Wet Rooms-Sonoma Style™

Wet Rooms-Sonoma Style™

I’ve picked up a new project here on our beautiful Sonoma Coast.  The house is a bit like Sonoma Barn meets the ocean.  Vaulted ceilings, beautiful redwood paneling and views of our rugged coastline make up the bones of this house. The main motive for this renovation is to open up the living space to take advantage  of the views while updating the kitchen and bathrooms.  But, by opening up the floor plan we will severely limit the space for the master bathroom…and…one of the most important returns on any investment in todays home renovation market are bathrooms.  Not necessarily size, but definitely the luxuriousness of the appointments.  One of my favorite looks has always been the wet room, and this is the look I want to create!

The Long Barn Studio, designed by Nicholas Tye Architects

Technically a wet room is a shower within a bathroom with a barrier-free floor, level with its surroundings. Originally, the wet room was only a shower room. And while we’ve seen wet rooms develop into much more than that, the shower remains a central component. The shower area is open, usually at one end of the room, or partially sectioned off with a wall or screen. Double showers are a popular feature of wet rooms. One reason a house owner may consider a wet room is to save space. In a small room the shower tray and walls can restrict the usable space in the bath. By removing the shower walls there is more space in the room and when used as a shower the bathing space is also increased.  By not having an enclosed shower you open up the smallest of bathrooms, allowing for a feeling of more space. While wet rooms or wet baths have been popular in Europe for ever it is fast becoming the latest trends here in the States. I’ve been researching how to design a fabulous wet room for my clients and I came across these great tips from  Homes & Lifestyle Magazine in the UK   

  1. Consult a designer to ensure you create an effective wet room. The design is key.
  2. Employ experienced tradesmen to create your wet room to avoid problems down the road.
  3. Make sure that the water flow-waste is designed to be as far away from the door as possible.
  4. It is essential that the room is properly tanked…in many European countries this is just a standard way to build.
  5. Wet rooms are best fitted with wall hung sanitary ware and furniture – perfect to streamlined wet areas and they also make cleaning easier.
  6. Choose non-porous bathroom tiles such as ceramic or porcelain because porous tiles, such as slate, marble and limestone need sealing every few months to prevent water damage.
  7. You can install under-floor heating in the wet room as it will help dry the room faster.
  8. Install a shower wand or hand-held shower if you are having a fixed shower head to make cleaning down the room easier.
  9. Keep your heated towel rail as far away from the actual shower area as possible to avoid your towels getting wet.

To visit some of the best wet rooms out there check out the video below…and let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

Have a beautiful day…




  1. Henry 12 years ago

    Wet rooms are great. Wish we had thought of this before we remodeled our bathroom. Would have save a lot of time cleaning and drying.

  2. custom waterfalls 12 years ago

    You have a nice video.
    It’s amazing and beautiful.

    I love it.
    I hope to see more videos from you.
    I’m looking forward to that.

  3. Shelli Harr 11 years ago

    Any information you can provide me with would be great. I have a person in a wheel chair with me after a sudden accident. I want to convert my powder room into a wet room. I live in a colonial- wrong house for this individual- however, I am trying my best to make his life better. Thank you in advance.

    • Author
      Irene Turner 11 years ago

      WOW. Ok Shelli. These days it’s a bit easier as wheelchairs are smaller then ever. Still, hallways, doorways, and stairs are all issues are they not? I am assuming that you can have this person live on one floor rather then go up and down stairs?
      Also, that the hallways are wide enough and easy to traverse without carpet and sharp turns?
      As for the powder room, first consideration is that the doorway is at least 30″ wide, to allow for wheelchair entry. Next that the toilet is high enough with rails on at least one side if not two where possible making it easy to get off and on. Next, if it’s not big enough to segment out a shower with bench that you can tile the entire room and the shower is then free standing in the middle of the room. there are vanities made especially for wet rooms. Then the vanity can be table height with room for the wheelchair to slide right under the counter.
      All of this will require some remodeling, but rest assured it can be done!
      Good luck and let me know if there is anything else I can let you know.

      • Shelley 10 years ago

        Dear Irene:
        I do not know what to say, it is nine months since you replied to an email I sent and I am just now finding it. Please know, it was a huge accident on my part and I only found it because I am still trying to convert my power room into a wet room and through researching I found myself back to your website. I apologize and I am very embarrassed because I truly want to achieve this goal. I would like to tell you that in the interim I have spoken extensively with my plumber and his final analysis was that there would be a 2 ” threshold which I found counterintuitive for accessing the room for everyone. I still believe it is the best route to take if I could find a reputable and knowledgeable individual who could do the job. If you could find the time to email me directly at shelliharr@msn.com with any leads; I live in the Northeast. Again, I apologize for dropping the ball on this important matter. I am a caregiver for two parents…it is not the only ball I’ve dropped.



        I have done all that you’ve mentioned regarding the logistics of living quarters.

        • Author
          Irene Turner 10 years ago

          sent you an email Shelley. I’d be happy to help you find someone, just let me know where in the North east you live. Sincerely, Irene


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