Wet Room Flooring Options | A Complete Guide

Yes! You are finally treating yourself to the ultimate home spa with the installation of a wet room. Since water is always flowing downhill, your flooring will be the most important part of the bathroom to keep it sealed and prevent water from damaging the structure of your home. What types of wet room flooring is right for your project?

In this post, I’ll go over wet room flooring options, their pros and cons as well as what to consider when choosing the best wet room flooring for your bathroom renovation project.

Let’s dive in!

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Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wet Room Flooring

While picking up samples for your wet room flooring at your local bathroom design centre, keep these important features in mind when making your final choice.

Does It Have Enough Grip?

A typical shower tray or tub generally has a no-slip surface built into the unit. Your wet room flooring may get soaked at any time, so you will want a product that provides a good grip even when wet. Avoid smooth tiles or polished concrete and opt for a textured finish.

Look For Water Resistant Or Waterproof Products

The point of a wet room is that every corner can be reached by the spray from your shower head. Your flooring should be able to withstand constant exposure to moisture while protecting the finish. Consider other items and sanitaryware in your wet room and the materials they are made from. If they are exposed to regular soaking are they waterproof/water resistant or will they suffer from water damage?

Is It Compatible With Underfloor Heating?

Are you including radiant underfloor heating in your wet room design? Some flooring responds very well to changes in temperature–like tile, stone, or cement. Other types of flooring such as wood or vinyl may be listed as compatible but will degrade over time with the combination of water and heat. That can lead to water getting under the flooring and causing damage to the subfloor or structure.

What Is Your Budget For Wet Room Flooring?

When building a wet room, you should anticipate that just about everything will cost more compared to traditional flooring materials. It may be tempting to do this job on the cheap, but that is a shortcut to costly home repairs.

Wet Room Flooring Material Options

Explore some of the most popular materials, the hottest trends, and economical choices available for your wet room flooring project.  

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain Tiles in bathroom wet room

Porcelain tiles remain one of the most popular flooring options for wet rooms. They are affordable and available in a huge range of sizes and colours. Go for a single colour or mix and match to make a pattern or mosaic. Do not confuse the porcelain with ceramic tiles. Ceramic is more porous, meaning it is more likely to absorb water. Look for a tile finished with a textured surface created for wet room applications.


  • Affordable
  • Available in a wide variety of colour and patterns
  • Use the same workers to lay the floor and tile your walls
  • The best option for use with underfloor heating


  • Tiles can crack, requiring an expert to repair
  • Can be slippery
  • Hard surface making slip and falls painful

Price Range for Materials: £12 per sq/m to £80 per sq/m

Natural Stone Tile

If you are in search of a luxurious floor for your wet room flooring, you may want to consider materials such as marble, travertine, granite, or soapstone. You can find tiles in square, rectangle, or other geometric shapes to develop a surface that belongs in an upscale spa. You can use the same tiles for the walls and floor. While stone is a natural product that lasts for millions of years out in nature, it is not non-porous. It will need to be sealed on a regular basis, and it will develop a patina over the years. It requires precise installation to prevent future cracks and is heavy. Meaning it may not be a suitable choice for a wet room on an upper floor.


  • Opulent look and feel
  • Trending for contemporary home design
  • Lasts a lifetime
  • Works well with underfloor heating


  • Tiles can crack, requiring an expert to repair
  • Needs regular sealing to prevent discolouration
  • Difficult to create the proper slope for your floor drain
  • Pricey

Prince Range for Materials: £30 to £200 per sq/m


Vinyl flooring for bathroom

You can use rolled vinyl floors or tiles for your wet room, but you will need a vinyl compatible drain. Or you may want to use a standard in-floor shower tray or a different material for the shower area. People love the look of vinyl. You can find it in unique patterns or as a mimic for wood flooring. It’s easy to install, very affordable, and is soft underfoot making it a great option for families with kids or for an individual that may be unsteady on their feet. It will also work with underfloor heating, but the constant heating and cooling cycle may affect its adhesive. It is not recommended for a small wet room where every corner can be sprayed by the shower.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • A softer surface that is great for the elderly or very young
  • Works with underfloor heating


  • Soft tiles can get scratched or damaged leading to water infiltration under the floor
  • Constant heating and cooling cycle from underfloor heat may limit its lifetime
  • Requires the installation of a compatible drain or different shower tray for proper drainage

Price Range for Materials: £6 to £20 per sq/m


Microcement bathroom flooring in wet room

One of the hottest looks in the industrial home decor market features microcement flooring, counters, and even walls. Its seamless and waterproof application makes it an excellent option for your wet room design. It is laid in very thin layers, reducing the weight often associated with concrete flooring. It can be tinted, textured, and finished in a pattern or style of your choosing. You can tank the entire wet room with this product for a unified appearance that can be sanitised using your shower head and an appropriate cleaner. It won’t fade or stain and is nearly impervious to cracking. It is an expensive option, and it will take a minimum of seven days to dry before you can walk on it and up to a month before the room can go into full operation.


  • Polished professional finish highlighting the industrial home trend
  • Can be applied on the floor and walls
  • Requires no sealing or special maintenance
  • Easy to clean and sanitise


  • One of the most expensive types of flooring on the market
  • Requires trained and experienced installers
  • Hard surface making slip and falls painful
  • Requires extensive drying time

Price Range for Material and Installation: £80 to £120 per sq/m

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Stop! Don’t imagine your bathroom covered in black rubber tiles like your uncle’s garage. Rubber can be the right choice for your wet room flooring, You can find it in a range of colours and patterns that complement your modern decor. It is soft underfoot, making it an attractive option for kids and the elderly. It is also very affordable and can last up to 20 years. Some homeowners have raised concerns about the smells that are associated with the flooring and the adhesive. Ask your contractor about potential off-gassing and any safety alerts included on the material packaging.


  • Fast and easy installation.
  • Affordable price
  • Able to last up to 20 years
  • Soft under your feet and on kid’s knees


  • Known for noticeable off-gassing during and after installation
  • Can develop scratches and divots over the years
  • Poor installation can result in hidden water damage

Price Range for Materials: £20 to £40 per sq/m

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How Do You Build A Wet Room Floor?

You can install a wet room on a concrete foundation or over the timber structure found in most homes.

You will need to remove the existing subfloor planks around the area for the shower pan and reinforce the timber structure with noggins and battens to support the weight of the new floor and flooring.

Make sure to cut a path for the drainpipe before you install the flexible walk-in shower pan.

Install the drain and then the shower pan.

Fill in the gap between the pan and the edge of the subfloor with plywood. Now you are ready to waterproof or tank the floor.

*Before cutting away or cutting into existing battens and noggins, consult with an engineer to ensure that you are not affecting the support structure of your home.*

How Do You Waterproof A Wet Room Floor?

You will need to tank the room by using a waterproofing membrane such as AKW Formsafe. After levelling the existing floor, install the sealant tape at every wall and floor junction. Apply the adhesive for the roll of Formsafe and then roll out the membrane. Cut out the floor drain and let the adhesive cure following the instructions.

Add a final bead of sealant around the edges of the membrane where it meets the sealant tape. The wet room is now ready for the installation of underfloor heating and flooring material.

What Is The Best Flooring For A Wet Room?

If price and time is no obstacle, then microcement creates a completely sealed floor with no seams. No matter what other type of flooring you use, seams can fail which can let water get behind the wall or floor. If you are looking for a time tested answer that works well with most budgets, porcelain floor tile cannot be beaten for durability and price.

Final Thoughts…

There you have it. The complete guide to wet room flooring options.

Ultimately, your wet room bathroom should be designed to invite and inspire you to wallow in a steaming hot shower without worry. When you work with a fabulous bathroom design centre or contractor, you can get the flooring look you love that will also keep your bathroom waterproof for many years.


Michael R

Michael is a KBB designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom installations for over eight years now, and before that, he was an electrician and part of a KBB fitting team. He created The Bathroom Blueprint in early 2020.