Can You Have A Wet Room Upstairs? | Everything Explained
Have you ever stayed at a posh hotel and enjoyed the open bathroom concept? No shower curtains or doors are present. There is no lip to trip over when stepping under the shower. This design is a wet room. Are you wondering if you can install a wet room upstairs on the first or second floor of your home?
In this post, I’ll explain whether you can have a wet room upstairs, some considerations as well as answer a few common questions around the topic.
Let’s get into it!
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Can You Have A Wet Room Upstairs?
The short answer is yes. Wet rooms use the same types of fixtures as a standard bathroom without a heavy tub or formal shower enclosure.
You may be concerned about the weight of this type of room. The expanse of stone tiles or cement certainly looks heavy. But the fact is that the extra membranes needed for waterproofing do not add significant weight to the overall material list.
If you are worried, have an engineer take a look at your home’s structure before starting.
Wet rooms do come with a few potential problems. If it is not properly waterproofed or tanked, you can end up with water that gets under the floor tiles and leaks down onto your lounge ceiling.
You just need to ensure that you or your contractor take the extra steps needed to seal the entire room.
Considerations When Installing A Wet Room Upstairs
The floor of a wet room must be sloped towards the drain in all directions. This prevents puddling which can eat away at the grout and lead to a leak. You will likely need a lip at the door to prevent any water from seeping into the hall if the drain clogs.
The entire room must be tanked before you start tiling. After installing the standard moisture-resistant wallboard and subflooring, you will begin to waterproof the space.
First, you paint a flexible membrane onto all the walls. Next, add reinforcing tape to every joint including the insets for soap and shampoo.
Finally, you will install a wet room shower former or roll out another membrane for the floor.
You will also need to install electrical fixtures like the extractor fan with an IP rating suitable for a Zone 0 wet room. You won’t be able to have any shaver outlets or even a light switch inside the room.
The overhead lights must be operated using a pull chain or by a switch located outside the door.
When you take the proper precautions, you can enjoy a wet room as your master en suite.
Is A Wet Room More Expensive?
Wet room projects will typically have a much higher budget compared to installing a standard three-piece bathroom using acrylic fixtures. Instead of purchasing a shower enclosure for a few hundred pounds, you will be spending several thousand on a custom tiling job.
As such, many wet room designs feature luxury porcelain or stone floor and wall tiles. You can up your game another level and opt for a microcement installation–which also adds extra weeks to the job.
Even the lights and extractor fan will add to the bottom line as they must have an IPX7 rating instead of the standard IPX4 or IPX5.
Ultimately, a wet room isn’t a great design choice if you are doing a refresh on a tight budget.
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Can You Install A Wet Room On Timber Floors?
Yes, you can install a wet room on timber floors. This is usually achieved using one of two different approaches.
- A wet room floor former creates a waterproof shower floor while eliminating the possibility of damaging the timber structure. The former is a pre-moulded pan with a hole pre-cut for the drain. After measuring out the shape of the form, you will cut out the subfloor and remove the timber.
The form is screwed down and sealed in place. The former is properly sloped to encourage drainage. Once installed, you tile over it for that seamless appearance.
- Your second option is using a product like Tilesure from CCL. The 1.4mm thick membrane has a self-adhesive backing. Just roll it out and you can immediately tile over it.
This approach preserves the original timber floors while protecting them from potential water damage.
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Can You Put A Bath In A Wet Room?
In short, Yes. If your wet room is large enough, you can add the bath to your design.
The bath requires a separate drain from the walk-in shower waste. This ensures that should you be taking a long soak while your spouse takes a shower, the drain will not be overburdened resulting in a flood.
Can You Have A Wet Room Under The Stairs?
If you are committed to having a shower under your stairs, going with a wet room design could be a smart approach.
You will need to follow all the same processes as a standard-sized wet room. The floors, walls, and electrical systems must all be waterproofed before you install tile and sanitaryware.
If anything, it’s the best application for a wet room. The smaller size makes it more affordable. The thorough waterproofing helps to protect one of the most vital structures of your home.
Finally, you won’t waste any room on shower doors or half-tubs. You get extra elbow room for your morning ablutions without sacrificing daily function.
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There you have it! Everything you need to know about installing a wet room upstairs.
While it is completely possible to install a wet room upstairs (or most anywhere for that matter) there are still some important considerations to make and think about when doing so.
However, if you get the fundamentals of wet room installation correct you shouldn’t have any problem wherever you choose to put one in your home.
So, will you go for a wet room in your new home renovation?
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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.