Wet Room Design Fundamentals

Wet Rooms in Australia

‘Wet Rooms’ are trending in Australia in 2021 (Hone, 2021; Senyard, 2021). What exactly is a wet room and why is it suddenly popular? And, does it make sense to design one for your next project?

Japanese Roots and Origin

The traditional Japanese wet room has a spa-like ambience. It evolved as a response to the
Japanese norms and traditions around communal bathing. Modern day Japanese bathrooms
hold remnants of the traditional bathing customs in the way the room is zoned. The first
zone is an ‘entrance room’ where residents may undress. This zone can hold a sink. The next
zone has a shower, where residents may clean themselves thoroughly. The last zone has a
big bath with water that must always remain clean. The toilet goes into its own separate
zone, away from the bathing and showering area.

Adaptation In The Modern Australian Context

Clearly, in Australia the culture and norms are very different. However, the wet-room is
trending because it allows us to import a ‘spa-like’ luxury feel into our homes. In the
Australian conception, a ‘wet-room’ can follow similar zoning to the Japanese wet-room,
when space is not an issue. However, when space is an issue, the sink, shower, bath and
toilet are each allocated a spot in the one room. In an Australian wet room, the shower
doesn’t have a separate enclosure nor shower tray. The entire floor space is level and the
floor is graded to drain water away from all the water sources in the room, in one coherent

Special Considerations in Wet Rooms

When enclosures for showers are done away with, in this manner, a few things happen
simultaneously. One, the room appears much larger than it is, really bringing home the luxury feel. Second, water can potentially go everywhere. Good design ensures that showerheads that minimise water spread are selected. Next, walls need to be waterproofed from floor to ceiling and finished with impervious materials like tiles and/or stone. Floor finishes need to be slip resistant across the entire room, as water can travel everywhere. Wall hung fittings, furnishing, toilets and vanities work best. When a wet room is designed in this way – without enclosures and everything is elevated – the floor space is easy to maintain and clean. The floor has less obstacles and so is more accessible and user -friendly. However, to ensure that it is safe for users, it is important that water drains away quickly. Moisture and humidity can be a problem and so special care
must be given to ventilation and drainage.

Drainage for Wet Rooms

When it comes to drainage solutions, Auswave has a large product range to choose from.
Our linear grates and point drains have been used with much success in many wet room
projects across Australia. Our high quality finishes add grandeur and show to the dramatic
look and feel of spa-like wet-rooms. No matter what your design requirement, give us a call
and we will be able to recommend a special product for you.


Hone, J. (2021). 10 bathroom trends to inspire your 2021 renovation. Domain.
Senyard, R. (2021). 2021 Bathroom Trends in Australia. The Plumbette.

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