How to create a wet zone bathroom

You can find the classic bath-shower combo in many UK homes, as it offers the best of both worlds. But is there a better way of having a bath and a shower in a compact bathroom? Spoiler alert: yes!

The solution is to create a wet zone with a shower tray that leads to a bath. This type of design has many names: wet zone and dry zone bathroom, side by side wetroom, and, very literal, walk-in shower to bath.

I’ve caused some controversy on social media when trying to find the name for this style as many bathroom designers battled it out to figure out the best-suited term.

The first time I spotted this idea was in a project by The Tap End in south Wales and award-winner Zoe Curtis. She was given the brief by her client where they wanted a separate shower and a bath, but had little floor area in their small British bathroom. Her solution? Split the space into a wet zone and a dry zone. The client was ultimately thrilled with the results.

The concept is based on traditional Japanese wetroom bathrooms. The room is split into two – one ‘dry’ half hosts the basin and WC, while the other half is the ‘wet’ area with a walk-in shower that leads to a bath. The bathroom can also be divided into two with the help of a shower screen.

It is common in Japan to shower before you bathe – it feels very logical to rinse off the day’s dirt before a soak in the tub, right? The wet area allows you to easily hop into the tub without getting the rest of the bathroom soaked.

Wet zone bathroom with built-in shower
Project by The Tap End.

How to create a wet zone bathroom

First, divide your space by designating the wet and dry sections. It doesn’t have to be exactly half, but think of the logical areas where you’d want to put these zones. Next, think of the divider. The shower screen doesn’t need to split the whole space but it needs to reach as far out as possible to catch splashes.

Then, there are a few style options to choose from. You can create a wetroom look and have the whole space tiled with a drain. Or you could use a flush shower tray to give a bit of distinction between the two zones. Just ensure there is suitable drainage to not flood the entire bathroom. Finally, for the bath, both built in and freestanding options work well.

Shower area with bath with bold turquoise tiles and gold brassware
Bathroom design by No 54 Interiors.
Minimalistic white shower and bath combo design.
Project by The Palm Co. Photography: Abi Interiors.
Freestanding bath in wetroom with green geometric tiles.
Eldon bath, from £3422.79, Victoria + Albert Baths. Design by Chris Dyson Architects. Photography: Daniela Exley.

Wet zone bathroom: a spa-like space

While this concept is a great idea for maximising your space, it can also lend itself to larger bathrooms. One design that really caught our eyes on Instagram was Jessica Abiagom-Page’s spa bathroom. We have featured her project in our Been there, done that feature in KBB magazine. She has cleverly used the sloped ceilings of the loft to create a cosy nook for double showers and a large freestanding bath.

Spa bathroom ideas in Jessica's space include shower screens, large skylights, and marble details
Design by Jessica Abiagom-Page, of @home_is_elmleigh. To see more of this design, click here.
Yellow walled bathroom with wet zone dry zone bathroom
Acrylic range wall panels, £580, Showerwall.
Shower are with green tiles and bath to create wet zone bathroom
Unity Dual function concealed shower system, £555, Roper Rhodes.

Need extra help with your wetroom? Click here for more great tips and inspiration

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