Wet rooms within a house extension - are there any issues?
It is amazing how tends evolve over the years from something to be reviled to something
super trendy and highly desirable. Wet rooms for showers and bathrooms are the latest phenomenon of this effect.
Even in the late the 1990’s wet rooms were only associated or ever normally seen as a disabled provision in public
places or for the elderly.
How the perception of a wet room has changed and the demand for them as part of a house extension is as common
now as the requirement for a large trophy kitchen. However, they are not without their problems - namely leaks.
I would estimate that around 1 in 3 will fail or leak within the first 12 months of use. This is because the
materials, design and workmanship required with a lot of attention to detail is extremely high. Very few contactors
on a price can spend the time and effort required for a belt and braces approach to preventing water leaks usually
form the overspill water rather than from the pipework.
It can be compared to building in indoor swimming pool but when these leak (and most do even slightly) the leak
is not obvious and easily accommodated by the surrounding earth - no real problem. But within your home it is a
completely different matter. Even a thimble full water leak each time the shower is used will lead to building
fabric damage over a short time requiring repair.
I always try to resist the formation of wet rooms within my own house extension schemes especially on a timber
first or second floor. On a ground bearing solid concrete ground floor I feel far safer that the wet room will work
as designed due to the inflexible nature of the floors and walls to be tiled.