels of manganese and/or iron in your water supply.

Can you put a wet room on a wooden floor? ›

If you plan to install a wet room onto a wooden/timber floor, the most popular way of doing so is to install a wetroom floor former or dec. The floor former will have a consistent gradient or fall built in to it to channel water to the drain.

How do you keep a wet room dry? ›

Keep your wet room well ventilated

Keep windows open after showering to dry your wet room, and install an extractor fan if you don't already have one. Another way to keep your wet room floors dry and prevent slipping is to use a dry mop to soak up any excess water after showering.

How long can water sit on hardwood floors? ›

If the water made contact within the past few hours, you may be able to clean up the spill with minimal effects on your floors. However, if you were out of town and the water had more than a couple of hours to sit, perhaps even days, your floors are in trouble.

Does water splash out of a walk in shower? ›

Doorless walk in showers have a greater propensity for water to splash out of as opposed to walk in shower enclosures that feature shower doors. However, any sort of walk in shower space should be designed to incorporate adequate room to contain the splashback and water flow.

Is a walk in shower cheaper than a wet room? ›

A walk in shower will usually be cheaper than a wet room as you only need to install panels and a shower tray, rather than adjusting the floor and making a large area waterproof.

Is a wet room more expensive than a shower room? ›

Typically, you'll be paying around 20% to 30% more over a standard bathroom fitment. The preparation and waterproofing involved with a wet room are more extensive than a walk-in shower, and you can expect to spend more on materials and labour.

What is a shower flipper? ›

The wetroom flipper panel acts as a deflector to minimise water splashes, pivoting through 210o for ease of access. It can be fitted to all Aquadart wetroom panels including existing panels.

What is the best size for a walk in shower? ›

The average walk-in shower in the U.S. measures 60" x 30", though size options can vary widely, typically up to 60" x 42" for a rectangular shower and 42" x 42" for a square one. For smaller bathrooms, most experts recommend a shower enclosure no smaller than 36" x 36".

Can you use a shower curtain in a wet room? ›

The shower tends to be an open plan space. Meaning it does not include any patrician leading to the possibility of the entire room getting wet. With that said a shower screen or curtain can be incorporated into the design if preferred.

How much does it cost to convert a shower to a wet room? ›

According to Real Homes, installing a wet room costs between $7,000 and $40,000 9CAD 9,400 and CAD 54,000) — around 20% to 30% more than installing a standard bathroom. This includes the materials and labor. The price also takes into consideration the likelihood that you'll need planning permissions or permits.

Do you need special flooring for wet room? ›

Appropriate flooring is a vital component of a wet room, particularly because it needs to fulfil the very important non-slip function. Choose wet room floor tiles that are practical and safe underfoot, such as natural stone tiles which are far more suitable than slippery, high-gloss tiles.

What materials are needed for a walk in shower? ›

Generally, building a walk-in shower requires gutting walls to access plumbing pipes, applying waterproof poly sheeting to the walls and floor, rebuilding walls using moisture-resistant drywall or backer board, installing drains, and pouring mortar to create shower pans.

Do you need a shower curtain in a wet room? ›

If you have a large shower space or wet room, you'll want to prevent water from your shower escaping and soaking the bathroom floor. An extra-long shower curtain can range from 78 inches in length, to more than 90 inches.

What is the best flooring for a shower room? ›

Porcelain tile is often the best choice for a number of reasons. First, porcelain is extremely durable and it can withstand heavy traffic. Second, it is resistant to moisture and mold, making it an ideal choice for a wet environment. Third, porcelain tile is easy to clean and maintain.

How do you keep a wet room warm? ›

How to Heat a Wetroom
  1. Install a Small Radiator. While you'll have to plan installation carefully and cut tile around it, a small radiator can do wonders for a smaller wetroom. ...
  2. Have a Heated Towel Rail. Heated towel rails are an easy way to kill two birds with one (hot) stone. ...
  3. Use Bathmats. ...
  4. Place Your Windows Carefully.
May 16, 2022

Are wet rooms worth it? ›

Wetrooms can add value to your home

They're especially desired as a second bathroom design option. “Adding a new bathroom to your home will add an extra 2.88% to the value of it, a wetroom is likely to add even more.” suggests Phil Spencer, best known for Location, Location, Location.

What is the best non slip flooring for wet room? ›

Vinyl Floor Coverings

Here are some of the main reasons vinyl flooring is ideal for wet rooms: Durability – Vinyl flooring is among the most durable floor coverings on the market and is perfect for areas that will have heavy use.

What is the actual cost of a walk-in shower? ›

Walk-in showers can cost between $8,500 (for a smaller walk-in shower without glass panels) and $20,000, depending on the materials chosen, number of shower heads, and design. This is higher than the cost of a normal shower, which ranges between $2,622 and $9,326.

What is the average cost of putting in a walk-in shower? ›

To get in on this bathroom trend, the average walk-in shower cost is $6,641, with the range starting at $3,121 on the lower end. The actual cost of installing a walk-in shower during your bathroom update depends on various factors. Keep reading to learn more about what it costs to add a walk-in shower to your bathroom.


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5. A Guide To Choosing A Suitable Shower For Your Home
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