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26 Sep, 13

Kitchens & Bathrooms News takes a look at wetrooms and asks are they truly achievable in the UK home?

Certainly no-one could argue the wetroom look has exploded in popularity, but how achievable are the genuine environments? Managing director of Roman Showers, David Osborne says: “Wetrooms have continued to remain a popular look for the bathroom, however ‘true’ wetrooms are still very niche.”  But with falling prices in components, even the true wetrooms are within grasp of more consumers. 

Wider use

‘True’ wetroom growth can be attributed to the array of components now available, making wetrooms possible for most floor types and at a wider array of budgets. Technical manager of Impey Showers Shaun Hunt comments: “It is now possible to fit a wetroom absolutely; whether it is upstairs or downstairs, on concrete floors or timber joists, in a large family bathroom or a tiny ensuite. Products are now available on the market to cater for any situation and part of the reason why wetrooms are now so appealing is due to the versatility they provide.” 

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Confidence in installer

So, arguably the only factosr holding back wetroom component sales are the cost or faith in the installer. As sales and marketing director of JT, John Schofield adds: “The number one key element to a wetroom is the installation and designers and retailers must have absolute faith in whoever will be installing that product as otherwise it is them who are likely to have to do the mopping up!” 

Water leakage safety

And it has been the fear of water leakage which has spurred the evolution of bathroom products which can help a designer create a shower environment boasting a wetroom look. Plain glazed wetroom panels and low level shower trays can offer consumers the peace of mind of water retention. So, have enclosure and tray manufacturers actually stolen the march in the wetroom market, leaving sales of true wetrooms out in the cold? [Fiora UK sales manager, Steve Middleton, tentatively agrees: “To a degree, yes. I think the rise of the tiled wet floor over the last 10 years has taken a proportion of the shower tray market. Tray manufacturers have in return launched products which are lower in profile to compete…I think the wet floor market will give some market share back to the tray manufacturers.” ”

Wetroom staple sale

Whether consumers opt for a true wetroom or a wetroom-look, these cleanlined spa-like showering environments are now a staple. The sales are supported by an ageing population, which requires ease of bathing access, and which holds 80% of the UK’s wealth and who are buying bathrooms. So why not offer a range of bathroom products, which can create a true or wetroom-inspired bathroom? ”