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HouseWorth
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  1. Blog
  2. How much does a wet room cost?
Add value to your home
23 October 2023

How much does a wet room cost?

Kimberley Taylor
Writer & Researcher

Table of contents

  1. 1. What is a wet room?
  2. 2. What are the benefits of wet rooms?
  3. 3. Is your home suitable for a wet room?
  4. 4. How long does a wet room installation take?
  5. 5. How much does a wet room cost?
  6. 6. Questions to consider when budgeting for your wet room
  7. 7. Can you install a wet room yourself?
  8. 8. How much does a disabled wet room cost?
  9. 9. How much value does a wet room add?
  10. 10. Summary: Budget for the style, substance and size of your wet room
  11. 11. FAQs

Wet rooms have become much more popular over recent years, acting as stylish additions to the home, as well as improving accessibility for those who need it. But as with any home improvement project, installing a wet room is no mean feat.

There's a lot to think about: the size of the wet room, how it'll fit into your home, additional features you want to include. And all of these things will have an impact on how much the wet room installation costs.

So how much do wet rooms cost exactly? And what makes a wet room more expensive? In this article we'll be covering all wet room costs, from wall tiles and flooring to walk in showers and underfloor heating. Let's dive in!

What is a wet room?

Wet rooms have grown in popularity, often seen to be a luxurious home addition that can add some serious value to a property. Unlike a traditional bathroom, a wet room comes with waterproof walls and a waterproof floor to prevent any damage to flooring, tiling and the overall structure of the building. They have non porous surfaces that stop water from leaving the shower area.

What are the benefits of wet rooms?

There are plenty of benefits to installing a wet room, from accessibility and cleanliness to adding luxury and value to your home. Some of the key benefits of wet rooms include:

Better accessibility

Because wet rooms are open plan, they don't need a shower bath, shower enclosure doors or a raised shower tray. Wet room floors are also often built with non-slip bathroom tiles and leave lots of room for support rails and shower seats. All of this is great for improving accessibility, making wet rooms a really helpful, safe option for those with mobility difficulties.

More space

If you have limited bathroom space, a wet room might be a great solution for you. Because a wet room shower doesn't need a shower enclosure, they often allow a lot more space and floor area, making a smaller bathroom look a whole lot bigger.

Waterproof space

A wet room will be completely waterproof to prevent any damage to the building. This could really help you save money in the long term as you don't have to worry about any potential future damage from leakages.

More practicality

Wet rooms are much easier to clean than a traditional bathroom. All you have to do is wipe down the surfaces and drain everything down the shower tray once you're done. Simple!

Check out our useful tips on how to clean your bathroom here.

Wet rooms look good!

Wet rooms are also a great way to add some pizzazz to your home (at an affordable price!) Having no shower tray gives your bathroom floor a sleek tile look. Not only that, you can customise your wet room to the style you choose, from flooring and tiles to shower trays and additional features and fixtures. A quality wet room can be a great addition for your home and adds a lot of value if you want to sell in future.

Is your home suitable for a wet room?

As with any home renovation or home improvement project, it's always better to check if you need planning permission for a wet room installation. In most cases, you don't need any permission before you install a wet room.

However, if you live in a listed building, you need to seek advice from the local planning committee before you go ahead with any works. You'll also need to apply for building regulations approval if you want to build a wet room in a new build.

You can have a wet room installed regardless of the size of your bathroom, but the wet room cost will be more expensive the larger your bathroom is. A wet room will function regardless of what type of house you live in, but you will need a slanted shower drain to ensure the water goes down, and you'll also need to waterproof the entire room.

How long does a wet room installation take?

At a minimum, the building work of a basic wet room takes four days. But most of the time, installing a wet room will take around a week before it's completely finished. If there are complications or complex installations to finish, the entire process could take upwards of two weeks.

The size of the bathroom will impact how long the process will take, as well as the level of expertise needed to make the design you want.

How much does a wet room cost?

Wet room costs vary depending on a number of factors including the size of the wet room, the type of materials used and how complex the installation process is. A small wet room will cost less because there's less work to do and fewer fixtures to make. The average price of a basic wet room is between £5000 and £10,000, but a more luxurious wet room with high-end features can cost upwards of £20,000. It's always best to get a detailed quote from a professional installer if you want the most accurate wet room cost for your project.

Labour costs

While supply costs make up about 75% of the final cost, wet room labour costs make up around 25% of the total wet room costs. They'll vary greatly depending on which installer you choose to go with, but you could be looking at anywhere between £200 to £300 per person per day. It usually takes two labourers per wet room installation to ensure the work gets done properly and on time - so remember this when budgeting! A specialist wet room installer, also known as a contractor, may cost even more than this.

Wet room shower and shower screen costs

You don't have to buy a brand new shower unit for your wet room installation, but it could be much easier to go all in. Because installing a wet room means building your bathroom from scratch, it's good to have a shower that will meet those needs, and also match the new aesthetic of the bathroom.

Though shower screens aren't essential when installing a wet room, they're useful to prevent water spray from reaching other areas of the bathroom. Not to mention a good shower screen can look really stylish! Shower screens will start at around £200, but the cost will depend on the size and style you want.

Shower tray former

There have to be sloped floor areas in order for the wet room to function properly. This will let the water from the shower drain away, preventing damp, mould and other potential damages to your bathroom caused by water leakage. Installing a shower tray former is the easiest way to keep your wet room dry. A shower tray former is built into the floor and tiled over, which gives it a sleek and seamless look. Again, this feature can cost anywhere from £100 to £300 depending on the size, style and material you want to use for your wet room.

Waterproofing or tanking

Waterproofing, also referred to as tanking, is an essential part of installing a wet room. If the wet room is not completely waterproof, the water will leak through the floors and walls and potentially destroy the structure of your home. It can cause damp, mould and other rotting materials that can compromise your home's structure. It's not a wet room if it's not waterproof!

Tanking kits contain all the products you need to waterproof a room before you start tiling. It's important you buy the right size kit depending on the size of your bathroom. Large bathrooms, for example, will need larger kits. They can cost anywhere between £50 and £350.

Tiles

Tiles will make up a lot of the wet room costs because you need to completely retile the bathroom floor. You need to angle the wet room floor tile gradients towards the drain to allow for proper shower drainage. The cost of your tiling will depend on the materials you use, as well as the size of the tiles. You could spend anywhere between £10 to £100 per square metre on your tiling. You also need to account for the cost of any adhesive, grout and spacers that you may need as part of the tiling process.

Prep work, fixtures and fitting

As with any home improvement project, planning and prep can have a huge impact on how much money you save. Think about how much work needs to be done to your bathroom. Is it a complete remodel or are there just minor changes needed to adapt to the wet room installation? Does tanking need to be installed? Does pipework need to be done? It's good to talk to a professional installer who can advise you on the work that needs to be done and how much the wet room installation costs.

Whilst it's good to save money where you can, it's never good to sacrifice quality by cutting corners. After all, that could cause damage in the long run, which would be much more expensive. Think of it as a long term investment.

Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating is a great way to help keep every part of your new wet room dry. Not to mention the cosy feeling of the warmth beneath your feet! You can install underfloor heating under a lot of different types of flooring including wood, tiles and carpet. It's important to remember you don't need to install any underfloor heating in the immediate shower area; the heat from the water and the sloped floor will stop any standing water causing damage to your new wet room (as well as the rest of your home).

The underfloor heating costs will start at around £100 and could cost upwards of £350, depending on the size and quality of the kit. A plumber will need to install the underfloor heating for you to ensure it's connected to the central heating system correctly. Electric underfloor heating mats are very popular as they're really easy to install, and come in a whole load of variety and sizes, which means you can purchase them based on cost to fit your budget.

Tile adhesive and grout

The cost of grout, tile adhesives, spacers and other tools will depend on the size of the wet room, as well as the brand of the products you want to use. Again, it's important to remember the cheapest option isn't necessarily the best in the long run!

Questions to consider when budgeting for your wet room

What is the size of your bathroom?

The features and fixtures you implement into your wet room will depend on the size of your existing bathroom. For example, if you have a smaller bathroom, you might not be able to incorporate a toilet installation or bathtub when you install your wet room.

What is your budget?

Of course, your budget will dictate the quality of fixtures, fittings and features in your wet room. However it's important not to sacrifice too much quality for the sake of saving money. Make sure you research thoroughly before making any investments to avoid spending money on repairs or replacements in the future.

If you want extra luxury features, you'll have to account for this in your budget as well. A basic wet room may not include everything you've envisioned for your new bathroom, and you'll have to budget accordingly. For example, if you want porcelain tiles, you're going to have to account for additional costs.

What's your time frame?

Don't just think about the actual time it will take to install the wet room. When you're thinking about your time frame, consider the planning, sourcing the products, sourcing the right professionals, as well as saving money to get the job done as best as possible. Whilst the work is being done, you'll need to make sure you have an alternative bathroom you can use. Planning ahead for this can help avoid some awkward moments!

Can you install a wet room yourself?

You might be tempted to install a wet room yourself. After all, it means you can save money on labour costs, right? And though it's definitely possible to install a wet room yourself, it's highly recommended you outsource a professional installer to do the job for you. They can ensure everything is properly installed and fitted safely, which can save you issues further down the line.

How much does a disabled wet room cost?

A wet room can be really good for people who need disabled access to their bathroom. Just like a standard wet room, the cost of a disabled wet room will depend largely on the size of the bathroom, the materials used, and the features needed to create disabled access. A disabled wet room may cost significantly more than a standard wet room because of additional costs like grab bars, wider doorways, shower seats, and non-slip flooring. A disabled wet room usually costs between £5,000 and £15,000. Again, it's always best to consult with a professional installer to ensure you have a good idea of the costs involved.

You might be eligible for disabled facilities grants which may help cover the costs of making accessibility changes to your home, like a disabled wet room installation.

How much value does a wet room add?

Wet rooms can add some serious value to your home, depending on how luxurious you make it and how it fits into your home. For example, if you convert a room into a wet room, this additional bathroom could add around 5% to the value of your home.

Not only that, adding a luxurious modern space in your home through a wet room installation can make it much more attractive to potential buyers. It also protects the space through waterproofing, and can even be a great way to make good use of a previously unused room.

Check out other ways to add value to a new build, as well as home improvements that won’t add value to your home.

Summary: Budget for the style, substance and size of your wet room

So, how much does a wet room cost? Unfortunately, there isn't really a simple answer. Wet room installation costs vary greatly depending on the type of wet room installed, the labour costs involved, the size and style of the wet room installation, and if you want to install any additional features.

Installing a wet room is no mean feat, but it can add some serious value to your home, which gives it great investment potential if you want to sell in the future. You'll be attracting buyers who want a modern, stylish feel to their new home and wet rooms are a great way to create that allure.

For an initial valuation of your home right now, check out our instant Online Valuation Tool here. It's a great starting point if you're thinking about selling your home, but want to add value before you put it on the market. Who knows, maybe a wet room installation could be the answer!

FAQs

Is a wet room more expensive than a traditional bathroom?

Yes, a wet room usually costs around 20% more than a traditional bathroom. The waterproofing (tanking) process, which is necessary for a wet room to function, accounts for most of this extra cost.

Can I turn any bathroom into a wet room?

Yes, you can turn any bathroom into a wet room, regardless of size or the design of your current bathroom.

What are the disadvantages of a wet room?

If wet rooms aren't looked after properly, they can get soggy and steamy, which can be a safety hazard. It's also important to keep them clean and fresh.

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