If you’re considering having new specialist elements installed in order to improve the accessibility of your bathroom, it’s definitely worth taking two separate options into account when looking into shower fittings. There are a plethora of bathing and showering features that can prove extremely helpful to individuals with mobility issues, but one particular question is regularly asked: which should I choose – a traditional shower or a wetroom?

Here is our guide to the difference between shower trays and wet rooms, to help you decide which will be best suited to your new bathroom.

What is a wet room?
The wet room is a functional design that has become ever more popular in recent years. It could be described as a shower built directly into the structure of the bathroom instead of installed “against” it. A wet room can be finished in one of many ways; it can be left completely open to the rest of the room or separated from it a wall or divider. The second option is preferable if there are fittings set close by that you would prefer to avoid hitting with spray from the shower. One major difference between a wet room and a typical shower is that the base of a wet room is always flush with the bathroom floor, with an inbuilt drainage outlet carrying the waste water away. There is no shower tray.

What are the benefits of a wet room?
Wet rooms can be made as big or small as you like, as their size is dictated by the measurements of the room and the space you are willing to give up to one. They are also exceptionally accessible, as there is no “lip” or step to navigate when entering or exiting. Finally, they are often very easy to clean, as its simplicity means that there are no additional “fiddly” elements such as shower curtains or trays to worry about. Additionally, any glass used within the screen of a wet room can be pre-treated on both sides to repel water, limescale and soap scum.

What accessibility features can be added to showers and wet rooms?

Both options can be fitted with comfortable and secure shower chairs, non-slip treatment on the tiles or flooring, firm and sturdy handrails and even an excellent remote-controlled body dryer. You can choose a wet room with luxurious underfloor heating to soothe aches and pains and reduce stress, while a walk-in shower can include easy to use rise and fall hinges for straightforward access and half height carer doors or screens for assisted showering. Both can come with superb antibacterial protection– which is proven to inhibit the growth of bacteria by up to 99.99%, so look for the symbol to be sure that your product boasts this feature.

How do i decide which is best for my bathroom?
There are so many benefits to both accessible showers and wet rooms that the decision often comes down to personal preference. Some individuals enjoy the sense of privacy that an enclosed shower offers, which others prefer the versatility and manoeuvrability of a wet room.

Howards of Hayling undertake specialist bathroom design as well as providing a wide range of individual accessible fittings and fixtures, counts an excellent range of both amongst our collections. We also undertake full accessible bathroom design and refurbishment projects from start to finish.