Do Wet Floor Shower Rooms Leak?

Do Wet Floor Shower Rooms Leak?

There are some people who will not entertain the idea of a wet floor shower, the main reasons being:

  • that they think it may leak
  • they look clinical
  • there is too much work involved in creating one
  • the whole bathroom will get wet
  • they are extremely expensive.

What is a wet floor shower, or a wet room?

A wet floor shower room is an easy / level access shower area with no visible tray. The shower area has a built in waste (level with the floor) which will have a slight gradient in the floor allowing the water to drain away. The flooring can either be an anti slip vinyl or a tiled floor and it will offer maximum space even in the smallest bathrooms/rooms.

Basic installation of a wet floor shower (in an existing bathroom – wooden floor)

In domestic situations, often a wet floor shower replaces the footprint of an existing bath although wet floor showers can fit in many different places on different floor structures. (wooden / solid)

The bath, remaining tiles (or wall covering) and plaster are all removed, any pipework under the bath (or in the wall) will need re-routing, if the pipework is redundant, blank off and dispose of.

Cut out floorboards to accommodate the size of the wet floor former. Allow space for the waste and avoid cutting into any joists.

It’s important a subframe is built as this will strengthen the wet floor area and reduce any flex in the former, making sure the remainder of the floorboards are level and securely fixed. The former and compatible waste is fitted to the manufacturer’s instructions, which will often carry at least a 5 year warranty.

At this point, when the wet floor former and waste are securely fitted and in position, test for any leaks by pouring water down the waste.

With the former in place, dry line shower walls with moisture boards ready for tiling.

Ply the remainder of the floor area with good quality plywood securing with screws or ring nails at regular intervals (depends on the thickness of the plywood and the size of the bathroom). Fill any minor joints with flexible, waterproof rapid set (and sandpaper off) this will create a smooth finish for the final floor covering.

If the floor is being tiled, the shower wall and floor area will need tanking first.

Vinyl Floors Tile the walls to the shower area, finishing approx 100mm off the base of the floor, fitting tile capping strips at the bottom of the tiles and black cove former (at the base of wall and floor) and this will create the area for the coved upstands in shower area. Please note this is only required for anti slip vinyl flooring (and not tiles). Once the tiles have been grouted and dried off, the anti slip flooring can be fitind. The anti-slip flooring is tucked underneath the tiles (into the capping strip), providing a neat, sealed finish and the corners and any joints of the flooring are heat sealed.  Seal tiled corner walls with good quality waterproof, anti-bacterial silicone.

Tiled Floors Tank floor and walls and ideally, tile the floor first (although some tilers have different opinions on this subject), following the gradient of the former by envelope cutting the tiles where required. It’s important that flexible, waterproof adhesive and grout is used to secure the wall and floor tiles. Just as important is a good quality waterproof, anti bacterial silicone to seal all corners of the shower area.

By using a selelection of glass shower sceens, flipper panels, half height shower doors, or weighted curtains it will contain the water to the shower area.

Any wet floor shower room installed correctly by an experienced time served plumber / bathroom installer and tiler as outlined above, will not only enhance the appearance and aesthetics of the bathroom but can create space and make it easier to shower and with the addition of seats and grab rails, make the shower area and the experience an even safer place.

It is important to know, any wet floor shower room installed correctly will not leak.

 If you need more detailed information or any assistance with planning your accessible bathroom, please contact Accessible Bathroom Consultants and we will gladly assist.


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