DIY Guide To Installing a Wetroom.

Discussion in 'Bathrooms, Showers and Wetrooms' started by cr0ft, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. cr0ft

    cr0ft Plumbers Arms member

    Hi all. We frequently get customers who are worried about having a wetroom because of problems like this: -

    20131021_130234.jpg

    This was caused by a wetroom that was installed incorrectly. If you want a wetroom but aren't sure whether you want to get a tradesperson in to do it, here's a guide to the installation procedure. If after reading it, you decide you might want to get a local tradesman in - look at our website if you live close to Lincoln!
     
  2. lame plumber

    lame plumber Plumbers Arms member

    it is a wet room, cant deny that :)
     
  3. cr0ft

    cr0ft Plumbers Arms member

    Firstly, these projects usually start by stripping the existing bathroom out. If the floor isn't completely level the joists need to be levelled in order to easily get the correct sloped when tiling the floor (this guide assumed you will be tiling the floor). There are several methods to level a floor. Perhaps the simplest method is to shim the joists either with bits of timber or with hard plastic shims. Shims used to make door frames level/plumb are very strong and can be safely used to shim joists to get them level. One shim should be placed where each screw will go through the floor into the joists.

    We also screw the shims down to the joists to stop them moving when the floor is put down.

    Check all shims are level in all directions before laying the floor.

    On a concrete floor, you will have to level the floor in other ways if it is not level. Either re-screed it or use a self levelling compound before continuing.

    A level sub-floor is essential to ensure that the small amount of water that goes through the grout onto the waterproofing sits there till it evaporates. You don't want it running out the door!

    Our installation here is on a suspended floor, so we have used an Impey Aquadec wetroom tray. For some reason, WBP Plywood comes in 18mm and 24mm thicknesses for flooring. Most wetroom trays are 21mm. By using shims on the joists you can easily adjust the flooring to get it all level.

    Once you've done all this work and cut the new floor, it should look something like this: -

    20131023_110634.jpg

    Jump about on the new floor. Walk around and check for creaks. Any creaking means the floor is not stable. Check you have screwed and supported the floor properly before continuing. Creaking now = tiles moving later = very bad!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  4. cr0ft

    cr0ft Plumbers Arms member

    Next, the walls need to be sorted. The whole room is going to be completely waterproofed with a tanking system soon, so really you can use whatever you want on the walls. We tend to use moisture resistant plasterboard on the walls. It's pretty cheap and a good strong base to tile on.

    Cutting plasterboard to fit the walls is pretty easy. You can score it on the front side with a stanley knife then break it by putting your knee into the back of the score. Finally, just cut it with the stanley knife down the back.

    Fix to the wall with plasterboard screws.

    The finished result looks something like this: -

    View attachment 15513
     
  5. cr0ft

    cr0ft Plumbers Arms member

    Now it's time to waterproof (tank) the whole room. This is probably the most important part of the wetroom installation. If this is done incorrectly the room will quickly fall apart. There are various ways to lay the tanking matting correctly though.

    We lay the floor matting first. All of the matting is fixed using a cement based tile adhesive. One 20kg bag normally fixes a 5m roll of matting.

    We make sure the floor matting goes 10cm up the walls on all sides. All rolls of matting should also overlap each other by 10cm too. All overlaps are sealed with tile adhesive. Overlaps on walls should be done such that the lower roll of matting is tucked underneath the upper roll.

    Any gaps around pipes are filled with a GOOD quality silicon sealant. Cheap stuff comes loose with time.

    Here's what it should look like when you are done: -

    View attachment 15514
     
  6. cr0ft

    cr0ft Plumbers Arms member

    Now the time-consuming bit. We're ready to tile. Spend a good bit of time planning out where each tile is going to sit to ensure there are no small cuts anywhere. Are the walls completely flat? Just because you've fitted new plasterboard to existing studwork doesn't mean they will be of course. The walls will only be as flat as the studwork behind. Are there any shaver sockets or fan vents to cut round? If so, try to make sure there's at least one grout line running across them. It will make cutting tiles round them much, much easier.

    You need to make sure you bring tiles out from the wall with tile adhesive as required to make sure the finished tiled wall is completely flat, level and plumb.

    There are lots of ways to tile. We find the quickest way is to set out the first row of tiles all the way around the room. A laser level is a brilliant investment here if you will be doing more than one room. The same door-frame shims you bought for levelling the floor are fantastic for making sure the first row of tiles is exactly level.

    Once the first row is perfectly level, all the other ones above should be, if you are using decent tiles and spacers that is! From here, just tile up the walls, constantly checking the level with your spirit level or laser level.

    These spacers are fantastic too by the way. The only spacers I have used that are exactly the same thickness from one to the other. I have tried Rubi spacers, Topps Tiles one, the lot. If anyone wants to know where to get hold of them, drop me a PM.

    Here's how things should look when you start tiling the room.

    View attachment 15515
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  7. cr0ft

    cr0ft Plumbers Arms member

    I'm finishing tiling this at the moment so expect the next installment in a couple of days!
     
  8. cr0ft

    cr0ft Plumbers Arms member

    lol :)
     
  9. basildog

    basildog Banned

    The whole wet room thing in this country just does not work in my opinion !
    Timber of any kind is on the move all the time and the rubbish we now have supplied just beggars belief ?
    I used to put in a fair few laundry rooms and they are all tanked out with asphaltic before and work starts .
    You really need a concrete or brick construction to be totally sure I believe although we started using Knauf Aqua panel over 20 years ago when it was special order and the merchants thought you were mad not using plasterboard or ply in showers !
    Always ordered stone trays with upstands too as back then the number 1 reason for call backs on new housing was listed as leaking showers !
    So many wonderful very technical looking wonder materials on the market these days but start working on a 300 year old house that you can hear creaking as the weather changes you need to think again ?
     
  10. cr0ft

    cr0ft Plumbers Arms member

    As in my post above, I wouldn't continue past the floor stage if I could hear it creaking when I jump about on it. I wouldn't recommend anyone does to be honest. I thinks we both agree that movement in the building is a killer for any room, a wetroom, shower room or even the seal around a bath. This is the #1 cause of showers failing in new builds, the first floors just aren't strong enough to stop a shower tray flexing. Upstands are just hiding the root problem though imo. I had to rip both of our shower trays out in our new build we bought and ended up sitting the trays on the floor instead of on riser kits as the builder did. Only then did they stop leaking. This was after 6 months of the builder sending in 'plumbers' to try and fix the issue.

    I would certainly agree with you regarding a 300 year old house but to be honest 300 year old houses are very much in the minority of houses in this country. For most houses built in the last 60 years or so a wetroom is a very sensible option for persons whose mobility is starting to go. In fact, when you can't really get into a bath any more or step up to get into a shower, they quickly become the best option. I've yet to find a suspended wooden floor I can't get to stop squeaking, even if it needs cross-bracing between the joists to strengthen it first.

    Never had a callback to a leaking wetroom yet that we've fitted this way to be honest.

    Do agree with you that a concrete floor is best though!
     
  11. Dan

    Dan Plumbers Forum Admin Staff Member

    Awesome thanks. Keep up the good work.
     
  12. Dan

    Dan Plumbers Forum Admin Staff Member

  13. cr0ft

    cr0ft Plumbers Arms member

    Ok, finally. Wall tiling is done, including a little mosaic section. Note that I've left the silicon sealant work till the end, once everything else is done in the wetroom. All the dust from the construction work sticks to it as it's drying otherwise and it looks rubbish! All floor to wall joints, wall to wall joints and wall to ceiling joints should be filled with silicon sealant and not grout! The same goes for around the door architrave and window frame/sill.

    20131031_135247.jpg

    Once this is done then the next step is to tile the floor. This is where it gets difficult!

    20131031_135215.jpg

    The first thing you should do is to draw 4 lines running from the centre of the wetroom drain to the edges of the wetroom tray. These lines are the diagonal lines you can see in this picture. You can change the angle of these slightly if required to ensure that all cuts look neat.

    Depending on the wetroom tray and how you need to set out the tiles, you may also need to split the tiles with cuts along the edge of the tray. Here, we've made a cut along one edge of the wetroom tray. The reason for this is the tray slopes very steeply on that side and if we didn't cut the tile there the rest of the floor would be covered in about an inch of tile adhesive!

    The side of the tray at the bottom of the picture is on a very shallow angle so no cut is required here.

    All the additional cuts are made with a wet cutter to get them looking neat. Take care when cutting diagonal cuts on the wet cutter - it is much more likely that the tile edge will chip if you rush it. Try to cut the tile in several passes.

    Once you've divided the floor into 4 with the diagonal cuts, simply slope each part of the floor back to the tray once you are out of the tray area. The slope is about right when a spirit level placed on the surface of the tile has the edge of the bubble touching the first line from the centre.

    Tiling the wetroom tray takes a good few hours to do properly so don't rush it. From there the rest of the floor is much easier.
     
  14. GasmanxxxR1

    GasmanxxxR1 Plumbers Arms member

    Cant wait for the next instalment!
     
  15. SimonG

    SimonG UK Plumbersforums Trusted Advisor.

    I prefer mosaic in the actual shower area, easier to form and also the extra grout lines give you extra grip when wet. But ultimately it's the custs choice.
     
  16. phil the bucket

    phil the bucket New Member

    The pebble effect looks good also
     
  17. Chalked

    Chalked Plumbers Arms member

    Just be careful not to use mosaics on expanded foam tray formers as the point loading is too high.
    50mm x 50mm is generally the smallest you can go. Solid shower formers are ok for anything smaller than that.
     
  18. Alanc

    Alanc Plumbers Arms member

    Croft do you have any more pics taken at the early stages, eg the wetroom tray ?. Your posts 4,5 & 6 pictures not showing.
     
  19. cr0ft

    cr0ft Plumbers Arms member

    Hi all. Sadly not, I only thought to make a guide of it once the floor was down!! Not sure what is going on with the pictures, I uploaded them through the forum and they seemed to work to start with. Will try and finish the guide off when I get time. The finished photos look nice, except the customer wanted to re-use her existing sanitaryware which spoils the look somewhat imo :(
     
  20. steveb

    steveb Super Moderator

    don't you just hate customers when they do that?
     

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