As wetroom demand increases within the installation market, what do installers need to know to keep up? Shaun Hunt, Technical Manager at Impey Wetrooms, provides some advice about current wetroom trends.
Latest forecasts from the AMA Wetroom Market Report predict that the wetroom market will be valued at £106 million by 2021. The versatility of a wetroom installation means that specification is continuing to increase across all sectors, from newbuild homes and residential refurbs to accessible living developments, hotels, leisure facilities, and healthcare services.
Merchants are also recognising showrooms as a valuable resource in the sales cycle, and fitting or upgrading wetroom displays, which in turn offers installers an ideal location to visit along with consumers for inspiration, demonstration, or product choice.
Within this trend, the opportunity to consider accessibility is also significant. Many consumers are installing accessible showering options to ensure their homes are future proof, to create lifetime homes, to facilitate multi-generational living, or to accommodate the requirements of visiting family or friends.
One of the hottest-topics surrounding wetroom installation is waterproofing or tanking, as it’s known in the trade, and it’s certainly true that time and effort spent creating effective tanking is never wasted.
The minimum requirement for wetroom tanking is 600mm surrounding the floor former, but we generally advise that it’s preferable to waterproof the whole floor and also the walls if possible, and not just the area around the wetroom floor former. Although the showering area may only be the equivalent size to the footprint of a regular enclosure, the way in which a homeowner uses a wetroom can be significantly different; no longer feeling the need to contain the water in one area or worry about splashes throughout the room.
Considering this, many installers like to waterproof walls and floors, finding that the ‘belt and braces’ approach gives complete peace of mind. For this method, we would advise fully tanking the walls first, as it reduces the risk of damaging the floor membrane while working on it.
Get the look
With a large percentage of product spend in the wetroom sector focused on wetroom floor formers, it’s important to understand how to select the right floor former for the project or floor substrate you’re working on. As well as simplicity of installation and performance differences, also consider the overall look that your client would like to achieve.
Linear wetroom styling is at the height of popularity right now, with contemporary, elongated drainage apertures, placed close to and in-line with the wall, capturing consumer attention. A linear wetroom can be created with either a pre-formed wetroom floor former or a screed template, depending on the situation of the wetroom installation.
Zoning and glass choices
Specific to the layout and size of the wetroom you’re installing, a glass panel (or configuration of panels) may be required. An arrangement of panels can create ‘zones’ within the wetroom to contain and/or deflect water, ensuring that sanitaryware, towels, and toilet roll are kept dry.
Modern frameless wetroom screens are popular, mirroring the ongoing trend for contemporary wetroom design. For awkwardly shaped rooms, bespoke glass screens are readily available to fit exact measurements, including angled, notch cut, and extra width/height panels.
The Impey ‘We Are Wetrooms’ training tour, which provides in-depth knowledge of wetroom installation techniques, has its final courses of 2018 scheduled for 17 and 31 October. Announcements regarding the 2019 ‘We Are Wetrooms’ tour, dates, and venues will be available in the Impey website soon. To register interest visit the Impey website.