COME ON IN, THE WATER’S FINE: DIPPING A TOE IN THE WET ROOM TREND | Next Project Studio

To those of us with an extremely fastidious, Pine Sol-peppered upbringing, the term “wet room” strikes fear: just picture a soaking wet Golden Retriever having a good shake in your pristine bathroom! I shudder to think.

Thankfully, we’re wrong on this one: a wet room is not, in fact, a room that is wet. Rather, it’s an ingenious turn in bathroom design that allows for a bathtub and a large shower to coexist in the same water-friendly space. Picture, if you will, opening the glass door in a frameless shower and entering a massive tiled shower room, and off to one side of this shower room is a stunning soaking tub.

The design has been a popular one in other parts of the world, specifically Japan and Scandinavia (and Europe in general, in recent years), but it is just now gaining wider traction in the United States. Its original appeal in the U.S. was in Universal Design, as it features a curbless shower and is more easily navigable in a wheelchair, but the past couple of years have seen its allure spread into broader bath design applications.

The practicality of this setup is undeniable. You no longer have to worry about stepping out of your bathtub and dripping all over the place. And if your child splashes too much during bath time, who cares? It’s all tiled. It also allows two people to get ready at the same time without being in each other’s way.

From a design standpoint, too, it’s a wonderful solution. According to Dana King, lead designer at Next Project Studio in St. Louis, “fitting everything from a client’s wish list into the space is now much simpler, especially in tighter quarters.” The need for the entire space (sans ceiling, of course) to be tiled lends itself to a much larger canvas for tile design options. There’s also plenty of wall space for various shower fixture options and trendy bathtubs.

The clean lines and often abundant use of glass in this bathroom design make allow it to fit many unique styles, from contemporary to farmhouse. Its space-saving nature and fresh aesthetic make it a standout choice in many homes.