Dear Margaret… We have a smallish ensuite shower room (1.6×2.30m) that I think might work better as a wet room. At the moment there is a WC to the right as you walk in, a corner shower straight ahead and a basin to the left of it, by the window. The access to the loft is in this room, so we need to be able to pull the ladder down, without anything getting in the way. Could you please suggest a suitable wet room design and layout and give me some style tips and ideas?
Millie Roberts, Bridlington
To make your room feel bigger, pale coloured tiles on all of the walls will give an overall sleek finish in wet room design. However, beware of using a totally smooth and reflective surface tile, or the space will end up with a clinical feel. I suggest a stone material, with a subtle texture and variegation, and a warm tone.
There is no reason why small wet rooms have to be plain or boring – you can use colour and pattern sparingly and play with a variety of textures, all without overpowering a scheme. I suggest with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling tiling like this that you accessorise the scheme with a warm-toned colour to make the room more inviting – such as ochre or honey brown – as hard materials all over can appear austere. Soft furnishings can help ‘cosy-up’ a harsh scheme – try adding a stack of towels or a fabric window blind.
In this wet room design, I have separated the shower area from the rest of the room with a transparent glass screen, preventing the WC being sprayed with water. This gives the benefits of a wet room design in that it opens up the floor plan. A gently sloping floor with drainage inlet will take away excess water. The basin is near to the shower, so you ought to choose one that will survive a few splashes. Do be careful when selecting bathroom light fittings, too, ensuring each individual one has the correct IP rating for use in the zone in which you plan to install it.
I have chosen minimal-style fixtures to maintain a streamlined ambience. This includes a wall mounted WC and basin, and concealed shower, all to reduce the visual clutter of surface-run pipes. Each fixture has a quirky or designer edge – with something special or striking about it that makes it memorable – upping the luxury factor and helping to detract from the room’s small size!
Wet room storage
Behind the recessed mirror above the basin, there is plenty of room to store toiletries. Additionally, open shelving in a recess above the WC is where you can show off display-worthy items that will add some of your personality to the décor. The area above the toilet is a seldom-used spot, but it’s great for storing things out of the way. I utilised a curved shape for this recess, and likewise, rounded models for the WC and basin, to help soften the scheme’s many straight lines.
Wet room design ideas and tips:
- Using the same tiles throughout, and utilising mirrors, are both excellent ways to visually enlarge a compact space.
- Though you may be restrained to subtler colours and patterns in a small room, details can be daring. Pick refined fittings that will set your scheme apart, helping to detract from the room’s petite proportions.