Practicality was key for this revitalised wet room, but spectacular tiles and clever, space-saving design ensure there’s wow-factor as well.
Robin and Chris’s ground-floor wet room is part of an extension they added to their 1930’s home some thirty years ago. It had been professionally installed, properly tanked and fully tiled to eliminate leaks, and had always functioned well. After decades of sterling service, and having coped with wet, outdoor clothing and muddy dogs as well as day-to-day use, it was starting to age. Rather than a complete re-design, Robin and Chris wanted to replace and update the existing fixtures and fittings, and address some minor issues,
“As the room is quite small, we’d originally fitted a space-saving, corner hand-basin, but it was too close to the shower area, and not big enough to be useful,” says Robin, “We also had a problem with water collecting along the wall on one side,”
“The floor-to-ceiling tiles were very practical, but they were just plain white and square, which made it feel stark and austere too,” adds Chris.
We had supplied Robin and Chris with bespoke curtains and upholstered furniture some years ago. Remembering how pleased they had been with our service at the time, they approached us again, and we were happy to help with their plans for the wet room. Our bathroom designer Lee Watkins set to work straightaway. Listening to the couple, he understood that the current layout needed only minor tweaks, so focussed on solving the main issues they had raised. Robin and Chris were open to the idea of a more colourful, eye-catching look for the wet room, as a change from the simple functionality they had previously had. Lee pointed them towards a range of tile suppliers they had not seen before, and browsing brochures and websites, Robin spotted some striking hexagonal patterned tiles in shades of green.
“Our taste is generally quite restrained, so the tiles were a big decision, but these looked spectacular, and we hadn’t come across anything else like them,” he says.
To reflect light and keep the room feeling bright, the patterned tiles have been balanced with plain white ones in the same hexagonal format. Their complex layout, which creates a loose, flowing effect, was the result of meticulous planning by Lee, followed by careful installation. Smaller mosaic tiles, colour-matched to the plain wall tiles, were chosen for the floor. They provide a safe, non-slip surface and follow the gradual slope of the floor towards the drain more easily than a larger size.
Turning his attention to the impractical hand-basin, Lee pinpointed the ideal spot for someone to stand to access the basin comfortably, and then adjusted the dimensions of the curtained shower area. This created just enough room to mount a new basin on the wall beside the door. Instead of the cramped corner style, Lee suggested a full-width, half-depth option that is easy to use and feels generous but doesn’t protrude awkwardly into the room. The basin sits on a smart, slimline cabinet, providing handy storage and cleverly maximising the limited space. Its modern, monobloc chrome tap echoes the style of other brassware in the couple’s home. To further coordinate, Chris and Robin picked a chrome-finish shower system, very similar in design to their previous one. To build on the streamlined, contemporary look, Lee recommended replacing the existing radiator too. He guided the couple towards a sleek, wall-mounted stainless-steel design, which will not rust or corrode in the humid atmosphere and can heat the room effectively.
Work on the new wet room took about two weeks. Lee suggested expert installer Mike to carry out the project, as it required specialist knowledge of tanking and wet room construction, to guarantee an absolutely watertight finish. All the old tiles were removed and the soundness of the existing plumbing carefully checked, before the entire room was re-screeded, re-tanked and tiled again. Robin and Chris were impressed by the team assigned, especially the way in which they minimised disruption for the couple, by isolating the wet room plumbing and electrics, so the work did not impact on other areas of the home. The re-laid floor is now perfectly smooth and slopes imperceptibly, so water no longer pools at one side. The shower drain, which had always been just off-centre, was neatly re-positioned exactly in the corner, adding to the crisp, clean feel,
“It’s turned out better than we imagined,” says Chris, “There’s nothing we’d change, and it’s just what we wanted.”
“This wasn’t a straightforward bathroom renovation, and it’s not easy to find a company that can offer a service so tailored to our situation,” adds Robin, “Lee was so flexible and responsive, and we would definitely recommend Gardiner Haskins – they were able to do things other companies couldn’t.”
Looking to revitalise your bathroom? Make it happen with Gardiner Haskins. Visit our Bristol showrooms for some inspiration or call us on 01179 292 288.
Designer: Lee Watkins
Bathroom type: Wet Room - Modern
Wall Tiles: Ca’ Pietra Tiles
Floor Tiles: Tileflair
Basin and Tap: Roper Rhodes
Basin cabinet: Calypso Bathrooms
Shower System: Methven
Towel rail: JiS
All imagery contained in this case study were taken by Colin, PhotoWord.
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