Wet Room Decor: Stylish and Functional Tips for a Bathroom

wet room with white square tiles, a large stand alone bath and monochrome tiles
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A wet room is an innovative approach to bathroom design that embodies the perfect blend of functionality and modern design. At its core, a wet room is a fully waterproofed or “tanked” bathroom, where the shower area is not confined by a tray and glass enclosure but integrated seamlessly into the overall space.

This design allows for the shower water to run off into a drain installed flush with the floor, eliminating the barriers between the shower space and the rest of the bathroom.

It offers an open, accessible, and sleek design and with the right wet room decor, can create a spa-like environment in the comfort of your home.

Wet Room Decor

wet room with black and white tiles

From a design perspective, wet rooms exude a minimalist charm that aligns with contemporary design trends. They offer a canvas for a variety of styles, from ultra-modern and industrial looks to more natural, serene environments incorporating elements like stone, wood, and natural light.

This flexibility in design allows homeowners to create a space that reflects their style while maintaining the practical benefits of a wet room setup.

Wet Room Essentials

a wet room with sage green walls and a large jute rug

The key components of a wet room include:

  1. Waterproofing (Tanking): This is the most critical aspect of a wet room, involving the application of a waterproof membrane across the floors and walls, especially around the shower area. This membrane ensures that water does not seep into the building structure, preventing damage and mold growth.
  2. Drainage: A well-designed drainage system is essential to efficiently channel water away. The floor must be properly sloped towards a central drain to prevent water from pooling. The choice of drain is also important, with options ranging from a single discreet drain to more elaborate channel or linear drains that can be an aesthetic feature in themselves.
  3. Open Shower Area: Unlike traditional bathrooms, wet rooms do not have a shower tray or step. The shower area is integrated into the floor space with the same tiling or flooring material used throughout, contributing to the seamless look. Shower screens or panels may be installed to minimize water splash, but they are often minimalist in design or even omitted to maintain the open feel of the space.
a sage green wet room

When considering the decor for your wet room, it’s essential to balance aesthetic appeal with practicality, keeping in mind that your choices can significantly influence the overall project cost.

From the selection of tiles and fixtures to the installation of efficient drainage systems, each element plays a role in creating the desired look and functionality of the space.

This brings us to a pivotal question many homeowners ponder: ‘How much does a wet room cost?’ Understanding that the cost can vary widely based on materials, size, and labor, it’s crucial to plan your wet room decor with both your budget and your design aspirations in mind, ensuring that you achieve a stylish yet cost-effective solution.

Flooring Choices

a wet room with vinyl herringbone flooring

The selection of flooring in a wet room is crucial, not just for the overall look, but also for the safety and longevity of the space. Two key characteristics, slip-resistance, and waterproofing, stand out as essential considerations:

Slip-Resistance: Slip-resistant flooring is designed to provide grip underfoot, even when wet, reducing the risk of slips and falls. Materials such as textured tiles, anti-slip vinyl, or treated stone can offer the necessary traction while still complementing the room’s decor.

Waterproofing: Waterproof flooring ensures that water does not seep through to the substrate or the structure of the building, which could lead to damp issues, mold growth, and structural damage over time.

Properly sealed and tanked flooring materials, such as ceramic or porcelain tiles, can provide an impervious surface that water cannot penetrate.

Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles

a wet room with ceramic tiles

These tiles offer a vast range of colors, patterns, and finishes, from glossy to matte, allowing for versatile design options that can mimic the look of natural stone or even wood.

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are durable and resistant to water, making them ideal for wet room environments.

Porcelain tiles, in particular, are known for their low porosity and high resistance to moisture. They are also easy to clean and maintain, though grout lines may require regular attention to prevent mold and mildew.

Natural Stone

Natural stone tiles, such as slate, marble, or granite, bring a unique and luxurious look to a wet room. Each piece varies in pattern and color, adding a natural and bespoke element to the space.

Stone is durable and has inherent slip resistance due to its texture, which is beneficial in wet environments. However, it requires sealing to enhance its waterproof qualities and prevent staining.

Natural stone can also be more expensive and may need more maintenance than ceramic or porcelain tiles to retain its appearance.

Vinyl

a monochrome wet room with vinyl flooring

Modern luxury vinyl flooring comes in a wide variety of designs, including those that convincingly replicate the look of wood, stone, or tiles. It offers a softer, warmer surface underfoot, which can make a wet room feel more comfortable.

Vinyl is inherently waterproof and provides excellent slip resistance, making it a safe and practical choice for wet rooms. It’s also relatively easy to install and maintain and can be more cost-effective than tile or stone.

High-quality vinyl can be durable, but it may not have the same longevity or add as much value to a property as tile or natural stone.

Wall Treatments and Color Schemes

a monochrome wet room

Here are some popular options for wet room wall coverings, each with its own set of benefits:

Tiles

Tiles are a traditional and popular choice for wet room walls, offering endless design possibilities. Available in ceramic, porcelain, glass, and natural stone, tiles come in a vast array of colors, patterns, sizes, and textures, allowing for custom designs and unique finishes.

Waterproof paint

Waterproof or water-resistant paint is available in a wide range of colors, enabling a simple yet effective way to add personality and vibrancy to the wet room. It offers a smooth, seamless look that can make small spaces appear larger and brighter.

Wall Panels

Wall panels, made from materials like acrylic, PVC, or laminated composite, are available in a wide range of designs, from glossy finishes to patterns that mimic natural materials like wood or stone. They provide a modern, sleek look with large, seamless panels that minimize grout lines.

Color Schemes

a very neutral wet room bathroom
A very neutral wet room

The color scheme of a wet room can significantly impact the perception of space and light, creating various atmospheres from serene and spacious to bold and dynamic. Here are some suggestions for color schemes that can enhance the wet room experience:

  • Soft Whites and Creams: These classic shades reflect light, making the room appear larger and brighter. They can serve as a blank canvas, allowing textures and fixtures to stand out.
  • Pale Grays: Offering a contemporary twist, pale grays can add depth while still keeping the space airy and open. They work well with natural light, enhancing a clean, minimalist aesthetic.
  • Beige and Earth Tones: Warm neutrals like beige, taupe, and soft browns can create a cozy, inviting atmosphere while maintaining a sense of openness. These tones pair beautifully with natural materials like wood and stone.
  • Soft Blues and Greens: These hues evoke a sense of tranquility and freshness, reminiscent of water and nature. They can make a wet room feel like a spa retreat, especially when complemented with natural light and organic materials.
  • Lavender and Soft Pinks: Gentle and soothing, these colors can add a subtle touch of warmth and personality without overwhelming the space.
  • Deep Blues and Greens: A richly colored accent wall can create a stunning focal point without making the space feel smaller, especially when balanced with lighter colors on the other walls.
  • Charcoal and Slate: Darker shades can add dramatic flair and depth to a wet room, particularly when used sparingly as an accent against a lighter overall palette.
  • Black and White: A timeless combination that can be modern or classic, depending on the design. High-contrast black and white schemes can create a dynamic, visually striking space.

Fixtures and Fittings

a neutral shower room

Selecting the right fixtures for a wet room is crucial to ensure they not only complement the design but also withstand the humid and wet conditions characteristic of such spaces.

Here’s a guide to choosing stylish yet durable fixtures for showers, taps, and basins in a wet room:

Showers

  • Ceiling-Mounted Rain Shower Heads: These provide a luxurious, spa-like experience and keep the hardware away from the walls, reducing potential water damage.
  • Thermostatic Shower Mixers: These ensure a consistent water temperature, enhancing safety and comfort. Look for models with anti-scald technology, especially important in a wet room environment.
  • Stainless Steel or Chrome Finishes: These materials are not only modern and sleek but also resistant to corrosion and easy to clean, making them ideal for the high-moisture environment of a wet room.

Taps

  • Wall-Mounted Taps: These can save space and minimize water splashing onto the counters, reducing the risk of water damage. They also offer a clean, uncluttered look.
  • Single Lever Mixers: These taps are user-friendly, allowing for easy temperature and flow control with one hand, which is particularly beneficial in a wet environment.
  • Brass with Protective Finishing: High-quality brass taps with protective coatings such as powder coating or electroplating in chrome, nickel, or matte black can withstand the wet room’s humid conditions and frequent use.

Basins

a sink on a vanity unit
  • Solid Surface Materials: Basins made from composite materials like quartz or resin are non-porous, stain-resistant, and durable, making them well-suited for wet rooms.
  • Wall-Hung Basins: These can help save floor space, contributing to the open feel of a wet room, and are easier to clean around. Ensure they are securely mounted to handle the wet room’s damp conditions.
  • Ceramic Basins: A classic choice, ceramic is hard-wearing, easy to clean, and resistant to the chemicals and humidity found in wet rooms.

Storage Solutions

a wet room with a large vanity unit
Make use of the vanity unit in a wet room

Here are some ideas for integrating waterproof storage that complements the sleek, minimalist aesthetic of a wet room:

Recessed Wall Niches

Carving out niches in the shower or vanity area provides a seamless storage solution for toiletries and bath essentials. These niches can be tiled to match the surrounding walls, maintaining a cohesive look while offering practical storage.

Illuminated Niches

Adding LED lighting to niches not only highlights the stored items for ease of access but also adds a warm, ambient glow, enhancing the wet room’s atmosphere.

Glass or Composite Material Shelves

Installing floating shelves made from waterproof materials like tempered glass or solid surface composites offers a sleek, modern way to store and display items without compromising floor space.

a minimalist shower room

Minimalist Design

Choosing shelves with clean lines and hidden mounting hardware preserves the wet room’s minimalist aesthetic while providing functional storage.

Water-Resistant Materials

Opt for cabinets made from water-resistant materials such as high-pressure laminate, marine-grade plywood, or PVC to withstand the humid environment of a wet room.

Sleek Hardware

Select cabinets with streamlined, unobtrusive hardware or push-to-open mechanisms to maintain the clean lines of the wet room design.

Integrated Vanity Units

A vanity with built-in storage underneath can house a wide range of bathroom essentials while keeping them accessible yet out of sight. Choose a wall-mounted vanity to enhance the sense of space and ease of cleaning.

Custom Solutions

Tailor the vanity design to include organizers, drawer dividers, and hidden compartments for efficient storage that meets specific needs.

Lighting and Accessories

wall sconces in a wet room

Proper lighting can transform the ambiance of the space, making it feel welcoming and luxurious, while also addressing safety concerns inherent in wet environments.

Incorporating a mix of lighting types, such as ambient, task, and accent lighting, can create a dynamic and flexible ambiance. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, task lighting focuses on specific areas like the vanity or shower for functionality, and accent lighting highlights architectural features or decor elements.

Incorporating lighting within niches or along the shower area can enhance visibility, ensuring that the space is safe to navigate while also adding a luxurious touch.

a sage green wet room with white tiles and plants
Plants are a great addition to a wet room as they stop the room feeling so sterile

Finally, adding the right finishing touches with waterproof accessories can significantly enhance the functionality, comfort, and personality of a wet room. Here are some suggestions for accessories that stand up to moisture while adding aesthetic appeal:

  • Quick-Dry and Anti-Slip Mats
  • Waterproof Seating
  • Moisture-Loving Plants
  • Towel Warmers and Hooks
  • Bluetooth Shower Speakers
  • Fog-Free Mirrors

The popularity of wet rooms continues to grow as more homeowners recognize their dual appeal: they enhance the functionality of a bathroom space while also serving as a statement of sophisticated, modern design.

Whether part of a new build or a renovation project, incorporating a wet room can elevate the overall aesthetic of a home and offer a luxurious, open feel to what is often a confined space.

How can I add color to my wet room?

Add color to your wet room through waterproof paint, colored tiles, mosaic features, or vibrant accessories like bath mats and towels.

Can I include wood elements in wet room decor?

Wood elements can be included in wet room decor if they are properly sealed or if you opt for water-resistant composite materials that mimic the look of wood.

Is a shower screen necessary in a wet room?

A shower screen is not essential but can help contain water spray and add a design element to the space. Choose clear glass for an open feel or frosted glass for privacy.

How can I ensure my wet room is accessible?

Ensure accessibility by maintaining a level floor, installing grab bars, considering a walk-in shower area without barriers, and choosing fixtures that are easy to use.

How do you jazz up a wet room?

Introduce vibrant colors or striking patterns with accent tiles. A feature wall or a decorative border can add a splash of personality and transform the space.

Upgrade to high-end fixtures such as rainfall showerheads, designer taps, and stylish basins to add a touch of luxury and sophistication to your wet room.

What do you put on the floor of a wet room?

It’s essential to choose materials that are both waterproof and slip-resistant to ensure safety and durability. Ceramic or porcelain tiles with a textured surface are ideal for wet room floors, offering a wide range of colors and patterns while providing the necessary slip resistance.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a very small commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links help to pay the editorial costs of writing a blog. For more information, please read my full affiliate disclosure here. 

I also use Artificial Intelligence Image generators to create some of my images. These are to show you examples of my ideas and inspiration when I cannot produce the real images myself.

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