HVP attended an Impey wetroom training day at Ascot to find out more about the company’s offering for installers.
Wetrooms are becoming more popular among homeowners looking to create a more luxurious and user-friendly bathroom for the whole family, and they offer a number of advantages.
Level access throughout the whole room reduces the risk of trips and falls; tanking of the whole room – or a wet area – gives the customer peace of mind against future leaks; and they’re compatible with underfloor heating for added comfort.
However, for installers who’ve never attempted to fit one before, they can also be a little daunting.
There are a number of factors to consider, including the area that needs to be tanked, the area that needs to be heated, the positioning of the waste, shower, screen and sanitaryware, and the tiling. There are also a number of options, from plywood to screed, in order to achieve the right gradient for drainage.
Impey has been operating in the wetroom market for more than 20 years, and launched its first domestic floor former in 2004. As such, the company is well placed to offer help to installers wanting to gain a little more confidence in the technology before giving it a go for themselves.
Introduction to wetrooms
Shaun Hunt, Technical Manager at Impey, hosted the Ascot training day – one of 12 being held around the UK this year.
Having worked with Impey for 12 years, he has also fitted his fair share of wetrooms and was able to talk installers through the process from a position of practical experience and understanding.
First of all, he gave a brief introduction to the company and the wetroom market, explaining that while there still seems to be a bit of a fear culture surrounding the technology in the UK, it is used widely in the rest of Europe.
He also outlined the many applications, both commercial and domestic, in which a wetroom might be the most suitable solution, highlighting the advantages for the installer and end-user.
Mr Hunt then talked through three key considerations when fitting a wetroom: gradient, drainage and waterproofing, and the finer points of each.
The practical side of the training naturally focused around the company’s product offering, specifically looking at the AquaDec Easyfit, Aqua-Dec Linear, Aqua Grade and WaterGuard.
Mr Hunt talked through each product, demonstrating its ease of use and giving installers the chance to get a feel for each one themselves.
Attendees agreed that the rotating waste used in the Aqua Dec floor formers was particularly useful and many were surprised to learn the formers could be cut to size if required.
Of specific interest to the installers who attended was the WaterGuard tanking membrane. They were given the chance to lay strips of this themselves and had the opportunity to ask any questions they had.
A common concern was how to lay it smoothly, without air bubbles forming, and Mr Hunt was able to demonstrate this and explain that it could be cut into more manageable strips if one person was laying the product instead of two.
Mr Hunt also highlighted the technical assistance the company is able to offer to installers, from design right through to completion. As well as a number of documents and videos available on the website, the technical team is always on hand to take phone calls and offer advice during installation.
Of the 19 installers that attended the training, just three said they had fitted a wetroom before. Many had signed up specifically because they had wetroom work already lined up.
“I wanted to do this training before attempting to fit a wetroom; it was a necessity for me,” said Paul McNaughton of Centreline. “I’d absolutely recommend it to others.”
Gavin Barnden of G Barnden Plumbing & Heating agreed: “It was nice to see the different systems available and how to install them. It’s something I’m looking to add to my services once I get going and it’s just trying to find the right product. I like this; it looks good and easy to use,” he said.
Seeing the products in the flesh and having the opportunity to speak to the trainers running the course gave attendees much more confidence in their own ability to fit a wetroom, and people were particularly pleased to hear about the company’s aftersales support.
“It’s certainly something I’m less concerned about doing now than I was. It’s handy to know they have the technical helpline so you can talk to someone while on the job,” said installer Peter Hammond.
“The support that is offered will be invaluable. As always, with the first time you might have some problems and it’s nice to know you can fall back on them to ask for assistance.”
“The fact that there are YouTube videos available and such is great – in today’s marketplace, it’s what everyone goes to,” added David Rowe, of David Rowe Plumbing & Heating.
For more information, visit www.impeyshowers.com/training.aspx.