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Bathroom Design: Wet Room or Dry Room

Posted on 09 Jul, 2024

Bathroom design has changed dramatically over the years, with homeowners and designers finding new ways to create functional and visually beautiful environments. Wet rooms and dry rooms are the main two bathroom types, both with their own supporters. In the office we are divided in preference so thought we would look at the benefits and drawbacks of each, highlighting the variables to consider when deciding between the two.

Wet bathroom design trends

With this design, the shower and the rest of the bathroom occupy one open space. There are no walls or curtains between the shower area from the washbasin and toilet, in contrast to traditional arrangements. Usually, the entire floor slopes in the direction of a central drain to guarantee enough water flow. This gives the impression of space and an opulent shower experience, but it might call for additional ventilation and special cleaning techniques.


1. Open and Spacious: Open and spacious bathroom designs foster a feeling of openness and flow by doing away with the necessity for a typical shower enclosure. This enhances the perception of available space and adds to the atmosphere's visual appeal.

2. Accessibility: Showers with easy-to-access designs make it unnecessary to step over curbs, making bathing safer and more convenient, especially for people with mobility requirements. 

3. Increased Functionality: Overall, the bathroom is more useful because there is no shower tray or door to impede easy entry or better mobility.

4. Improved Hygiene: Open shower designs with entirely waterproof floors minimise hidden areas where mould and mildew can thrive. This allows for easier cleaning and, overall, better hygiene maintenance within the bathroom space.


1. Water Leakage: The surrounding environment might be damaged and even the structural stability of the building jeopardised by improper installation or inadequate waterproofing.

2. Higher Initial Cost: Generally speaking, these open shower designs need a larger initial outlay than conventional bathroom designs. This is because drainage and waterproofing in particular call for careful design and execution.

3. Slippery Surfaces: Tile flooring is common in moist rooms, and when wet, it can become slick. For older or less mobile people in particular, this may pose a safety risk. Installing grab bars and choosing non-slip tiles can reduce this risk.

Design Considerations

Ensuring adequate waterproofing and drainage is essential when building to avoid water damage. This could include a sloped floor installation, the use of waterproof materials for the walls and floor, and the addition of a linear or centrally positioned drain. Given that moisture buildup can be more likely in wet spaces, lighting and ventilation should also be carefully considered. Adding a built-in seating area and storage can make the area more practical.

Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Cleaning and caring for a damp room on a regular basis will help to prevent mildew growth. This can include wiping off extra water with a squeegee after every usage, giving the walls and floor a frequent wash with a light detergent, and making sure there is enough ventilation to keep the area dry.

Dry bathroom design

It is a design in which the shower or bathtub has its own designated area, separate from the toilet and sink. This separation, typically by a wall, curtain, or glass partition, keeps most of the bathroom floor dry. This promotes better ventilation and makes cleaning more convenient.


1. Defined Spaces: For those yearning for a moment of solitude in the loo, designated spaces offer the perfect solution. With separate areas for showering, using the toilet, and washing up, everyone can comfortably claim their spot without the chaotic dance of morning and evening routines.

2. Easier Installation: In most cases, setting up a bathroom without wet areas tends to be more cost-effective. With fewer requirements for preparation and waterproofing, you might find yourself with some extra cash to splurge on those luxurious bathroom towels you've had your eye on.

3. Versatility: Spaces without wet areas are more versatile than those with specific arrangement requirements. By placing the shower, washbasin, and toilet where it suits their preferences and plumbing constraints, homeowners can truly tailor the area to their liking.

4. Resale Value: If you're contemplating selling your home in the future, opting for this type of bathroom could be a savvy move. The broader appeal of a traditional bathroom layout to a wider range of potential buyers might enhance your house's resale value.


1. Restricted Space: The shower enclosure and other fixtures take up significant floor space, making it feel cramped and small.

2. Maintenance Difficulties: A shower enclosure and other fixtures can make cleaning and maintaining the bathroom more difficult, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

3. Potential Water Leak: Although less frequent in dry areas, inadequate construction or maintenance of the shower enclosure could result in water leaks.

Design considerations

In a bathroom, the focus of design shifts to arranging fixtures and other elements in a way that is visually appealing and harmonious. This can entail selecting a useful shower enclosure, setting up the vanity and toilet, and offering storage options to keep everything organised.

Maintenance and cleaning tips

Maintaining the cleanliness of shower enclosures and fittings requires attention to detail. Regular cleaning should include wiping down the vanity, scrubbing the grout between tiles, and thoroughly cleaning the shower door or curtain for optimal appearance. These steps ensure a pristine shower space.

Factors to consider when deciding between different bathroom setups

When deciding between different bathroom options, consider the following factors:

Available Space: Larger bathrooms work better with wet bathrooms because they require more floor space to support their open shape. In contrast, for smaller bathrooms, dry rooms could make more sense.

Accessibility: Because of their more user-friendly and accessible design, a wet room could be a better option for mobility requirements.

Water Damage Concerns: Because it is frequently less prone to leaks or moisture-related issues, it can be a safer choice if you live in a high-humidity area or are concerned about water damage.

Design Preference:  Wet rooms tend to have a more contemporary and minimalist design, dry rooms can provide a more traditional space and have more options to mix and match.

Cost comparisons

In comparison to standard dry rooms with separate showers, wet rooms are substantially more expensive due to the need for considerable waterproofing, specific flooring, and adequate drainage. Conversely, dry bathrooms represent a more straightforward method. They have a separate shower area with a shower tray or enclosure, which keeps water contained. This results in less expensive installation and simpler bathroom upkeep.

Ultimately, whether the choice leans towards one type or another is a matter of personal taste, available space, and specific requirements and considerations.

For the most recent job openings in the design field, whether you're seeking a new position or are interested in furthering your career, visit Careers in Design.

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