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April 04, 2017

Bathtub or Wet Room

Bathtub or Wet Room

Credit: Shutterstock

Wet rooms are back in high demand, but are they worth choosing over a conventional bathtub? We outline the pros and cons of installing a bathtub or wet room—the choice is yours.

Wet Room

The pros

  • In a sluggish property market, popular and modern features such as wet rooms can attract significant attention from buyers and increase your home’s potential value.
  •  Wet rooms are a suitable option for any size bathroom and can save considerable amounts of space when compared to conventional bathtubs and showers. While they may be more expensive to install they can give the illusion of a more spacious bathroom while also offering a clean, trendy and modern look.
  • Apart from aesthetics, wet rooms are also safe and convenient solutions for the elderly and for individuals with limited mobility. The absence of high steps—and the ease of a doorless entry—reduces the risk of slipping and falling, making the bathroom a functional, safe and more comfortable room for all.
  • On a more practical note, wet rooms are easier to clean and don’t require as much maintenance as bathtubs might. Wet walls mean you’ll only have one complete surface to clean as opposed to the separate tiles common around bathtubs.
  • These modern shower solutions are also compatible with under floor heating, minimising the need for radiator space—especially important in smaller bathrooms.

The cons

  • Wet rooms can be expensive to install, as they often require tiling from floor to ceiling. Depending on the quality of materials used to build the wet room, tiles may need resealing from time to time, especially if they are porous—budget should be a considerable factor when choosing between bathtub or wet room.
  • While wet rooms may increase the value of your house, your property’s ability to sell will also always depend on whom you’re selling to. Some buyers like to have a bathtub in their home and will see the wet room as a drawback—the key is to keep your sale target market in mind.
  • Installing a wet room may require extensive work, especially if starting from scratch: the shower pipe will need readjusting, the drainage point moved and the floor built at an angle to allow the water to drain properly.
  • Tiling is the only viable flooring option for your bathroom if you wish to install a wet room.
  • As with all home upgrades, installing a wet room may prove to be expensive if not done by an experienced professional. Botched jobs always increase costs, so do your research before hiring any tradesperson. Consider the size and shape of your bathroom before making any decisions.

Bathtub

The pros

  • Regarding the question of bathtub or wet room, bathtubs are significantly cheaper. According to Plumb World, installing a wet room can cost anywhere between £5,000 to £10,000—as the bathroom would need to be made completely watertight and sealed—while a bathtub would only set you back around £1,000 to £2,000. In addition to costs, bathtubs will require much less plumbing work.
  • If you only have one bathroom in the house, a wet room might be impractical, both in price and functionality. Most buyers will view them as a luxury. Bathtubs, on the other hand, are considered a bathroom must-have by many.
  • Installing a bathtub will not limit your options in terms of flooring. While wet rooms—tend to—require tiling, bathrooms are much more flexible: you can choose between tiling, carpet and laminate.
  • Bathtubs have always been a bathroom staple while wet rooms may be a style fad and may fall out of favour with consumers just as quickly as they gained popularity. Opting for a bathtub will limit these risks—they can be a ‘safer’ option.

The cons

  • Tall steps may make bathtubs a significantly less safe solution for elderly people or individuals with mobility issues and long-term conditions.
  • Cleaning bathtubs may take more time. Wet rooms tend to be built with wet walls instead of tiling, an aspect that minimises mildew growth and the need for grout.
  • As wet rooms are quickly becoming staples of modern houses, buyers looking for their new home may prefer the style and luxury of a wet room over the more classic bathtub—some may see the absence of a wet room as a downside.

If you have enjoyed reading this article on choosing between a bathtub or wet room, click here to read more on Celebrity Angels about interior design trends.

See also: Room by Room: The Bathroom