Choosing the Best Flooring for Curbless Showers and Wet Rooms




Choosing the Best Flooring for Curbless Showers and Wet Rooms

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Curbless showers and wet rooms are popular by demand. Many homeowners love this home upgrade for its universal design and open floor plan. A curbless shower is a somewhat modern twist on traditional showers, with the twist being the clear walls and doors, and the absence of a threshold. Wet rooms usually just have a tub and a shower that’s only separated by a pane of glass.

Both of these bathroom options make your bathroom space look larger than it is. The no-threshold design also makes it feel more open than it is giving the feel of it being accessible to everyone. This feature gives your home some resale value.

So, whether this bathroom is an upgrade for an existing building or a new construction there’s a major point that you have to think about. This is the flooring. You may want to add in an electric floor heating system and a waterproof installation membrane as they’ll keep you warm and prevent your tile from cracking respectively.

To help you decide on these two options, in this article we’ll be sharing with you all the information that you need.

Curbless Shower Flooring

For a curbless shower, tiles are usually the go-to option but you could also make use of vinyl and concrete. Whichever option you choose slip resistance should be your greatest concern. We all know how it is to slip on wet floors, especially in the showers where soap becomes part of the equation.

When choosing tiles, either small tiles with grout lines, or large format tiles, always ensure that they aren’t the glossy option as you’ll most likely slip and fall and break something when those tiles are wet. Porcelain tiles are your best bet. They are highly durable because when they are being made, dense clays are usually used.

These dense clays are also fired at very high temperatures, higher than it is for making ceramic tiles. This ensures that they are less porous, thus making them highly resistant to water. What’s more, they are also low maintenance but they cost slightly more than ceramic tiles.



Ceramic tiles are another great option. They are less durable than porcelain tiles and significantly cheaper but they are also less porous and highly resistant to water. They are also very low maintenance.

Finally, we’ve got natural stones. These are very expensive as you might have guessed and they also require a lot of maintenance. Natural stones include marble, granite, travertine, slate, limestone, and sandstone.

Wet Room Flooring

When choosing wet room floorings of course tiles are the go-to option. However, I’d suggest concrete or vinyl because they have better slip resistance. Wet rooms are larger bathroom spaces and when you step out of the shower there may be nothing to hold onto. Therefore if you slip, it might be fatal indeed.

Always avoid large-format glossy tiles as these will guarantee our fall. Smaller tiles with grout lines offer you some form of grip. Vinyl and concrete are simply the best options because they are water-resistant and consequently slip resistant offering you the best form of skid control.

You can purchase a vinyl in planks or sheets. The sheets are the more affordable option while the tiles look more luxurious and can come in various styles. They can mimic the look of stone, wood, marble, etc. you name it.

You might think that concrete isn’t a very stylish option. However, they can be stamped and stained to suit your taste. Regarding any concerns about them being waterproof, they’ll be perfect so long as they’re sealed properly.

Details to Note before Installing Heated Bathroom Floors

An electric floor heating system can be installed in either wet rooms or curbless showers but what are the factors you have to take into consideration before embarking on this decision?

It’ll cost you a pretty penny

Having a heated bathroom floor is the epitome of luxury and of course, it’s going to cost you. How much will it though? Radiant heating systems such as heated mats and cables with fixing strips for stone, marble, or tile bathroom floors can cost between $6 and $12 per square foot.

If you’d prefer for the heating cables to have a waterproof installation membrane instead of fixing strips, then the price will double. I’m talking $15 to $20 per square foot.


Installing Heated Bathroom Floors


A typical bathroom is somewhere around 50 square feet and since heating cannot be placed everywhere such as the wall, under tubs and toilets, or even permanently fixed vanities, you may only need to install heating around 30 square feet.

So the heated mats may cost somewhere between $180 and $360 while those with waterproof membranes will cost somewhere between $450 and $600. This is just an estimated cost so it can be less or more.

It’ll consume some electricity

On average, electric heating in a small bathroom will cost you 4 cents per hour of use but this is dependent on how much your tariff is within your area and the electricity consumption of your heating system.

To save some money, make use of an automated thermostat that turns on the heating when you need it while turning it off when you don’t.

So let’s say you and your family spend about 5 hours daily in the bathroom and the heater is in operation throughout these hours.

Also, let’s say that the US charges you $0.12 per kilowatt-hour and your daily cost is $0.20. In a year you’ll be paying $73 as your bathroom heating cost.

The mode of installation

For concrete floors, the heating system can be embedded into the concrete, ensuring that your concrete floors remain warm always. As you know, concrete floors are constantly cool to touch.

Heated floor mats or rolls are usually thinly embedded underneath a new tile floor. Your heating system is usually installed before or while installing the floors.

In summary, there are a lot of options to choose from when installing bathroom floors. However, when making a decision try to achieve a balance between functionality and design. Bathroom floors should be slip-resistant, have some form of skid control, and ultimately water-resistant.

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