The pros and cons of Water Resistant Flooring types - perfect for your wet room!
Wet rooms are a fairly recent styling choice for what essentially is a bathroom. A Wet Room is typically characterised by a walk in shower area instead of a full bath which creates more space and a sense of utility – giving more room for storage. They’re fantastic for all ages but particularly older people with mobility issues can benefit from having a wet room.
There’s usually no shower tray – the drain for the shower is built into the floor instead, so there’s no step to lift knees over making it ideal for elderly with joint issues and people with disabilities.
Last Updated: 26/07/2023
Wet rooms have advantages over regular bathrooms because they’re often easier to clean, are more spacious and they’re easier to place anywhere in a home – for example a utility room could become a wet room, or you could sacrifice some space of an existing room to create a wet room instead.
If you’re thinking of either creating a new wet room in your home, or converting your existing bathroom to one, a key part of the wet room will be its flooring. Let’s dig into which are the most suitable flooring types for a Wet Room.
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Designing a wet room that seamlessly combines style and practicality requires careful consideration, especially when it comes to choosing the right flooring. A wet room demands a flooring type that can withstand constant exposure to water, provide a safe and slip-resistant surface, and still exude elegance. We’re going to break down the top flooring choices—laminate, vinyl, and luxury vinyl tile (LVT)—for your wet room. From waterproof wonders to stunning designs, we’ll explore the benefits and potential issues of each option, helping you create a wet room that effortlessly marries form and function.
Laminate flooring is often seen in the wild in Kitchens, Dining Rooms, even living rooms, but for a wet room? It’s uncommon to say the least. While it’s true that the top layer of laminate is water resistant, meaning any small spills can just be wiped up. However, the tongue and groove section of laminate (how it slots together) is very rarely waterproof.
This means that any wet footsteps will seep into the cracks and swell the wood, which is what you don’t want. While it might be possible to go halfy-half on flooring to have laminate as the main flooring type with an actual waterproof flooring and some bath mats in areas you’ll likely stand on after getting out of the shower – such as the entrance to the shower and next to the sink, it’s not ideal. We’re going to strike laminate flooring off the list of suitable wet room flooring types.
Vinyl flooring is a tried-and-true option for both bathrooms and wet rooms due to its inherent water-resistant properties. Available in an array of designs and styles, vinyl offers the flexibility to replicate the look of natural materials, such as stone or wood, without the maintenance concerns. Its slip-resistant surface adds an extra layer of safety, making it an ideal choice for a wet room where safety is paramount. Ensure that the edges around the room and especially around the shower are fully sealed, and you’ve got yourself a budget friendly, stylish and truly suitable flooring type for your wet room!
LVT takes vinyl flooring to the pinnacle of luxury and functionality. Its waterproof core and resilient wear layer make it an exceptional choice for wet rooms. LVT can emulate the charm of high-end materials like marble or hardwood while being completely impervious to water damage. Experience the elegance of premium flooring without worrying about splashes or spills in your wet room. It also has sound dampening properties, so you’re safe for shower singing without criticism!
Stone tiles are the most common flooring type for wet rooms, and they have the extra benefit of being able to completely wrap around the walls too, making your wet room truly resistant to the damp you’ll be creating. They’re fully waterproof but they do come at a much higher cost than LVT and particularly higher than vinyl.
Style: All four flooring options, laminate, vinyl, LVT and Stone Tile, offer an extensive range of styles and designs to suit your wet room aesthetic. From rustic wood-look planks to modern stone-inspired tiles, you can effortlessly create a wet room that complements your interior vision.
Practicality: The waterproof nature of stone, vinyl, and LVT makes them highly practical choices for wet rooms. They resist water damage, warping, and mould growth, ensuring your flooring stands up to the daily challenges of a wet space. As we’ve stated, laminate is not a great match for wet rooms due to the lack of water resistance within the grooves, and you’ll likely see swelling after the first use of the shower.
Slip–Resistance: Stone, Vinyl and LVT are particularly known for their slip-resistant surfaces, providing an added layer of safety in wet room environments. Consider flooring with textured finishes or built-in slip-resistant features to minimize the risk of accidents.
Installation: Proper installation is essential to ensuring the durability of wet room flooring. Seek professional installation for a seamless and watertight finish. Additionally, choose flooring with tightly locked seams and waterproof underlayment to prevent water infiltration.
Price: Vinyl will always be the cheapest option and when sealed properly around the edges, is perfect for wet rooms due to its waterproof top protective layer. LVT will set you back slightly more but you’ll get a higher level of resistance and likely a higher quality texture on the surface, which is beneficial for stability when wet. Stone flooring and walls will be the most expensive option by far, but its durability will be unmatched and there’s no other option on this list that can match true stone flooring for its contemporary elegance, but LVT is a good substitute!
Transform your wet room into a splash-proof haven of style and practicality with the right flooring choice. Stone Tile, resilient vinyl, and luxurious LVT each offer a compelling combination of beauty and functionality for your wet room needs. Embrace the ease of maintenance, slip-resistance, and water resistance that these flooring types bring to your space. With a well-considered flooring decision and professional installation, you can create a wet room that embodies both elegance and resilience, ensuring a long-lasting and beautiful sanctuary for years to come.
For wet rooms on a budget, Vinyl is the way to go and you can even split the cost over time with Easipay Carpets and our Pay Weekly Vinyl plans! From as little as £10 per week you can get the flooring of your dreams with no credit checks needed. Underlay isn’t needed for vinyl, but with laminate and carpet we throw that in for free whenever suitable!
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