Wet rooms are the contemporary trend in bathroom remodeling. Simply put, these are bathrooms with an open shower, or with the shower set behind a single wall, with its floor flushed with the rest of the bathroom, and the water draining away through an outlet set into the floor. After becoming popular in the United Kingdom, wet rooms are now finding their way into Canadian homes.
Benefits of Installing a Tile Wet Room
There are several reasons for including a tile wet room in your small bathroom design:
- A bath room tile wet room is highly in vogue; the latest in contemporary small bathroom style.
- Incorporating wet room design into a small bathroom remodel is an excellent way to open up the room; getting the most efficient use from available small bathroom space. Working a wall mounted sink and toilet into the bath room design further enhances efficient use of space and improves ease of maintenance and cleanup.
- When undertaking small bathroom renovations, incorporating a wet room design into the project will significantly increase the market value of your home. Note: this advantage usually applies to an extra bathroom conversion only. If the home only has one bathroom, converting it to a tile wet room can decrease the value of the home, instead.
- Wet rooms are an excellent small bathroom solution for people with physical limitations; such as handicapped or disabled persons in a wheelchair. This eliminates the need for transfer into a bathtub; showering can take place while sitting on a stool or in a wheelchair.
There are some drawbacks to installing a tile wet room, however. Since water is allowed to spray freely into the room, certain items such as towels, linens, toilet paper, etc. may need to be protected with the use of a shower screen.
Waterproofing and Drainage
It is important to ensure that surfaces and plywood flooring underlayment are totally waterproof, while providing proper water drainage. This is crucial to project success and structure durability.
There are several methods available for proper drainage and waterproofing:
- A gradient floor system with slopes and channels to drain water toward the drain. This must be fabricated into the floor system using water resistant or water proof plywood. Exterior grade construction plywood and treated plywood are manufactured using waterproof glue in the lamination process. Both types of plywood are water resistant to a degree, but require sealant to keep the laminated layers of wood from absorbing moisture.
- Plastic marine plywood engineered from plastic polymer, on the other hand, is totally waterproof and not affected by moisture in any way. However, avoid types which are made by laminating small bits of plastic into sheet goods. They contain different types of plastic that expand and contract at differing rates - detracting from the tensile strength of the sheet.
- The gel membrane system also known as tanking, is a fiberglass sealing kit that can be applied to the plywood sub-floor and walls. This should be allowed to cure before installing bathroom tile
- Pre-molded tray kits have the sloping gradient and drain already built in. The tray is set into the room; plumbing connections are made, and then tile is installed on the tray and wall surfaces.
- Another method is using plywood of choice for the subfloor with no gradient, with a drain installed and surfaces tanked. Waterproof leveling compound is troweled on or screeded to provide a sloping gradient toward the drain. Tile is then installed over cured leveling compound and on wall surfaces.
- Certain types of rubber roofing material can be also be used to waterproof floor and wall plywood. When seeking the services of a waterproofing contractor, consider a flat roofing contractor. A flat roofing contractor can install an EPDM rubber membrane or modified rubber; applied in sheets and heated to weld seams. Tile can then be installed to the membrane using a special adhesive.
- When installing tile in wet rooms, it is best to use non-porous tile, such as ceramic. Slate, granite, marble and limestone tile is porous and requires re-sealing every 2 to 3 months to keep moisture from penetrating, and causing damage to the sub-floor.
- Instead of tile, sheet goods such as vinyl can also be used; seams should be properly welded to form a waterproof barrier. Regardless of the type of material used, be sure that all Canadian building code requirements are met by contractors hired for the job.
- While most local building code requirements are based on International Building Code or National Canadian Building Code guidelines, code specifics can vary from one community to another. Homeowners and contractors should work closely with the local building authority, to ensure code compliance.
Professional Help Strongly Recommended
Wet rooms require special building procedures, materials, and expertise. It is recommended that homeowners employ the services of professional contractors such as a plumber, tile contractor, or even a flat roofing contractor to ensure complete waterproofing.
The need for professional assistance contributes to the high cost of this type project. An average small bathroom to wet room conversion can easily run $12,500 or more for overall project cost.
Find Reliable Local Contractors
TrustedPros.ca helps homeowners throughout Canada find reliable wet room contractors to convert their bathroom into a tile wet room. You can search for contractors in your area easily, quickly, and without having to pay anything.
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