Remember how much fun it was as a kid to jump into puddles, run under sprinklers or shower your sister with the garden hose while claiming to wash your dad’s car in the driveway? There’s something very liberating about water and wide-open spaces… which perhaps explains some of the attraction of wet rooms, those trendy bathrooms in which, according to www.river-bed.ltd.uk, “the shower area is level with the surrounding floor.”
Of course, a barrier-free shower can be extra helpful to people with mobility disabilities — they don’t have to climb into the bathtub or a traditional shower to bathe, and the more spacious floorplan is easier for wheelchairs, walkers and wheeled commodes to negotiate. And wet rooms can provide more room to maneuver for caregivers who assist with bathing or dressing.
While wet rooms are often thought of as fanciful luxuries, companies who sell wet room fixtures and equipment say it doesn’t have to be that way. For instance, DIYwetroom.com says its site “demystifies the wet room, bringing it within reach of everyman” (apparently, the keys to wet room success are waterproofing and a good sealant). WetroomShowering.com says even a “windowless box room” or other small space can make a great wet room, as long as the room can handle the weight of the materials and can drain well.
Could wet rooms be the next big splash in the home accessibility market? To learn more on how wet rooms are created, go to http://design.hgtv.com/bath/Video_detail.aspx?id=905 to view an HGTV wet room case study.