Bathroom Luxury: Roman Shower

The Roman shower or wet room is increasing in popularity lately, but its roots are ancient. This is a bathroom (or shower room) layout where all or most of it is designed to be wet–and therefore must be waterproof and tiled. Roman showers have a high-end, spacious appearance, with finishes, such as natural stone tiles, everywhere on display. Waterproof finishes cover the entire floor and walls, up to (and perhaps including) the ceiling. In some cases, the toilet is in another room, or “water closet”. In other cases, a clear glass partition almost invisibly separates the wet shower area from the rest of the bathroom. Still another option for dividing the space, yet keeping an open feel, is to divide with a decorative arch or a change in the tile color/style. Some wet rooms go all out, with the toilet, sink and shower all included in one wet area.

Advantages of a Roman Shower

  • Works well in a small space. If your bath is so small that there’s no room for a separate shower, a wet room could work for you.
  • Gives a large, luxurious, spa look. With little to no division of space, the Roman shower (or alcove) looks large and has an elite or modernist, contemporary appearance.
  • Allows for creativity. There are many layout options, as mentioned in the intro, and you can use innovative materials like glass bricks to divide the shower from the rest of the room. You can even have a complete “hardwood” floor throughout the shower/bathroom, if you choose wood-look waterproof bathroom tiles. You can also show off a uniquely shaped, contemporary bathtub (or a vintage claw foot tub) within the shower area. Let your design and construction company help you select tiles, finishes and surfaces that are non-porous for long-lasting beauty, yet provide traction for bathroom/shower safety.
  • Easy to clean. With lots of waterproof surfaces, you could hose off the entire area with a handheld showerhead. There is no place for mold to hide and build up, especially with adequate ventilation built in.
  • Accessible. Individuals with mobility problems can move smoothly into the shower from other parts of the bathroom, or use a wheelchair in more spacious wet rooms.
  • Could improve property value. The uniqueness of the Roman shower can be impressive, provided there is a traditional bathroom, complete with a bathtub, also in the home.

Potential Concerns of a Wet Room

  • Installation must be meticulous. Tiling, which is nearly everywhere, must be flawless. Waterproofing must be perfect to prevent mold growth and structural damage in hidden areas of the home. Exhaust fans or other effective ventilation methods are required. Proper drainage typically requires a slight slope to the floor.
  • Maintenance. You may need to re-seal tiles: If you choose natural stone tiles this may be a requirement.
  • More costly that a traditional bathroom. This is due to more complex installation, unique design/configuration and extra tiling.
  • Collateral damage. Toilet paper and towels can get wet if your area is small. Alternatively, you could store these items behind a half wall or in a hallway closet.
  • Future home buyers may not share your taste. If this is the only bath in your home, think carefully before committing to a Roman bath.

Expert Wet Room or Roman Shower Installation

Does the idea of a Roman shower sound intriguing to you? Are you ready to take your bath high-end and maximize its space? We can provide the contemporary design expertise, construction experience and dedication to customer service needed to build your wet room to your exact specifications. Contact Miller’s Residential Creations to discuss your bathroom update, addition or re-design today.

Brian Miller is the owner of Miller's Residential Creations, a custom home builder and remodeling company servicing Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties of West Virginia since 2004.
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