Wet Room installations have become more and more popular over the last 15 years, with homeowners keen to increase the value of their homes by fitting showers in the smallest of spaces, including chimney breasts and even behind wardrobes! (See photos) which we at the Bathroom Workshop have had much experience installing.
To most, wet room installations at first sound extremely appealing. Most are attracted by the freedom of showering in a completely water tight room, unrestricted by noticeably colder curtains, shower screens or cubicle door. However, a quick google search will strike fear into even the most experienced of DIY husbands and wives out there. With all the “cowboy builders” advertising themselves online it’s no surprise the countless numbers of stories circulating online of extensive water damage from persistent leaks seeping into the ceiling below, as is evident in the image below from one of our past clients who had a poorly fitted wet room floor (prior to our installation) which eventually caused the ceiling below to collapse.
The simple truth is that with the installation of wet rooms or walk in showers, comes the inevitable risk of leaks, and water damage, if the floor beneath the tiles is not sealed appropriately. Therefore it goes without saying that it is imperative to find reputable bathroom fitters with experience installing water tight flooring using high quality products to fully protect your newly renovated bathroom/wet room.
Although a quick search on the internet will show you that a host of products, and wet room kits are available on the market, these easy to install kits have their own drawbacks posing risks to your bathroom renovation, which many bathrooms fitters will be aware of, but which you as the homeowner may unfortunately not be. These kits are ultimately made of boards of timber, usually treated MDF which do not offer the best protection for your wet room. Any imperfection within the board allowing water to seep through will be absorbed causing the boards to bend in turn pushing and dislodging tiles. This creates pockets of air which allows water to seep through over time, leading to the damage shown in the image above if left unrepaired.
Therefore we at The Bathroom Workshop steer clear of these products. We have developed our own tried and tested unique method of rendering a wet room or walk in shower floor completely water tight. Our method has been developed from 30 years of experience in general construction working on full scale building renovations around London, which in many instances involved the sealing of flat roofs, has taught us that one of the best possible materials to protect your bathroom installation is fibre glass. In recent years, fibre glass resin has become more and more popular as a replacement for lead/tar on outdoor surfaces, mainly flat roofs, which as we all know living in the UK are constantly barraged by rain and winds on a nightly basis, what else is better therefore to protect your wet room installation from any possible leaks!
At the Bathroom Workshop we have therefore created a 100% water tight system to render your wet room installation completely impermeable, which we believe will last over 25 years through the use of fibre glass resin, OSB boards and Ardex WPC waterproof Pro tanking system.
We begin by lowering the floor of your existing bathroom down to the joists, we then fix 18mm OSB boards between the joists flat with the top, and then OSB boards of 12mm on top of everything, with this we create a slope of 15mm to 18mm for the water to fall towards the drain. We then apply the fibre glass resin all over the wet room floor and 30cm up the walls to create a completely impermeable membrane which is a much superior alternative to traditional wet room kits. The process does not end there though, in order to add an extra layer of protection to your newly installed wet room, the Bathroom Workshop applies a coat of Ardex WPC waterproof Pro tanking system to the walls within the shower area (see photo) (which as good practise any expert bathroom fitter should apply prior to tiling).
This coat is an intricate part in the process of installing a wet room, without it houses run the risk of leakage, it is used as an under tile protective coat, filling every nook and cranny to completely guarantee your wet room installation is totally waterproof.