Wet Room Or Shower Tray – Which Is Right For You? | Checkatrade
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Wet room or shower tray – which is right for you?

Shower rooms are more popular than ever, with more and more homeowners opting for a shower tray or wet room over a traditional bathroom with a bathtub. If you’re struggling to decide, help is at hand.

Shower rooms are more popular than ever. More and more homeowners opt for a shower tray or wet room over a traditional bathroom with a bathtub.

If you’re struggling to decide, then this guide will help you decide. We’ve covered the differences to help you decide whether a shower tray or wet room is the right choice for you and your bathroom.

What is the difference between a wet room and a shower?

Wet rooms and walk-in showers both offer an open, accessible showering experience, but there are some key differences. The first, and most obvious difference between a wet room and a shower is the layout. A wet room is completely open plan (although some may feature a shower screen) whereas a walk-in shower will always feature a screen.

One of the other main differences between a wet room and a walk-in shower is the flooring. A wet room typically has the same flooring throughout the whole room and the drainage is built into the floor. Whereas a walk-in shower will generally feature either a shower tray or separate tiling for the shower area.

Which is best… a wet room or shower tray?

There’s no one right answer when it comes to choosing a shower tray or wet room for your home, and they both offer practical solutions. The decision will depend on the space and layout of your bathroom, and how you plan to use the space.

Walk-in shower tray

Walk-in shower tray

Walk-in shower trays are one of those features in a home that really adds impact, as well as a wonderfully practical and durable solution for your bathroom. And the great thing is shower trays come in a wide range of sizes and a variety of materials to suit any shower room.

From classic white for a smart, modern finish to slate effect for a more natural feel underfoot. Shower trays are also designed with two sections in mind, one end for showering and the other end for drying off.

Benefits of a walk-in shower tray:

  • An ideal choice for small bathrooms or en-suites.
  • Creates the feeling of space.
  • Offer flexibility for bathroom layouts.
  • An excellent option for accessibility.
  • More affordable than replacing the flooring for wet room drainage.
  • The popular selling feature for potential buyers.
  • Low maintenance compared to traditional shower enclosures.

Drawbacks of a walk-in shower tray:

  • The shower screen can still cause some issues with accessibility.
  • Not generally suitable for wheelchair access.

Wet rooms

Wet room shower

In the past, wet rooms were generally considered a bathroom solution for older people or those with mobility issues needing a more accessible shower experience. However, things have changed and although wet rooms are still an excellent choice for accessible showering, they’ve also become more popular as an option for any home.

Creating a wet room can really open up your shower room to give a feeling of space. And creating a floor that is flush with the rest of the bathroom is a style choice that many homeowners love.

Benefits of a wet room:

  • Ultimate accessibility with a completely open-plan layout.
  • Creates a feeling of luxury.
  • A great choice for small bathrooms to create a feeling of space.
  • Low maintenance with very few nooks to worry about.

Drawbacks of a wet room:

  • Generally a lot more expensive than a walk-in shower.
  • Everything can get wet if completely open plan.
  • The whole room can get steamy and damp.
  • Wet room floors can get slippery (unless you use install non-slip flooring).
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Shower tray vs wet room – how much do they cost?

There’s no doubt that cost will affect the decision you make between a shower tray or a wet room. Let’s take a look at what you might need to pay for either option.

The average cost of a walk-in shower with shower tray is around £1,100, depending on the size and specification of the shower. If you go for a wet room the average cost is around £8,000. So that’s quite a big difference.

You can find out more about prices in our handy cost guides:

To get accurate prices for your shower room project, we recommend speaking to at least three shower room specialists. They can advise you on the best options for your home and provide accurate quotes for you to compare.

As with all home improvement projects, we always recommend obtaining at least three quotes from different tradespeople in your area. You’ll want to shop around to make sure you’re paying a fair and competitive price for the work. And, thankfully, we’ve got a tool that makes finding multiple quotes super easy.

Our request a quote feature is perfect for getting quotes: you post details about the work you need doing and we’ll send it out to local tradespeople in your area. Try it out – it’s quick and easy!

Is a wet room a good idea?

If you have a healthy budget and want to maximise the feeling of space in your bathroom, a wet room can be an excellent choice for your home. However, if you have a limited budget and like the feeling of an accessible shower that still has a semi-enclosed feeling, then a walk-in shower tray might be more suitable.

Still on the fence? We’ve put together some wet room inspiration for you with wet room ideas and wet room design ideas.

Hire a wet room or shower tray professional

If you need help choosing the right layout and design for your shower room, we recommend speaking to your local shower room experts with experience in wet room and shower tray projects. They’ll be able to use their professional experience to give you advice and tips on making the right decision.

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